If you haven’t read last week’s blog go ahead and check it out here. It’ll help give you a foundation for understanding this week’s blog.
Last week, we talked about Greta Thunberg TED Talk on climate change. You can watch it here. Here are 10 things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Drive less- Driving less will reduce the amount of fossil fuels you’ll use. Once fossil fuels are gone, they’re gone! That means no more gas. It take millions of years for the earth to produce these fuels. Try carpooling, taking the bus, riding your bike, taking the train, or walking if you have those options.
- Avoid single use plastics.- Single use plastics fill our landfills causing methane gas to deplete the ozone. Find alternatives like cloth baggies, glass jars, and bamboo containers. If you need single use plastics for medical reasons or an emergency that’s ok. Reducing single use plastics in grocery shopping, food storage, packaging, etc with greatly reduce the amount of plastic and methane gas produced from plastic.
Eat less meat and cheese- Plant based diets help the earth. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true. The production of meat and cheese not only puts more gas in the atmosphere from the fecal matter produced by animals but also, in a lot of cases, is inhumane. Not only that, the pesticide, antibiotics, and fuel used in meat production releases greenhouse gases and other harmful chemicals into the air. If going vegan look or sounds intimidating start slow. Have a few nights a week where you don’t eat meat or cheese. You might be surprised how easy it can be with a slow adjustment to your new diet.
- Consume less.- I know this one can be really difficult. Have you ever gone to the store and just couldn’t help but buy something? Or do your social gathering usually focus on shopping? Well, this was me about 5 years ago. I would spend money I didn’t have on things I didn’t need racking up credit card debt that would take me forever to pay off. Learning to live a minimalist lifestyle not only saves me money it help save the planet. When you buy less and invest in quality over quantity you use less natural resources in the production of your goods. I now try to buy only from fair trade stores and it can be difficult, especially since I’m a plus size woman. But I shop second hand at stores that support my local community and buy shoes and accessories online at fair trade stores.
- Bundle internet purchases- Ok, I’m not going to say to completely give up online shopping. However, if you reduce the amount you shop in general you’ll be saving money and helping the environment. If you choose to bundle your purchases you’ll also be saving fossil fuels. When there is the opportunity, shop local. Support your community and the businesses that are in it. But when you just can’t find that one specialty item you need try to bundle your purchase with other things you need.
- Use sustainable period products- Tampons and pads are made of plastics that add to the landfill crisis and most are filled with harmful chemicals. Instead try reusable cloth pads, the diva cup, and other options. You can find out more here.
- Buy wooden and used toys for your kids- Wooden toys, especially those derived
from bamboo are more sustainable than plastic toys. And buying second hand not only saves you money it help save reduce the demand for plastic toys. And if you shop at a local thrift store you can support your local community or cause you are passionate about. Most local thrift stores help support the homeless or needy in the area. Ask the general manager when you visit your local shop.
- Buy goods packaged in sustainable packaging.- I know this one can be difficult and can get pricey. But usually, there are some great affordable options. For example, you can buy jelly or yogurt in a glass jar instead of a plastic one. Or you can buy the pizza wrapped in cardboard instead of plastic wrap. Try to find products that use cardboard or glass.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- The first step is reducing. Reduce the products you buy that need recycling. Reuse glass jars and other packaging repurposing it to give it a second life. Lastly, recycle. And remember that not everything you will recycle will actually get recycled. In order for goods to get recycled companies have to first purchase the materials. If they don’t get purchased they don’t get recycled and go to the landfill.
- Make more goods by hand. – This can look like many different things. My husband and I make our own curtains, kombucha, cloth baggies, face scrubs, and I make my own period products. We make a lot of food from scratch and try to buy local unpackaged and unprocessed fresh food. We bring cloth bags to bulk stores and look for new ways to live sustainable on a very limited budget. It seemed overwhelming and expensive at first. But it quickly became fun and saved us money in the long run. We do a lot of research on youtube and pinterest to find creative ways to live sustainable.
Lastly, try. It’s ok that you aren’t perfect but we have to try. It might seem daunting and like our actions don’t matter but they do! We matter. You matter. And together we can make a sustainable future for our earth and the generations to follow.
Do you have any ideas I didn’t mention above? Share them in the comments section below.
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