Green Living: How to Be an Earth-Conscious New Yorker

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The only thing stopping many New Yorkers from green living is the presumption that changing their habits to save the environment will prove to be a hassle. The following proves that even the smallest changes can make a difference for our planet.

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Green living in NYC is something that every New Yorker can do. Many people think that going green means making major, disruptive shifts to their lifestyle, but the changes you make don’t have to be a hassle. Making the smallest changes in our day to day lives can make a huge impact on our environment. Check out the following tips for some ideas to get you started.

Streamline Your Recycling

If everyone in NYC was adamant about recycling, the amount of waste in our landfills would be reduced exponentially. Sorting your paper products, bottles, plastic, and all the rest of your recyclables while they’re still in your home will make it easier to stay on top of everything. Stores like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond sell multi-compartment recycling bins that are stackable or that can be slid away into cabinets. Hang the recycling bags directly onto the bins so that getting rid of them on recycling night is a breeze.

Choose Green Cleaning Products

Green cleaning products are a lot more gentle on the environment than traditional, commercial cleaning products. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many cleaning products contain ingredients that, although legal, contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. When those products are washed away down our drains, they carry those chemicals back into our waterways. The EPA recommends selecting green cleaning products. By making that choice, you’ll be reducing the amount of harm that doing something as simple as cleaning your bathroom can do to our natural resources. To make it easier for those striving toward green living, the EPA has developed the Safer Choice label, a label that’s been put on cleaning products that have been deemed safe for the environment.

Leave the Car at Home

Many people have cars in the city. Leaving the car at home as much as you can will really help cut down on the release of vehicle emissions into the air — emissions that contribute to global warming by damaging the ozone layer. If you must take a car, consider rideshares when you can, either with people you know or through services like Uber. Instead of buying a car, you can use car-share services like Zipcar for those days when you need to haul groceries and shopping. The city has put bike lanes and Citibike stations throughout every borough in the city in order to make it easier for people to bike to work and wherever else they need to go. Double bonus: you save the environment while improving your overall health! Just remember to wear a helmet and obey the laws of the road; you don’t want to cancel out that “improving your overall health thing” with shoddy biking.

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