As today is national environment day, I thought what better way to celebrate on my blog than to post some of the few things you can do to help the planet? I personally do many of the items listed below and the ones I do not currently do, I am working on achieving. Being environmentally friendly is not a simple task and it does not happen over night. It takes time to incorporate these habits in your everyday life, but it is possible. You just need to start.
So begin your journey to a sustainable life by incorporating a few of these ideas and you can slowly expand the list as you get better and more acquainted with your new habits.
Number One: Quit Single-Use Plastics
This is one of my blog’s main focuses as single-use plastics create the majority of our pollution problems. However, they can also be tricky to escape in our quick-paced modern world, but it is possible. For example, making simple changes like, using a reusable water bottle, denying plastic straws for a sustainable one made from sources like metal or bamboo, maybe try bringing your own tote bags shopping. These are all great ways to avoid using plastic, but their are a ton of other incredible ways as well. For more inspiration and ideas check out these blog posts! (ONE) (TWO)
Number Two: Reuse and Recycle
In the world that we live today, people are often lazy when it comes to dealing with broken items or ones they no longer have a use for. Many of these items will end up in the trash instead of attempting to repair the object or recycling it for parts. For example, for those that throw out a t-shirt because there is a stain on it, don’t realize that they are throwing away a valuable material that can be repurposed. Instead, think about ways you can transform that shirt. Maybe, cut it and use it as rags for cleaning your house, car, etc…?
Finding alternative uses for items or working on repairing them are often more rewarding in the end. This is not to say that you cannot throw away anything, rather to be more mindful when doing so.
Number Three: Ditch the Car
Of course, driving your own car can seem like the easiest option, however, it is not the most sustainable one. Burning fuel leads to air pollution. This kind of air pollution is also closely related to the depletion of the ozone layer and therefore is said to be a main contributor to global warming.
So how do we ditch the car? Well, you can do a few things. If you are in a closer proximity to your destination, maybe leave a bit early and ride your bike there? or walk? If this is not an option for you, maybe give public transport a try? Here in Moncton, Zodiac Transport is offering free bus rides through-out town this week in honour of today being national environment day. For more details check them out here.
If all else fails, you could also try to carpool which could eliminate a few cars in your commute.
Number Four: Go Thrifting
One of the more silent areas of our environmental problems exists in the clothing industry. However low key it might be in the media, it is now exposed as more and more numbers are being released. As an example, each year the United States of America sends 10.5 million tons of clothing to their landfills. That is a lot of unnecessary “garbage” to dispose of especially when you think about all of the people in impoverished countries without the means of quality clothing or footwear.
The simple answer? Donate your clothes and try to buy only ethical or thrifted materials. To help you on this task is an incredible app called, Good On You. Using that app, you are able to find ethical brands that are not only sustainable, but clothing brands/companies that don’t use slaves to make their clothing. If your interested in learning more, check out the app’s Instagram here.
Number Five: Organize or Volunteer at a Neighbourhood or Beach Clean-up
As simple as it can seem, cleaning up your neighbourhood or the beach can be a huge help. This rewarding action can also be a fun activity if you gather some of your friends and spend an hour (or more) walking around your community picking up the litter left behind. Just grab a pair of old gloves, grab a bag, plan a route and you’re all set!
Want to do this regularly? 4Ocean has an amazing set to help you. Find it here.
Number Six: Grow Plants
Cleaning air pollution and helping to save the bees can be as easy as planting a few trees! Anything that you are able to plant, makes a huge difference! Whether its a few trees, bushes, flowers, etc… all plants give out oxygen which helps in the battle of reversing global warming.
I recommend going to your local nursery and purchasing some wildflower seeds. They grow like crazy and are fairly inexpensive!
Number Seven: Leave the Dandelions Alone
Going along with number six, is to leave your dandelions alone. These are the most and best, wide spread flowers that bees are attracted to. With the decline in number of the wonderful bumblebee, we face a huge problem that could very well cost us the majority of our food. As Cheerios Canada writes: Bees and other pollinators are responsibly for 1 out of 3 bites of food we eat: from apples to coffee. Without them, we would not survive.
Number Eight: Lessen your Shower Time
One proven way to help the environment is to use less of its resources. This includes using less water. You can try to shorten your time in the showers, limit how many baths you take, or shut the tap off while you brush your teeth. These little impacts can result into a big change over time.
Number Nine: Turn off Electronics and Lights Whenever Possible
This tip has been around for as long as I can remember, but there is a reason for that. Using electricity as much as we do, it is important to remember that it does have negative effects on the environment.
So, to limit this, try to remember to shut off any electronics like your television, radio, etc… when you’re not using it and when a room is not in use, turn off the lights. Again, these are small, everyday habits that when adopted, can lead to a gratifying change for our world.
Number Ten: Eat Less Meat
Many of you might look at this and roll your eyes or try your best to disregard it. However there is a real reason behind it being listed here. Meat production causes pollution through fossil fuels, animal methane, effluent waste, water and land consumption. This is of course, not saying to go vegetarian or vegan, unless that is your preference, but eating less meat in your diet is helpful in the long run.
Environmental issues need to be taken more seriously as our planet continues to decline and global warming increases. By beginning your journey to a healthy, more sustainable way of living, you are helping the world, along with those in it and the future generations to come. So, I suppose the question I leave you with is, which one will you start with?