Environment tips for living green
Some of us would-be environmental crusaders over-enthusiastically tackle our filthy consumptive drive(making plans we’re unlikely to stick to) then experience Quick Burnout Syndrome. Then set a car filled with non-degradable plastic alight in the street in sheer frustration. Instead of failing to reduce our carbon footprint to 0.57, let’s talk reality.
1. Don’t plan on becoming a vegan tomorrow (unless you already are one). Yes, I know it’s really good for the earth, but it’s a difficult lifestyle change and one most won’t stick with. Instead make at least one extra meatless meal every week.
Take it slow. 2. It’s really tempting to make a big resolution such as giving up eating out, using soft toilet paper, or heaven-forbid-shopping, but this really isn’t the way to get into helping out unless you’re good at sticking to extreme life changes. Cut out some fast food (terrible on packaging, they are). Bring your own bag to go shopping with – just toss one in your car. Something simple like that will help get you started.
3. Do stop using products like… Dove Gentle Exfoliating Foaming Facial Cleanser, Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser, Olay Body Wash Plus Spa Exfoliating Ribbons, and anything else you might suspect is an unnatural. They (the ones above and many others) contain microscopic plastic beads: great for exfoliation, crap for the earth, particularly the oceans.
4. Learn to love charity shops and vintage stores, they’re fantastic places. In fact, check out this other mooky article on them: “How to hunt in vintage stores and charity shops – and make a successful kill”.
5. Try to buy at least one all natural laundry product a year. Then one a season. Then a month, or as required. If everyone bought just one all natural laundry product it could save more than 460,000 barrels of oil each year (most detergents are made with some form of petroleum product.)
6. Don’t try to ride your bike everywhere – unless you live in easy riding distance of everywhere you want to go – but do try to share cars or take public transport as often as possible. If you live in the country like me this may be impossible, but if you’re in a position where you’re lucky enough to have public transport, then use it.
7. Buy products that use recyclable materials whenever possible. While their production still uses new energy they are still sounder than any non-recycled item. Doing this already? Then it’s time for phase two: use your DIY ethic and make what you need yourself!
8. Start a compost area in your back yard or on your rooftop. This is partly to help reduce how much foodstuff ends up in landfills, but you can also use it to grow your own food and flowers, or sell/donate to neighbours with greener thumbs than you (bonus points if you use the compost to guerrilla garden).
9. Buy in season and or local when you can. This keeps those miles down on shipping food, keeps the market for these products thriving (which helps your local economy) and also cuts down on CO2 emissions. Combining this with cheap shopping may take a bit more forethought and cooking food from scratch, but it’s genuinely possible with veg deliveries in your area, markets all over the place, and – as a last but perfectly acceptable resort – with so many supermarkets catching on to ethical consumer demand and supplying us with what we want.
These simple steps are fantastic ways to move you towards environmental soundness but my final step is the real challenge.
10. Be a go getter. Yes, get your loved ones involved, not just yourself. If you live with your parents, pout and lead by example until you get your way. If you are a parent, ignore the pouting children and lead by example to show them better habits. The more little changes, the better.
Don’t make a habit of doing this
Or do your shopping with this