Switch-Up Your Habits to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint.
Smalls changes with large-scale impact is the theme of today’s post.
We only have one planet. 🌍 Collectively, it’s up to you and me to take care of it!
And while that may seem daunting, I assure you there are some super-simple things that you can start doing right now that will make a lasting impact. Here are the six small things that I try to do regularly to reduce environmental harm.
1. Reusable Cups, Straws + Utensils
When eating on the go, why not make a small investment and ditch the disposable stuff? Having reusable options on hand means you can skip the extra plastic waste. Buy a chic travel mug for your coffee or tea. (I stash one in the car for impromptu latte runs.) When I’m at the office, I have a set of utensils and a cute ceramic coffee cup. And at home, we have reusable glass straws.
Not only do these reusables look prettier, they are also kinder to the planet. Here are some of my top picks:
- My favourite ceramic travel mug by BCBG.
- Starbucks travel mugs (they make both lightweight plastic ones and sturdy ceramic ones)
- Stainless Steel utensil sets with a travel case
- Collapsible pocket coffee cups (Like this one by Stojo)
- Bamboo knives & spoons for picnics
2. Search the Web with ecosia.org
I clearly remember the moment I stumbled upon ecosia.org! It was one of those “aha” moments when my faith in humanity was restored.
Ecosia is search engine that supports tree planting projects! The more you use it, the more trees get planted. They have a Chrome extension or you can set it as your browser’s default homepage.
Changing your search engine to Ecosia is easily one of the most dead-simple methods I’ve come across for helping the environment,
3. Mend or Modify, Don’t Toss
Sewing a button back on, mending a tear, or patching a hole requires only basic sewing skills. I have a mini sewing kit that contains: 3 sewing needles, black thread, white thread, spare buttons and some pins. Those few items handle 95% of the fixes I need to make.
Clothing you no longer love can also be modified to look edgier. Think about cutting your jeans into shorts or rolling up the sleeves of a button down shirt. It’s super simple! The old’ sleeve roll-up is my favourite technique for breathing new life into shirts. You can also do a mini-roll with t-shirt sleeves too. Tucking up the sleeves on basic tees channels instant James Dean coolness. (Am I aging myself?)
4. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)
This is an easy one. Back in the day, if you wanted a reusable bag you would have to purchase one. Now shops and brands basically toss them around like they’re confetti. But even if you do need to purchase one, they are only a dollar or two. So there’s really no excuse to not have a few reusable bags at your disposal!
We keep a stash of them in the trunk of the car for grocery shopping trips. And I also have two cute ones that I like to carry when I know I may be making purchases while I’m out and about.
If the massive amount of plastics in our oceans doesn’t make you sick already, just picture the number of animals that die every year because of our waste. Some places have already banned the sale of plastic bags. I think that’s a great step in the right direction.
5. Reduce/Eliminate Meat Consumption
You don’t need me to tell you about the horrendous global impact of factory farming. But in case you haven’t considered reducing or eliminating your consumption of animals, I would strongly encourage you to give it a try! Even if it’s just Meatless Mondays, any little change helps the planet and your health. If you want to learn more about the devastating damage of large-scale animal agriculture, I encourage you to explore this topic on your own.
There are countless food bloggers to check out for ideas on meat and dairy-free meals. I personally love Sweet Potato Soul (check out her easy recipe videos!), anything and everything by Oh She Glows, and Toronto vegan chef Doug McNish.
6. Turn the Tap Off
This last tip is the one I struggle with the most! When it comes to saving water, it’s a matter of breaking bad habits.
Brushing your teeth, showering, and washing dishes are all opportunities to use less water. Simply being aware of how long you’ve had the tap running and turning it off when you don’t need it helps. If you have energy-efficient appliances, make sure you’re running them at the optimum settings and only when you have a full load to wash. If you’re a fan of longer showers (I’m totally guilty), opt for a long bath instead.
And lastly, be aware of products that go down the drain with the water. There are so many options on the market for cleansers that are less harsh on the environment.
For me, being more environmentally conscious is a work in progress. Do you have any easy tips for keeping the earth healthy?