10 Easy Ways to Be More Sustainable

Tacos are involved.

9/12/2019 11:39:00 AM

10 Easy Ways to Be More Sustainable at Work and Home

Tacos are involved.

Don't blindly"recycle."If you're throwing greasy pizza boxes, pump bottles, coffee cups, or floppy plastic bags into the recycling bin and hoping for the best, you might be an"aspirational recycler."Rules for what can and can't be recycled vary by local county or municipality, says Woodruff. Even worse, items like the above can contaminate an entire load of recycling and destine the whole thing to a landfill. To find out what's acceptable, contact your municipality or contract hauler (read the name on the truck curbside and check their site for details). For more local recycling options, go to

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.Do dishes in your sleep.The best time to run your (full) dishwasher is late-night."Electricity is cheapest when there's less load on the grid," says Woodruff. During peak hours, when electricity is in high demand, companies supplement by switching on the dirtiest, least-efficient power stations."Doing dishes at night actually lowers your carbon emissions," he says. That, plus its soothing, white noise hum, should lull you to sleep easily.

At workSpeak up if it's icy.Some workplaces delight in blasting freezing AC all summer long. When office temps match the inside of a mini-fridge, we're forced to bundle up in the frumpy cardigans that live on the backs of our office chairs—not a good look for anyone.

"If you are able to control it, raise the thermostat to cut down on energy use and expenditures," says Woodruff. Work at a big company? Inquire with your office manager about whether anything can be modified.Getty ImagesConsider how you're eating lunch.

You deserve better than the plastic clamshell take-away comes in. Zshush things up with a proper table setting—a real bowl, plate, drinking glass, and silverware."Leave a full set of dishes and cutlery at your desk for lunches, snacks, or celebrations," says Woodruff."If there's cake down the hall, take your own plate and no waste comes out of it."

Print mindfully. Read more: ELLE Magazine (US) »

10 Easy Ways to Be More Sustainable10 Easy Ways to Be More Sustainable at Work and Home

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