With the effects of global climate change on the rise, now more than ever, our planet needs our support. While going green may seem like a big undertaking, implementing sustainable practices isn’t difficult. Small, daily changes can make a meaningful impact in creating a healthy future for the next generations. Here are seven simple things you can do to live a more eco-conscious life.
Try avoiding plastics
Plastic consumption and pollution has become a massive, global epidemic.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, "Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. It only takes about 14 plastic bags for the equivalent of the gas required to drive one mile. The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year."
According to The World Counts, "this year 5 trillion plastic bags will be consumed. That’s 160,000 a second! Put one after another they would go around the world 7 times every hour and cover an area twice the size of France."
Those statistics refer to plastic bags only! There are also many other plastic products such as water bottles, straws, and food containers that are heavily used every single day.
We must do better!!! To reduce the environmental consequences of plastic, there are little things each of us can do! Switch to refillable water bottles, store leftovers in glass containers, bring reusable tote bags to the grocery store.
Look for sustainable products when shopping
The home and lifestyle products you purchase can also lead to vast environmental damage. The fashion industry, for example, is the second-largest polluter in the globe using 1.5 trillion liters of water every year. So it’s important to be a conscious consumer and be mindful of what materials are used to create the items you buy and how they’re packaged, too. For instance, Westlake’s luxurious heirloom linens are made sustainably without sacrificing quality and come packaged in a beautiful, low-impact gift box.
Reduce your paper use
The production of paper pollutes the air with greenhouse gases and releases inorganic materials into the water. Paper also makes up about 26% of discarded waste in disposal areas. To help correct this issue, go digital whenever possible. Some stores will email your receipts if you ask. You can sign up for paperless billing for monthly payments. You can even use e-tickets for things like movies, theme parks, and other events.
Look for re-usable items
Disposable, single-use products such as paper plates, razors, sandwich bags, and coffee cups are not great for Mother Earth as they are only used once and then end up in landfills. Instead, bring your reusable coffee mug to the coffee shop, drink out of a stainless steel straw, and use your cutlery to eat takeout instead of using the plastic versions restaurants provide.
Recycle whenever possible
The importance of recycling is not news, but the reality is many people don’t do it and things such as paper, plastic, batteries, and electronics are not given the opportunity at a second life. Before merely throwing something away, search online to see if there are places in your area where you can drop off your recyclables or responsibly dispose of things.
Be mindful of your energy
The energy you use in your home also leaves an environmental footprint. Thankfully, there are easy things you can do to reduce the amount of energy you use. Start by turning off lights and appliances when they’re not in use. Dim your lights. Purchase energy-efficient appliances. Open up the windows instead of turning on the air conditioner. Use cold water to wash your clothes. Not only are these changes good for the planet, but they’ll also help lower your monthly energy bill.
Eat locally and seasonally
Transporting food from one place to another requires a tremendous amount of energy and resources. Furthermore, growing produce that’s out of season also impacts the ecosystem. Rather than going to the grocery store, visit your local farmers market to shop for fresh produce and fruits that are in season. You’ll nourish your body with healthy food and support the local economy.