Tips for a Greener Lifestyle  

February 3, 2022 Annet Willigenburg , Visitor Experience Associate

At the Gardens, we constantly try to increase our sustainability efforts. The full scope of sustainable living is immense and making the right decisions can sometimes get overwhelming. Think of anything from food and clothing, to travel or personal care; there are countless options that are considered “cleaner and greener.”

But going completely zero-waste, car-free or fully vegan is not for everyone. That’s why we’re trying to help with a list of suggestions you can implement based on your personal starting point! 

So, would you consider yourself a Sprout, a Leaf or Chlorophyll? Check out the three levels below and pick some options that suit your life, or come up with your own, based on your personal goals. 

Sprout: You’re freshly emerging and willing to make some changes!   

  • Food: Implement Meatless Mondays/Fishy Fridays. Bring leftovers for lunch! 
  • Travel: Weekly rideshare/carpool, walk and bike for shorter distances 
  • Shopping: Buy No New challenge, for a timeframe of your choice (ex., 1 month) 
  • Cleaning & cosmetics: Experiment with at least 1 package-free personal care product 
  • Packaging/plastics: Say no to single-use plastics, minimize take-out food & drinks  

Leaf: You’re already making sustainable choices and are looking to grow!  

  • Food: Vegetarian or vegan weekdays by default. Compost all your organic waste 
  • Travel: Use public transport whenever possible, try Bike to Work days 
  • Shopping: Buy No New challenge, for a timeframe of your choice (ex., 3 months) 
  • Cleaning & cosmetics: Switch to 2+ package-free personal care or natural cleaning products 
  • Packaging/plastics: Get reusable (glass or stainless steel) containers, for food storage  

Chlorophyll: You’re ‘deep green’ by default, but always want to do more!  

  • Food: Plant-based diet as a norm, only buy local produce. Plan meals ahead, don’t waste food 
  • Travel: Bike to work whenever possible, avoid flying. Electric vehicle (buy used, not new) 
  • Shopping: Buy No New challenge, for a timeframe of your choice (ex., a year) 
  • Cleaning & cosmetics: Switch to all package-free/natural cosmetics and cleaning products  
  • Packaging/plastics: No plastic containers; reusable jars for all your cosmetics, storage etc. 

You can pick one or two focus areas, it’s up to you, all depending on what room for adjustments you currently have. And of course, there’s many more ways to increase a sustainable lifestyle, this is just the tip of the iceberg!  

Most importantly, choose adjustments that work for you, and keep in mind that every attempt is better than none!  

And lastly, to create a “green snowball effect”: SHARE YOUR EFFORTS! It can be very effective to share sustainable steps, even small ones, with your social circle. By inspiring and motivating each other, exchanging suggestions, tips and tricks – every bit helps! 


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