10 easy things everyone can do to help protect the environment
You want to know where to start and what to do to live your life in a sustainable way ? Helping the environment matters to you? Here are some tips to start making changes !
Even though there is misinformation about how bad the situation is – they need people to keep buying! – I think we all know, to a certain degree, we are destroying our planet by the way we live our lives.
Fortunately, we can still do something about it. But in order to do so we need to accept that Yes! even the smallest thing you do count in the balance. We can change little things in our daily life that won’t disturb it much but can make a great difference for our planet. And the bonus here is that a more eco-friendly routine always go hand in hand with an healthier lifestyle !
Recycle ! We’ve been hearing this for years now, and recycle bins are everywhere. But there are still people out there who think it’s not necessary or inconvenient… Let’s just remind ourselves that recycling not only saves energy, decrease the need of landfills but also saves wildlife.
Mind your usage of water and electricity. Yes that too, we’ve been hearing for years but I still find myself in places where all lights are turned on, where people turn the tap on and just let the water run while doing something else. This is just not Ok ! I remember when I was little, my parents telling me (in french obv) “It’s not Versailles in here !!!” meaning don’t leave all the lights turned on if you’re not in the room. Remember to always turn off the light from the room you leave and turn off the tap if you are not actually using the water running out of it. Also, turn off your TV, not only for the environment but for you. Stop having it in the background, TV news/advert are just brainwashed programs that still act on your subconscious even though you are not actually watching it. Choose air drying for your hair and your clothes rather than hair dryer or drying machine. Limit or stop your usage of air con. And unplug whatever is possible.
Eat less meat. Here we go again, unfortunately this is still an unknown cause of the climate change and level of pollution. Yesterday I was reading this article about other tips to make your lifestyle more eco-friendly, and the last advise was to eat less meat. I’ve only read 5 comments of that article but 3 of them where something like “love the list, but what does eating meat have to do with anything?”. So to make it simple, at least 51% of the global greenhouse gas emission is due to intensive animal farming. Production of meat uses huge amount of pesticides, fertilizer, chemicals (that you end up eating when eating your steak), fuel and water. Plus it releases greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals in air and water. It is also one of the causes of the Amazon rain forest deforestation. More than 80% of the production of grains is to feed livestock, which equals the calorie needs of 8.7 billion people, so more than the world population ! Remember, even cutting down your meat intake and choosing organic, pasture-raised or grass-fed meat and dairy product, is a big step forward to help the environment.
Where is it better to do your groceries? Prefer bulk grocery stores and loose goods and put them straight in your basket instead of using hundreds of bags. Head to the organic shop rather than the big supermarket : less chemicals, less processed goods and more chance to buy local products. Also, prefer local markets rather than big supermarkets, it will help your local economy and reduce your carbon footprint.
Reduce your use of plastic. Always have your own grocery bags with you. Refuse as much as possible taking plastic bags at the register, for any type of shopping. Choose product without too much packaging and store them in glass jars that you are reusing. Though, mind the number on the packaging, it will tell you if it’s safe to reuse. Instead of using cling wrap, use metal or glass food container.
Walk or ride your bike if possible, it’s environmentally friendly and a great exercise! Otherwise try to carpool as much as possible or use public transport. Group your errands so you use your car less often. Do your groceries once for the week, instead of going to the shop everyday.
Reuse and stop over consuming : buy only if needed and use your imagination for the rest! Regarding electrical goods and gadget, if it still works then there is no need to replace it. When possible buy second hand instead of new. Before you head to the store, try to fix or borrow before buying new.
Go natural ! For beauty products and cleaning products, use as much natural product as possible. Your favourites will be lemon, baking soda, olive oil, coconut oil, essential oil, apple cider vinegar or white vinegar and castille soap. DIY natural product will be the subject of another post. It will be good for the environment and your skin will thank you for it too ! If you buy already made products, prefer the organic and natural one to avoid chemicals.
Limit your food wastage by putting on your list only what you really need and sticking to it. Plan what you’ll be cooking for the week and only put that on your grocery list. Understand that the expiration date doesn’t mean you have to throw away the product on that date even though it still looks good. The use by date refers to the product quality not safety. For example, you can keep a carton of milk 1 week after it has past the expiration date as long as it is in the fridge, 1 month if it’s yogurt, 2 to 4 weeks for eggs, 1 year for canned goods honey or jams, 2 years for sugar etc… and if you don’t know, just use your common sense, it smells good, it’s not moldy and it taste good then it’s good to go ! If still unsure or don’t trust yourself, Google it or use this website . Also, introduce doggy bag in your friends group or even better take your own plastic box when going to the restaurant to bring back your leftover.
For the lucky ones who have periods… we have the chance of having a lot more choices now ! From the organic tampons and pads, to the menstrual cup, the reusable tampons and pads or the period panties ! Choose the one that you are the more comfortable with. It is good for the environment as 7 billions disposable tampons and pads ends up in landfill every year. This goods are made of plastics and chemicals which take a long time to breakdown and leak toxins in our rivers and nature. But it will also be a lot better for your own health as all the chemicals in tampons and pads end up in your body and your blood, most of which are carcinogenic.
Here you go, 10 things you can do in your everyday life, without having to turn into a hippy, that will help the environment. Who said being eco-friendly was difficult? What about you? What do you do in your life to be more sustainable?