If there ever was a time to start thinking of ways to help our beloved earth it would be now. With an increasing population which will reach 9 billion people by 2050, our resources such as food, water, energy, and land are becoming harder to come by, especially with climate change impacting how we access these resources.
So it all can be pretty overwhelming sometimes and we think, man how do I help? You feel so small and insignificant that you won’t be able to make a difference.
But it will!
We need to start thinking differently if no one did, then no change in history would have occurred.
Be the change you want to see in the world 🙂
But I feel you are already someone who thinks like this, otherwise, you would not have searched for ways in which you could help. So great job!
Here, I list 15 simple but effective ways in which you can be more environmentally friendly:
1. Join the Keep Cup Movement!
This is such a simple yet really effective way in which you can reduce deforestation and landfill.
Firstly, did you know that if everyone bought their own Keep Cup for their coffee, we would save approximately 6.59 million trees!
Also! If you were to buy a Keep Cup, you would divert 3.5 billion disposable cups from landfill.
Keep Cups can be recycled and used for up to 3 years whereas disposable cups take 50 years to decompose.
Keep Cups are better than biodegradable cups because it promotes a throwaway culture of one-time use whereas Keep Cups promote a larger movement of reuse and sustainability.
2. Reusable Bottles are Awesome
This concept is very similar to the Keep Cup idea, as it deters you away from purchasing single-use plastic bottles and instead using your own bottle that can be reused over and over again.
Plastic bottles are a huge contribution to the plastic contamination that ends up in our oceans, so every plastic bottle you don’t use, is doing good!
3. Plastic Bags are Lame
This is also a similar idea to the Keep Cup and reusable bottle solution. Instead of using plastic bags every time you buy something, you simply keep a reusable bag in your handbag. Then you can whip it out every time a cashier says, ‘Do you need a bag?’ You can now say, ‘No thank you, I bought my own!’
Did you know 5 trillion plastic bags are used a year worldwide! That’s 160,000 a second!
4. Meat is for the Weak!
This is probably the hardest for most people as it requires a big life change. But it is the most effective in terms of the environmental benefits that come with it.
Did you know that to grow 1 kg of Steak requires 15,700 Litres of water!
It is also interesting to note, using a US diet as an example, that if you were on a Vegan diet for 1 year you would use 1/6 of an acre of land to grow food.
If you were on a Vegetarian diet consisting of eggs and dairy, you would use 3 times as much land…
If you ate a diet including all animal products (meat, dairy, and eggs), then that would equate to using 18 times as much land!
This is because 37, 000 pounds of vegetables can be grown on 1 ½ acres of land, but only 375 pounds of meat on the same plot of land.
Another alternative to going Vegan or Vegetarian is reducing your red meat intake as beef and other grass-fed animals have the highest resource usage (water, land, and energy).
If you want to know more about the environmental benefits a Vegan Diet can contribute, I recommend watching Cowspiracy for more amazing facts about the astounding resources used to produce animal products.
5. Be a Smart Shopper
There are many appliances that have ratings showing us how energy or water efficient they are.
They not only use less water and electricity but it will also save you money due to the low energy costs to run the appliance.
It is a Win, win!
6. Dryers are Dangerous…
Dryers use a lot of energy, in fact, they use so much energy that even a newly advanced and energy efficient dryer can consume as much energy as an efficient washer, refrigerator and dishwasher combined!
So using your Dryer only when it is necessary is ideal 🙂
7. Clothes, Clothes, Clothes
Unfortunately, clothes are quite environmentally destructive in a few ways.
One of the ways is there use of toxic chemicals which they used to achieve colors and prints. Textile dying is one of the second largest polluters of clean water globally, after agriculture.
Another way clothing harms the environment is due to the popular polyester fabric. When we wash them in domestic washing machines, tiny microfibers are shed from the polyester and ends up in our already plastic contaminated ocean.
Additionally, increasing levels of textile waste are becoming higher than ever. This is because brands are making clothes cheaper and more convenient to buy new clothes by constantly inventing new styles to make your old clothes look outdated and make you feel the need to buy more.
We are also more time poor, so instead of trying to repair clothes, we find it more convenient to just buy more.
To tackle this issue, try to limit buying clothes you don’t need and if you are getting rid of your clothes, donate or recycle them.
You can also buy clothes that are made of bamboo, which is a more sustainable resource to grow rather than cotton. For more information on Bamboo clothing click here.
8. Say No, no to Palm Oil
Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the palm fruit grown on the African palm tree.
It is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America and South America and is done so in an unsustainable way.
This process is a major contributor to intense deforestation. According to World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production. This is contributing to many species becoming extinct especially our beloved orangutans.
So buying soaps, cleaning products, shampoos and other products that are palm oil free is significantly effective.
9. Be a Paper Restrictor!
This is becoming easier as the years go on, as we head even deeper into a technological era where technology has been replacing our need for paper.
In saying this, Paper is still widely used and still has a significant impact on deforestation around the world.
Reducing paper is an easy and great way to help reduce this issue.
10. Shower Time!
Yes, I know you love your showers, but the length of time we spend in there is unnecessary and uses a lot of water!
Water is a very precious resource and we need to cherish it.
In fact, showering is the third largest water use after toilets and washing machines. The average American uses approx. 17.2 gallons of water per shower and lasts 8 minutes at an average flow rate.
11. Recycle Like a Boss
Recycling as I am sure you are all aware is very important in reducing landfill, but it is always important to check your rubbish and see if there is a recycling sign on it. Sometimes the sign is small or faded into the plastic, so be sure to check otherwise you could be throwing away valuable recyclable material.
12. Be A Saint
I have made it a habit of mine to pick up rubbish when I walk past it. I know we aren’t the ones that tossed it, but if no one picks it up then that rubbish will just end up in the ocean.
I also noticed that when people see you pick up rubbish, they say thank you even though it wasn’t theirs! It inspires people to do the same.
Food waste is a real issue worldwide, for example, a typical household in the US throws out 474 pounds of food waste each year. Food scraps are the third largest segment of the waste stream with nearly 26 million tonnes generated per year.
Composting your scraps is a great way to reduce landfill and also improve your garden! By having a little box or bin in your kitchen to put your scraps in is efficient and convenient and then once filled, transfer it to a compost bin outside along with topping it off with additional soil, tree clippings or mowed grass to help with the composting process.
It is really that simple and before long, you would have turned ordinary food scraps into great soil for gardening!
14. Swap Your Straws!
Straws are so common and the amount we use a day is just terrifying. In fact, in the US, 500 million straws are used each day, that is enough to wrap the circumference of the earth 2.5 times and that isn’t even on a global scale!
15. Be Brave
And last but definitely not least!
If you do have any environmental concerns that are occurring in your area, do not be afraid to contact your local PM. That is what they are there for, to listen and to take note in what you have to say, the more people talking about an issue, the more chance, a difference will be made.
P.S. You Are A Legend
Thank you for reading and wanting to bring about positive change to the world and I hope I gave you some ideas in how you can help bring about a more sustainable and cleaner world for us and generations to come!
Go get em’!
The Earth Co.