These days, the world is buzzing about going green. From LED lights to water-wise appliances, adopting eco-friendly practices starts at home. If your house is as green as it gets, you may be asking yourself what to do next? Check out our thoughts on the best way to expand your sustainable footprint and live your best eco-chic life.

Embrace Tech

While we might not have flying cars, it already feels like we’re living in the future. Who could have imagined we would be controlling our lives from the convenience of a smartphone? From Bluetooth enabled home security to auto-adjusting lights, there are so many great ways to use technology to your advantage. In additional to home upgrades, embrace the virtual office. Not only will you be reducing your commute both to and from the worksite, but remote workers are said to be happier and more productive in the long run. Cut down on face to face meetings and employ virtual connections whenever possible. Check out cloud computing for office access anywhere. Go paperless and remember to recycle your e-waste.

Reduce Reliance on Single-Use Items

Sure, it’s easy to recycle at home, but what about when you are out in the world. You might not realize how often we rely on single-use, disposable items to get through our day. It’s no surprise that unrecyclable plastics are everywhere. Think coffee pods and take-out containers, forks, knives and cocktail straws. Cut down on your use by investing in long lasting, elegant solutions. Thermal coffee mugs, sleek glass storage ware and silicone or steel straws are a great place to start. Shop in bulk at your local market and invest in reusable cloth produce bags. Help the environment and reduce waste. It’s time we overcome our addition to single-use items.

Shop Small but Think Big

There’s no better way to show some love to your community than by shopping small. When you shop local and support small businesses, your dollar directly affects the lives and welfare of those around you. This weekend stroll through your neighborhood farmers market and soak in the sights. Cut down on carbon emissions by buying produce grown in your hometown or state. Go green by supporting sustainable vendors and talk to them about their eco-friendly practices. Rather than contributing to giant corporations, who may or may not care about the environment, shop small and let your hard-earned cash add to the success of families and workers right in your own backyard.

Borrow Instead of Buy

These days, the sharing community is stronger than ever. What started as a radical idea to own less and do more, has turned into an industrious opportunity to cut down on consumption all together. Minimalism is on the rise and not surprisingly so, this spans across almost all industries. From ridesharing services to home exchanges, peer-to-peer lending combines convenience with sustainability. Fewer cars on the road mean lowered emissions and less traffic. Increased bike share programs lead to better air quality and reduced fuel consumption. If you do choose to buy, make sure your purchases have positive environmental impacts. Think hybrid cars, electric vehicles and Energy Star rated appliances. Look for renewable options in home goods and material suppliers. In the end, sharing more means consuming less which is great for any green initiative.

Volunteer and Give Back

Remember, going green isn’t only about employing green practices, it is the idea that we all have a responsibility to take care of our world. Environmental stewardship benefits us all and volunteering is a great way to give back. By connecting with like-minded people, you can expand your reach and spread the world on sustainability. Get involved with a tree-planting movement, participate in a beach cleanup or invest in a share of a local urban farm. Working with an advocacy agency to help shape local laws and policies can also have a rewarding payoff. There’s so much out there you can do, so take a moment and see how far your sustainable practices can go.