You may think that saving the planet sounds like an impossible task, but it need not be that way! If each and every one of us makes a handful of small changes to our everyday lives, together we can have a huge impact on the health of our beautiful blue planet!
1. Eat less meat
If more of us ate a diet that was lower in animal products and more plant dominant it would decrease the strain on our planet significantly. This doesn’t mean you need to go vegan necessarily, rather just be a little more varied with your protein sources. You could start by trying one day a week, such as meat-free Mondays, and go from there. There is plenty of research to support the positives of a diet that is plant dominant in terms of health and environmental outcomes. And if you do choose to eat meat opt for organic, grass-fed choices. Decreasing your consumption of processed pre-packaged food can also have a positive impact on the environment and your health, it’s a win-win!
2. Ditch single-use plastics
Cups, bottles, straws, drink stirrers, food wrapping, grocery bags, take out containers, take out utensils, styrofoam, freight bags, bubble wrap, the list is endless and all of these tend to be used once and then thrown in the trash. Look for opportunities to say no to single-use plastics, such as bags, containers, lids, and cutlery when ordering food. Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store, reuse your produce bags when you’re at the store, by local so you can opt for no plastic wrapping on your produce. There are countless ways to reduce single-use plastic, so keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to do things differently or simply say ‘no thanks’.
3. BYO coffee cups or water bottles
Get yourself a beautiful keep cup and large water bottle and just get into the habit of taking them with you when you leave the house. Fill your bottle at home and keep it with you and when you’re out and about ask to have it refilled rather than choosing a fresh plastic bottle. It is totally common practice to hand over your keep cup when you make your coffee order in almost every coffee shop all over the globe now. All you need to do is make sure it is clean and in your hand when you walk out the door! You can even choose sustainably produced options, so no excuses!
4. Shop local
This applies to groceries, household items, furniture, whatever you can think of. Shopping local helps to support your local economy plus it significantly reduces the environmental costs of transports food and goods across the country and across the world. You will also find that when you buy your groceries from local farmers they are fresher and often end up being cheaper too!
5. Buy less new stuff
We’re talking clothes, trinkets, presents, all of it! When you consume less, you put less of a strain on the Earth and its resources, and you produce less waste! So next time you’re tempted to make an impulse pick me up outfit purchase, take a moment to stop and think about whether you NEED it. And when you’re doing your Christmas or birthday shopping really think about the person you are buying for, think about what they want or need, even ask someone close to them for some ideas, rather than buying a meaningless item that could just end up in the trash! If you receive a gift you don’t want or need, rather than tossing it out, re-gift it! And if you have no-one in your life that would want it then donate!
Look at thrift stores, markets, online used market places for clothes, household items, whatever you need basically before you decide to buy it brand new. This comes back to the saying we have all heard countless times; reduce, reuse, recycle!!
6. Go public
Tell the world about the small everyday changes you are making to your life. Show others that helping the planet doesn’t have to cost big bucks and doesn’t have to take hours or a huge effort. Share the small changes or habits you are making on your social media feeds, chat about it when you are catching up with friends and family, and gently demonstrate to others how easy it is to be eco!
Here are a few more quick and easy eco wins:
- Go chemical-free whenever possible for your cleaning products
- Wrap presents in re-used bags or wrapping paper or simply opt for no wrapping paper
- Say no thanks to napkins in advance when purchasing from food retailers Invest in reusable cloths for household cleaning rather than disposable wipes
- Invest in reusable diapers
- Print double-sided