Simple Hacks: How to Live More Eco-Friendly
With global climate change becoming more apparent worldwide, every person is becoming confronted with the realities of our consumption and the destruction of the planet. Since a young age, I have been proactive about the environment but have been brainwashed and consumed with capitalistic ideas of consumption and purchasing in recent years. However, I remain faithful to my simple habits and ways you can implement an eco-friendly lifestyle into your life now. Every one of us needs to do our part in some small way or another to help extend the life of this planet and take care of the plants, animals, and world that is our home.
Here are some simple ways to implement into your daily habits and life to be a bit more mindful of the environment around you...
Pick up one piece of trash per day.
A wonderful person once told me we can all make the world a better place by picking up one piece of trash daily. Now you might think, what can one amount of waste really do? One piece of trash can travel throughout the world's freshwater rivers and oceans, accumulating on beaches and in species habitats. This debris harms physical habitats, transport chemical pollutants, and threatens aquatic life. This trash also interferes with human life, uses of the river, marine and coastal environments, plus the trash is just ugly! If every single human would pick up just one piece of litter today, there would be over 300 million fewer pieces of litter, and if they picked up 10 pieces there would be 3 billion fewer pieces damaging our environment. Make an impact today. Pick up that snickers wrapper on the ground. You most likely will inspire action from anyone that sees you do it!
Think local shops, thrift stores, flea markets, farmers' markets, and produce stands you might find on a local street corner. Purchasing more locally sourced products and food provides community benefits for the local economy and far-reaching environmental benefits. It Preserves Small Farm Land and protects farmland, therefore reducing food miles which helps alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels, reduce air pollution and cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. Their success relies on people in the community buying their local produce. Buying locally is supporting the local workforce. Getting to know your local farmers helps you understand exactly what kind of foods you are nourishing your body and allows you to build authentic human connections with your local community. This is vitally important to the health and happiness of humanity. The truth is that locally sourced ingredients can be healthier for the foods retain more natural nutrition, making them more energy-dense than less fresh or older transported foods.
Locally doesn't just mean fruits and vegetables but your clothing from local boutiques and thrift stores. In an era of fast fashion doing your part in shopping locally and recycling clothes can reduce your impact on the environment. How much waste does thrifting actually reduce? Studies have shown that the average American per year tosses out 81 pounds of clothing; if you add it all up, it can be equivalent to 26 billion pounds of textiles. These textiles are then ending up in landfills all over the United States. Thrifting, therefore, helps reduce textile waste because the clothing gets recycled by allowing someone else to wear or buy it! To donate your clothes and thrift some too. You can easily curate a one-of-a-kind wardrobe while scoring on some high-quality goods at low prices!
Reduce Water Usage.
California has experienced over 23 droughts documented from 1841 to the present day. Even with another drought plaguing California residents this year, we can each individually implement simple habits and ways to save a little bit more of our water each day. While we all need to drink water to survive with bodies made up of 60 % water, there are many other ways and uses we are using our water unconsciously. 30 to 60% of our domestic drinking water is used to water gardens, lawns, and yards and often, large portions of this are wasted by evaporation, over-watering, and misdirected sprinklers.
Tips to Reduce Water Usage:
Fix leaks: Checking your household and garden for leaks can be the first step.
Shut it off: Shut off your sprinkler system when it's raining.
Stop it: Stop using your toilet as a garbage can (we are all guilty of this).
Take shorter showers: Setting a shower timer or playing music can help monitor the length.
Efficient Technologies: Install water-saving showerheads or low-flow restrictors.
Turn it Off: Turn off the water while brushing your pearly whites or shaving. Turning it off when shampooing your hair is also another great moment to save a few gallons.
Cleaning: Don't run water when hand-washing dishes and try to only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.
Sharing is caring: Share your knowledge and tips about water conservation and efficiency techniques with your neighbours!
Recycle (Bottles, Batteries, and Clothes).
You can recycle much more than you think. After moving from the U.S.A. to Germany and Holland I have learned how much you can really recycle. So what are we waiting for? Recycling benefits the environment tremendously. Recycling diverts innumerable pounds of valuable materials from landfills, therefore, helping us avoid millions of metric tons of greenhouse emissions annually. Recycling is actively creating healthier air and cleaner waterways. Not only does it reduce the need for sourcing new raw materials but saves the energy that would've been used for it. To top off the many benefits of recycling it creates jobs, supports our economy and today and benefits our future generations by decreasing our use and reliance on natural resources, and decreasing water and air pollution.
Start today with these simples tips:
Learn the Ropes of your area or city.
Set up Recycling Bins and Separate your Trash: Gather Your Plastic Bottles and more.
Calling Your Local Animal Shelter: Shelters often take donations of newspapers and plastic bags.
Recycle Your Ink Cartridges and batteries at specific stores or businesses.
Join a Recycling Program. Join your city's curbside recycling program for other trash and unwanted items.
Use Recycling Drop-Off Centers.
Save Grocery Bags.
Participate in Clean Ups.
There is no better way to inspire action, change or help the environment around you than by starting locally inviting friends and family to the local river, beach, and park cleanups. A Clean Environment is as we all know, essential for healthy living. No one wants to live in a landfill or a polluted place with contaminants and toxins that harm our health. Air and water pollution can cause respiratory diseases and cancer, among other problems and diseases. Participating in a local cleanup can bring about a sense of community and responsibility to people. It bonds people together by realizing we need to keep our homes and common areas safe and clean. The visible results after a cleanup might lead to heightened interest and involvement among community members in reducing garbage and food waste and preserving the environment.
Eat more Plant-Based.
Vegan is the new trend and has been the past few years and for good reasons. Eating more whole foods and real plant-based meals is not only better for your health but for the environment. What has the biggest footprint? Animal products like meat, eggs, and cheese have the highest carbon footprint. Vegetables, fruit, beans and nuts have much lower carbon footprints in comparison. Regarding food-related emissions, they found that eating plant-based foods is even better for the planet than choosing local produce. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting dairy and meat products from your diet could reduce an individual's carbon footprint from their food consumption by up to 73 percent. If you are unable to go fully vegan try substituting part of one day a week's worth of meals with meat and dairy products with plant-based meals, which achieves more greenhouse gas reduction. Going vegan for a few days a week or fully transitioning is a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and cooking. It can improve your diet with health-promoting options like whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables. All packed full of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
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