MINNEAPOLIS — Whether you’re already on a green journey or want to be and don’t know where to start, here are some ways you can help the earth and it begins in your daily routine.
Ami Voeltz is the executive director of Do It Green! Minnesota. She's been educating people about how to reduce their environmental impact for decades.
Voeltz first piece of advice that you can do today, is to turn down the thermostat by three degrees.
"If it’s a little cooler than your used, to wearing layers, hats, scarves, even in your own home and that will reduce our energy consumption and reduce emissions," Voeltz said. If that’s not reason enough, of course, it can also help save on your energy bill.
Voeltz said tip two is to use the checklists on their website to find ways to save water, or reduce waste.
"It will take you room to room and give you some easy affordable tips that you can consider making some simple changes," Voeltz said. "We suggest picking a few of those and then working on that and as you feel success picking some more," she said.
Three involves a trip to the grocery store. Plastic can take up to a thousand years to break down in a landfill according to Voeltz. She said consider starting your shopping on the perimeter of stores for fresher foods, to avoid the packaged goods in the middle aisles.
Tip number four: As we start kicking things into higher gear for the holidays, consider your holiday gift giving.
Voeltz said maybe choose to give kindness this year.
"Thinking about that, you may not even have to give a physical gift that you could help out a neighbor, cook them a meal and we also like to talk about sharing a skill, maybe you could give a piano lesson," she said.
Finally, Voeltz said her fifth tip is to find ways to go green when decorating for the holidays.
She said avoid the plastic décor or tinsel, find another way to wrap instead of using wrapping paper.
"Most wrapping paper is not recyclable because of the ink or the layers that's printed on the wrapping paper," Voeltz said.
Voeltz also said if you're stringing up lights for the house or the tree, choose LED lights.
If you do decide to give physical gifts this year, Voeltz recommends choosing a local business or artists to buy from. Do It Green! Minnesota has it’s annual Green Gifts Fair starting on the 19th. It’s virtual this year with vendors and some lives events to help people on their green journey.
Also, it’s free.
Voeltz said she knows it can feel like one person making these changes won't make that much of a difference.
"It really is about the collective effort, so thinking about that we’re making a small change and in turn we’re actually modeling that to our families and neighbors and friends, and then they’ll get inspired to make those changes," she said.