Between getting yourself and the kids ready, the morning isn’t the easiest time to stop and think about your environmental impact. Making your morning routine greener, however, is probably easier than you think. Just a few simple changes make a big difference.
There’s nothing wrong with an energy-boosting cup of java. If your morning joe comes courtesy of a single-serving pod, you may want to rethink it. These tiny pods aren’t recyclable and are filling up landfills fast. Switch to a regular coffee maker to green up your fix. If you’re worried about wasting coffee, make a smaller batch. You can also use any excess to make coffee ice cubes. To do that, freeze it in an ice tray. Then you can add the cubes to lukewarm coffee to make an iced coffee without it getting watered down. If single serve coffee is still number one in your heart, you can buy a reusable pod and put coffee grounds in it.
How you drink your coffee can also make a difference in making your morning routine sustainable. If you hit the coffee shop on your way to work instead of making it at home, bring along your own reusable coffee container to fill up instead of wasting a paper cup. Your favorite spot may not allow outside cups, so at least bring along your own reusable hot cup sleeve to avoid wasting the cardboard ones.
Shorten Your Shower
One of the easiest ways to green your morning routine is by cutting down your water usage. All you have to do is take a shorter shower. Sometimes that’s a little easier said than done. After a night up with a fussy baby, I’ve admittedly lost track of time in the shower more than once from sheer exhaustion. To help stay on schedule, bring your smartphone into the bathroom and set a timer to go off when it’s time to get out.
Fast Food Fix
Rushing out the door in the morning often leaves me little time to make breakfast, so I often buy a quick bite along the way. Oftentimes that means prepackaged snacks with wasteful wrappers. Instead of reaching for that breakfast bar, replace it with something homemade. With a little weekend preplanning, you can have breakfast ready to go, which is not only better for the environment but also your health. That’s because most packaged items are processed and full of preservatives. You can prepare breakfast smoothies, for example, by chopping and freezing fruits. Freeze yogurt, milk, or whatever liquids you’d like to add in an ice tray. In the morning, all you have to do is dump all the frozen ingredients into your blender and mix, no cutting or measuring needed.
Save the Leftovers
If you have the time to compost your kitchen scraps that’s wonderful, but there are several breakfast scraps that can be easily reused without needing a compost bin. Coffee grinds and eggshells add nutrients to your garden just the way they are. Simply spread them around your planting bed, and mix them into the soil a little. Strawberry tops and other fruit scraps can be added to a water infuser to make some tasty water.
Primp and Preen Yourself Green
The morning is likely when you spend the most time using beauty care products. From shampoo and lotion to your toothpaste, nearly everything you use to primp and preen in your morning routine can get a green makeover by switching to natural products. Take a few minutes to clean out your bathroom cabinet, read some labels, and see which products might not be so eco-friendly. Start with one or two items to swap out, and see how you feel about the switch. In addition to purchasing greener products, you might feel more satisfied overall with natural ingredients.
You could try switching to a more sustainable form of transportation, especially if alone in your car is how you spend your commute. Riding the bus, walking, carpooling with coworkers and other parents, or riding your bike are all easy options to try. It doesn’t even have to be a daily switch; choosing a greener method even just once a week makes a difference on your carbon footprint.
Making an impact doesn’t require dramatic changes. After a while, these small green habits become second nature and a regular part of your morning routine.
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Image sources: Sher Warkentin | Pexels
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.