When I was a kid, maybe around six or seven years old, I was sure that by the time I grew up, everyone would be environmentally aware and concerned. I also was pretty sure that war would be obsolete. It seemed like a no-brainer, who out there would not recycle or not try to drive less after watching all those Mother Earth cartoon videos in school? And war? Well, that would most definitely be replaced by proper discussions around conference tables over multi-cultural snacks.
Well, as it turns out, I was way off. We don’t seem anywhere near global environmental awareness or world peace. Though I can’t fix the world, I can try to help my own little one by making small changes, setting high standards and being a positive role model.
Without a doubt, my grandkids will still be dealing with our plastic trash (as it takes 500-1000 years to degrade), but hopefully they won’t be so obsessed with it anymore. If everyone took on one or two more sustainability hacks daily, maybe my great grandkids will live on a greener and cleaner planet.
10 Little Ways to Make Big Changes on Our Planet
1. Buy bars instead of bottles. Companies like Lush, for example, make shampoo and deodorant as bars completely naked from plastic. Not only do these bars of shampoos last longer, they essentially leave no poo like plastic on the planet.
2. If you do have to buy a product that comes in plastic, cut the bottle in half when you think it’s “empty” before throwing it in your recycling bin. I guarantee there is four or five more times more uses of that shimmer lotion or toothpaste you thought was finished. Just because the product isn’t conveniently squeezing out doesn’t necessarily mean it’s empty.
3. DIY beauty. Make your own creams, serums and lotions. You can store them in a reusable container, and you can keep the ones that contain perishable ingredients in the fridge. Here’s a few recipes from a great blog to get you started.
4. Bring your own utensils. Instead of adding to the mountain of forks produced by Wendy’s and Subway etc. Bring your own silverware. You can either rinse it off if you have the time after eating, or you can put them in a reusable container to wash at home later.
5. Call people out. I have no shame. When I see a colleague about to throw his/her diet coke bottle into the garbage instead of the recycling bin, I ask them to please recycle it. Usually I get a positive response.
6. Eat less meat. There are plenty of reasons to eat less meat, especially if you love animals or suffer from high cholesterol, but one of the most important and least known reasons to eat less meat has to do with the health of the planet. Did you know the farming industry negatively affects our ozone more than cars do? It also accounts for 26% of the Earth’s terrestrial area. Can you believe that?! This is a major reason why we are losing biodiversity. You have to read more about this here.
7. Keep cloth bags in your car. We must take action and implement better habits. Keeping my tote bags in my car helps me remember to use them when I shop.When it comes to Mother Earth it's not the thought that counts. #takeaction Click To Tweet
8. Reuse the same glass or cup for refills when you dine out. If you reuse the same glass, you automatically conserve water, and if you reuse the same plastic cup, you automatically produce less plastic waste.
9. Buy less or no magazines. I’m so guilty of loving magazines. However, since upgrading to an I-pad my magazine purchases are down to a minimum. What once was a nearly addictive impulse purchase, is now a special treat. Who needs so many magazines when you have Pinterest and Flipboard? Let’s let our trees and leaves live a little.
10. Reuse your napkins or paper towels, or better yet, stick with washable cloth napkins. I don’t mean ignore the dried clumps of spaghetti on your napkins, but a paper towel you used to dry a few plates with can be hung and dried out to be used again. It may seem gross to reuse a napkin, but if it’s one you used for cereal at 6am (you probably didn’t even use it. I pull out a napkin every meal out of habit, but I don’t always use it), you can definitely use it again for lunch.
Maybe I wasn’t too far off as kid. If we take care of our earth in little ways, we can make some big changes. #sustainability Click To Tweet
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