Small Changes, Big Impact

There are plenty of ways to make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly, many of which you’ve probably been doing for ages: turning off lights, unplugging appliances, ditching plastic bags…you get our drift. Now it’s time to do more: try these easy but effective ways to make a difference. And they’re not just for April — stay green year-round!

Figure Out How Green You Already Are

Take a five-minute quiz on PracticallyGreen.com to find out where you stand, and get customized suggestions for some easy changes. A points system and badges keep you motivated. Interested in more major changes? Perform your own home energy audit or hire a professional auditor. Energy Star, the government-run program that rates the energy efficiency of products, has more information about both options.

Shop Smarter

You’re going to buy beauty products anyway so why not put a portion of that budget towards responsible brands? Start by reading labels carefully. We’ve detailed eight of the most common eco-friendly seals and what they mean here so that you aren’t flying blind.

Do it Yourself

OK, we admit, this one isn’t so easy but it is fun. At-home crafting has become a huge trend recently thanks to the innovation of DIY enthusiasts like P.S. I Made This’ Erika Domasek and fashion blog Honestly WTF. Save money, and get more out of your products and wardrobe by customizing everything from jewelry to nail polish. A few of our favorite beauty DIYs: layering nail polish and turning broken eyeshadows into liner.

Get Rid of Junk Mail and Catalogs

How often have you opened a full mailbox and realized it’s full of direct mail offers for new credit cards? Just as wasteful are the catalogs that pile up every few months. We know you’ll want to keep your J. Crew mailer (oh, what will Jenna come up with this month?) but you can banish other recycling bin fillers and save a tree by adding your name to Opt Out Prescreen’s no mail list. We were initially skeptical because the website asks for personal information (including your social security information) to verify your identity, but the service is run by the top consumer reporting companies and is endorsed by the FTC, so you don’t need to worry about identity theft. Next, take a few minutes to give catalog companies a call and ask to be removed from their list. We promise your recycling bin won’t miss them!

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