Hey, You! Save the Earth.
Climate change is more apparent than ever and it's easy to feel helpless.
Making small changes and limiting our carbon footprint is the best way to counteract it on a personal level. Below are some ways I've started to live green.
1) Use metal straws. They’re $18 for an 8-pack and don’t get lodged in the noses of sea turtles. Straws are a huge environmental issue. 7.5% of the plastic thrown away is from disposable straws, and they're being outlawed in cities all over the world. Get a jump on it, bring one with you every day. It's not hard.
2) Try to use natural corn cat litter that you can flush vs hundreds of plastic bags per year. It also comes naturally scented and is healthier for my cat’s lungs than clay litter.
3) Don't trash plastic bottles or cans. It’s not hard to find a recycle bin, it just might take longer than our typical inclination to dispose of containers in less than 30 seconds. Look around, they're easy to access.
4) Always have a canvas tote with when you're out. Plastic bags are typically not recyclable, therefore unnecessary. This is an especially good option today since reusable options are so cute these days.
5) Utilize public transit or carpooling. I moved to a city that uses electric trains. I do my best to use them over busses every day. I also prefer to walk over using Uber. It takes a half hour to walk a mile. Is that too much? I think not. You can also find carpool groups online, ride with friends, or take a bike if your city doesn't provide green transportation.
6) Conserve energy at home, keep things unplugged unless you're using them. You would be surprised how many common household electronics suck power when they're "off"
7) Purchase Apple products, which consume less energy than their competitors. Apple factories and server farms also power their facilities with green energy and have rigorous standards to keep things green. Best benefit, resale value is the highest in the industry, and they offer recycling programs for discounts.
8) Update phones and other mobile tech every 3-4 years vs once a year. (The energy consumed in producing one iPhone is the same amount as powering one for a full year) I also use smart chargers that automatically turn off once your device is charged.
9) Taking an occasional technology fast is extremely useful for your brain—and the environment. Accessing servers used to hold data require a ton of energy to operate. Going into "airplane mode" and taking one day off per week can actually have a positive impact on how much data/power you're using.
10) Don’t use cosmetic products, toothpaste, or washes with microbeads. (The little plastic dots in cheap drugstore cleansers are plastic and wind up inside of fish, and thus inside of us when we eat fish.) Not to mention they're also being banned in countries all over the world. Do a little research to figure out if your products use them. This is an amazing list that can help you figure that out.
11) Eat the food that you purchase. If it's from the grocery store or from a restaurant, throwing food away is actually a horrible waste of money and energy. The average American throws out nearly a pound of food PER DAY. Let's just stop that bad habit.
12) Give up meat once per week. Going vegetarian isn't an option for me, but I do my best to eat just plant-based protein at least once a week. It actually boggles my mind what one day of vegetarianism would do.
13) Stop shopping fast fashion. H&M, Zara, ASOS, Uniqlo, etc. produce cheap clothing which is out of season and destroyed within a few months. The fashion industry creates 20% of the world's industrial water pollution, and 12.5 million tons of garbage per year. (spend money up front, and that shirt will last way longer.)
I hope this inspires you.
We have so much power to make change happen, and the more people who take on these ideas, the greener we will be. Have suggestions? Comment below.