"It's only one straw", said 7.9 billion people.
Have you wondered anytime where does all of that trash go?!
It ends up in landfills emitting hazardous pollutants into the air. This seeds into our beautiful environment, oceans, and ecosystems thereby making our lives fateful. Would you believe me if I said, "A simple daily habit could do wonders"? Yes. It's time we start turning our good intentions into good habits. Here's what you can do to help make a difference.
USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
Now, that's easy. Starting to go on a conscious, eco-friendly lifestyle doesn't mean to plastic-proof your house instantaneously. It could be tempting to spend some money and get the pantry and house all fancy-ed up. But wait. Use that last paper napkin, use that earbud, use that plastic little trash can in your rooms. By using these products up to their last bit, you are saving them from ending up in a landfill. Use them until they fall apart and then recycle. This brings me to the next point. But before that, as you can see, I have some plastic toothbrushes and trash cans which I reuse for cleaning my jars, sink tops, etc.
Chances are you are already doing this if thinking to take on a more eco-friendly lifestyle. A simple tip? Before you throw it away, take a second to find if you could recycle instead. You can recycle almost everything from batteries to paper to glass to cars. Although it's good if you have already started this, it's no long-term solution. I say this as many recycling stations are very firm on what they accept. Educate yourself a bit about what is acceptable in your local station. A very minor percentage of plastics are recycled in the U.S. and therefore we would want to eliminate plastic. Paper, glass, and metal can be recycled thoroughly and not lose their quality. Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and saves energy.
BUY IN BULK
This is a tricky space and you have to decide what's best for your lifestyle. Generally speaking, you would want to buy your toiletries, dishwasher pods (any cleaning supplies), legumes, rice in bulk to name a few. This way you are making fewer trips to the store, meaning there are fewer situations for impulse buys and less fuel and mileage spent. Bulk purchases also have less packaging around them compared to the smaller purchases. Bulk allows you to take home as much as you like. Also, you don't have to think about the packaging if you take your jars, pouches, or containers. Pro tip - Write the PLU number over the container to avoid the stickers or just have them noted on your cell phone.
BYOE - BRING YOUR OWN EVERYTHING
Now, this comes with habit. All of us intend to put our best foot out there when carrying our own "stuff". But it's time to turn our good intentions into good habits. Do your best to carry what you can and after a while, it will become a habit. What do you carry while stepping out? Let's say wallet, phone, keys and not to forget your mask and hand sanitizer these days. After a while, you're going to bring your own "stuff". What all "stuff" can we bring on our own? The list goes like this - bring your own water bottle, bring your own reusable shopping bags, BYO cutlery, BYO to-go containers, BYO coffee mug, and the list goes on. It will become a habit eventually and one day you will BYOE!
Composting is excellent for numerous reasons and is so underrated and under-done by many. I'm educating on composting while I write this blog. A study says that 25-50% of the scrap in landfills is from food and yard waste. Composting reduces landfill waste. How? If there is less waste that is filling your trash can every week that means there is less waste that goes to landfills to release greenhouse gases. Now, how does food release hazardous gases? It's because landfills are composed of plastics alongside food and other waste. By composting those food and yard scraps, you are making nutrient-rich, nourishing, super soil. No that's what we want to feed our plants and in turn, eat some nutrient-rich food too. Pro-tip from a friend - Freeze food scraps if planning to drop them at a local compost station later in the week or if you're planning to compost in a few days.
UTILIZE ENERGY EFFICIENTLY
Do your part and reduce energy consumption as much as possible. I'm certain many of us have been educated on this through our parents, books, and the world wide web. I'm going to list here a few ways you could save electricity. Only turn on your appliances, lights, and devices when in a room. Try to air-dry your clothes than switching on the dryer. Lower the thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer. Even better, open your windows for some fresh air. Replace hot with cold water whenever possible. If moving to a new house or wanting to buy new appliances, look for the "energy star" label. Pro-tip from a friend - When cooking, take out items from the fridge at once rather than opening multiple times.
I can personally vouch for this one. Turning into a plant-based/vegan diet is by far the best thing you can do to make an impact on the environment and global warming. Livestock farming and its byproducts contribute to 51% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of these are coming sooner than we expect as crazy environmental changes. It doesn't happen overnight to adapt to a completely plant-based diet. Slowly but surely, it will be the best decision you've taken. I've been a vegetarian all my life and inculcated a plant-based/vegan diet a couple of years back. From my experience, I can only say one thing. It only got better and I never regretted that choice. I in fact like my coffee w/oat milk better than dairy. I have always been that friend in the group who gives out tons of vegetarian/plant-based options to my meat-eating friends. There are a ton of recipes that you can vegan-ize on the internet and restaurants are opening up some vegan options as well. Going plant-based/vegan will make a difference and you wish you'd done it sooner. Head over to my "Recipes" blog post to find some inspiration. Let me know if you've made anything. I'd be very happy to hear from you :)Have you wondered anytime where does all of that trash go?!
It ends up in landfills emitting hazardous pollutants into the air. This seeds into our beautiful environment, oceans and ecosystems thereby making our lives fateful. Would you believe me if I said, "A simple daily habit could do wonders"? Yes. It's time we start turning our good intentions into good habits. Here's what you can do to help make a difference.