In days like these, where global warming, climate change and CO2 footprint are words we can constantly hear on the news, it is easy to sit back and leave it to politics and climate change conferences to figure out the future of our earth. Or maybe you feel paralyzed, scared and think you can’t make a change?
Well the good news is, you can! And you should! That doesn’t mean you have to join Greenpeace and run in the streets preaching about global change. No, you can make change happen with very easy steps, that barely take any effort. Here are some ideas to look at:
Stop buying water in (plastic) bottles:
Have you ever thought about how much water you drink in a day? Let’s say you drink 2 Liters per day. That means you probably use one or two plastic bottles a day if you buy your water. Which means in a year from just one person there are 730 plastic bottles around. Now multiply that by citizen in your country and you will come to a massive amount of trash that is absolutely unnecessary!
You recycle the bottles or use glass? Well that is one step in the right direction, but still not the optimum: The bottled water has to be transported which creates extra emissions, the recycle and cleaning process of the bottles uses chemicals, energy and lots of water.
Solution: Get yourself a nice reusable bottle that you can fill up with water from the tap. Tap water is in most western countries absolutely safe to drink and has excellent quality.
Start saying no to plastic bags when you go shopping.
Bring your own bag or basket to reuse (some reusable bags fold up really small and you can carry them around in your pocket and have them ready to use any time )
Don’t even use the small plastic bags to package vegetables and fruit. Most vegetables come in an excellent package made by nature – so there’s no reason to put them into plastic just to carry them to the register!
Put a sign on your mailbox that requests no ads!
Buy 2nd hand.
Most things – clothes, furniture, books, etc – can be bought used. In fact my boyfriend and I furnished our entire apartment with used furniture – some of it we upcycled to make it nice and some was already absolutely gorgeous. Not only is this eco friendly, but we also saved so much money doing it – for all of our furniture and including electric devices such as washing machine, fridge, stove etc we paid only 800€ in total 🙂
Girls: Stop using tampons!
Have you ever thought about tampons? They’re made out of cotton that has often been treated with pesticides and afterwards been bleached with toxic chemicals and you really want to put them in that sensitive spot? Not only that, but have you thought how much trash you make using them?
There are so many eco friendly options out there. I’ve been using a moon cup for two years – which is a small silicon cup that you insert and at the end of the day just rinse with water. At the beginning and end of your period you boil it for a few minutes in water to disinfect and that’s it. I absolutely love them, and they’re absolutely spill proof!
Driving in your cars alone
When I look at rush hour traffic jams I often think that they’re completely unnecessary and avoidable if everyone would stop driving alone. Most cars can transport at least 4 people and especially during rush hour, a lot of people are going towards the same places. With a tiny bit of planning you could organize car pools! Not only is that more eco friendly, but also saves time the more people start doing it, since less cars will be on the roads = less traffic jams.
Or maybe you can ditch your car all together? Maybe you just live a few kilometer away from work or the grocery store and could bike easily or walk? One extra benefit is that you do something for your physical health and probably for your sanity too 🙂
Lots of shampoos, body lotions, house cleaners contain micro plastic that when being washed down the drain can end up in ground water and oceans, causing both animals and humans to end up eating it. You can start by picking out products that don’t contain micro plastics. There are many lists on the internet with products that do or don’t contain micro plastic,so you don’t even have to read the ingredients yourself.
Or ditch conventional products all together – which is not only more eco friendly but can have huge health (and beauty) benefits. I will talk about that more next time – for example how I gave up shampoo or how to make your own household products 🙂
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Happy Earth Day!