Are you looking to be more green? If you’ve managed to remember re-usable grocery bags for 90% of your shopping trips this year, then you’re ready to make a few more environmentally-conscious changes in your life. And it doesn’t have to be difficult!
You can reduce your carbon footprint and give planet earth a great big high-five with just a few tweaks to your lifestyle – and your health might even thank you too!
1. Ditch Disposable Pads & Tampons!
Over the course of one person’s lifetime from menarche to menopause, they will use approximately 12,000 disposable pads and tampons – that’s a LOT of trash. These end up in landfills or are dumped into the ocean, and the plastic they’re made of can take hundreds of years to decompose. You can see just how much waste your period generates with our Greentimina Calculator.
Thankfully, there is an eco-friendly alternative – menstrual cups! Lily Cups are made with 100% medical grade silicone and collect menstrual flow as opposed to absorbing it like pads and tampons. They are totally reusable and can last for up to 10 years – doing the job of around 3250 tampons! That’s a big checkmark in the ‘reduce’ and ‘reuse’ columns. It is a bigger initial investment, but because they last so long, they can save you around $70 a year. What’s not to love?
2. Consider Eating Less Meat
One of the very best ways to help the environment is to cut down on meat and opt for a diet more focused on veg and seafood. A recent study from the UN shows that cattle rearing alone accounts for more greenhouse gases than all of the world’s transportation. Seriously! With livestock using over 30% of the world’s land, it now accounts for around 9% of the CO2 gases related to human activity – and that’s just CO2.
If you’re used to eating meat quite often, try cutting it down gradually to once a week – think of it as a treat! Even if you can’t live without it entirely for health reasons, filling your diet with alternatives when possible means you can invest more in sustainably sourced meats!
3. Cut Down On Bottled Water – Go Reusable!
Staying hydrated is super important, but buying bottle after bottle of water is not the answer to quenching your thirst. Research carried out by the Pacific Institute has found that in the US alone, around 17 million barrels of oil are used per year to produce plastic for single-use water bottles – that’s enough to fuel 1 million cars. With only 23% of plastic bottles being recycled every year in the US, there are around 38 million water bottles piling up in landfills.
Invest in a reusable water bottle or thermos made out of sturdy material like metal. You can carry water you need with you, and if you run out, stop by a water fountain or pop into a restaurant and ask them to top you up. Simple! Way better for your pocket and the environment, reusable bottles are an easy way to make a big difference.
4. Try Walking Or Biking To Work
While the idea of exercising in the morning will sound like a real drag to some, walking or biking to work has many amazing benefits. First off, the traffic congestion on your morning commute actually produces more pollution than normal as more fuel is burned when a vehicle stops and starts. With more and more cities – big and small – investing in cycle lanes and bike-sharing systems there’s never been a better time to ditch your car keys.
And if that’s not enough to persuade you, research has shown that being stuck in traffic can negatively affect your body, causing backache and increased blood pressure, anxiety and even cholesterol. Plus, a little boost of endorphins before getting down to work is going to make your day a lot brighter!
5. Shop Smart, Sell Smart.
Everyone’s house has a drawer or closet piled with things they don’t use or need. Get rid of the things clogging up your life by selling or giving them away. What you don’t want someone else will, saving them from buying new and you from contributing to even more waste. Start investing in products that last a long time, that are reusable and don’t have to be replaced frequently. Fast fashion might seem like a budget saver, but you end up spending more in the long run by replacing things that just don’t last.
And it’s not just what you put on your body. Sturdy canvas bags are a great way to skip the plastic for your grocery shop. And we have plenty of ideas for reusable items for your bathroom!
Joining the Green Team
Planet Earth is home to us all which is why we should protect it and care for it as best we can. Understanding how our lifestyles impact the environment and how small changes can make a big difference is super important and ultimately, what’s better for the planet is going to be better for you too!