However young you are now, one thing is for sure: you’re getting older. Another thing is probably a safe bet: you don’t want to live with regrets. Here are 19 little things you can do now that you’ll be glad you did later.
1. Read Food Labels
Not everything we eat is good for us, and while you may not care now….your body 20 years from now will. Stick with fruits, veggies, whole grains and whole ingredients to keep your wellness at its peak.
2. Live Simply
If you’re in college right now, you probably don’t have much stuff. The longer you keep it that way, the more nimble and affordable your life is. Bonus: it makes moving a whole lot easier.
3. Soak in Nature’s Best
Spending time with Mother Nature can do wonders for your health and creativity, contributing to reduced stress levels and better ideas that might help advance your career.
Trust us, you won’t want to live next to a landfill one day, so recycle diligently now to reduce landfill needs later.
5. Give back
It feels good to help others, and whether or not you actually see the fruit of your labor, it’s nice to know you made a difference in someone else’s life.
6. Invest in reusable products
From rechargeable batteries to reusable mugs, spend a little extra now to save a lot later. Plus it’s way better for the environment and can even be more enjoyable. Would you get a daily reminder of that awesome vacation you took if you had bought a souvenir disposable coffee cup instead of a souvenir coffee mug? The mug always wins.
7. Walk more
If you’re able, start stepping. It’ll make you healthier and you might even live longer. Want an easy way to increase your steps? Drive less, walk more.
8. Plant a tree
Pretty cool way to leave a legacy.
Driving together is way more fun than driving alone. Make more memories this way (and save big bucks and the environment at the same time).
10. Maintain Your Car
Vehicles are a big financial investment, so you want to take care of yours through proper scheduled maintenance. These efforts might also help you save gas, which probably isn’t going to get any cheaper in your lifetime.
11. Adjust Your Thermostat
A penny saved today is worth more tomorrow, so do what you can to stash away savings. One easy way is to adjust your thermostat. Set it to 68°F in the winter and 78°F in the summer for optimal energy savings. Another easy way to save money: hit the light switch when you leave the room.
12. Say Goodbye to Toxic Products
No one is quite sure whether some common personal care product ingredients directly cause cancer and other diseases, but is it worth the risk? Reducing your exposure now will be something you won’t regret later if today’s suspicions become reality.
13. Save Water
Water isn’t just a global problem. Even now, water is becoming a more scarce resource in parts of the United States. Do your part to save it now in hopes that water shortages will be less severe later.
14. Try a Staycation
They’re good for the environment and your local economy, plus they allow you to use all your vacation days — especially during those years where you’re saving your pennies for a big vacation. Here are some staycation tips.
15. Protect Your Skin
For a sustainable you, you need to take care of the largest organ in your body: your skin. Get in the habit of using skin protection so that you look (and feel) healthier for years to come.
16. Take the Stairs
If you’re able, there’s no easier way to incorporate brief spurts of exercise than climbing stairs. Choosing not to take the elevator saves energy, and the extra movement might help you live longer.
17. Learn to Cook
No matter what stage of life you’re in, you need to eat. And while you could go out or warm up microwaveable meals for the rest of your life, odds are that might get a little old and expensive. Find a good cookbook, watch a few cooking shows on television, read some cooking blogs or try this easy recipe to get started. Bonus: if you learn to cook with local food, you’ll set yourself up for fresher, better tasting meals.
18. Grow Your Own Food
Even if you don’t grow everything you eat, it’s pretty cool to sit down for dinner and eat the literal fruits (and vegetables) of your labor. Bonus: gardening can save you mega-bucks at the grocery store
19. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
When you make it yourself, you might be avoiding toxins while at the same time saving money. Try this recipe for laundry detergent
What other ideas do you have for a more sustainable today (and especially tomorrow)?