Saving the world is on all of us. Trying to compensate for the devastating effects of global warming and deforestation requires a general change in lifestyle and the consciousness to choose what’s good for the environment instead of choosing what’s more comfortable at the moment. Some changes will require a lot of planning and time, but others are things you can start doing right now -or at least start to consider right now-, and even though they’re just small steps towards being more sustainable, they can really make a difference:
Start at Home
There are a million things we can do at home to be a lot more sustainable. The most obvious way, though not possible for anyone, is by installing solar panels. But if you can’t, you can make an effort to make sure you turn off any electrical device from the wall while not in use, use led lights, avoiding using heaters and AC whenever possible, and, of course, recycle your trash.
Another thing you want to do is think about how you clean your clothes. Washing machines are notorious energy and water wasters. Old ones can use up to 40 gallons of water while the newer models use around 12-20, which is still a lot. And there’s also the issue of energy usage. Any time a washing machine has to heat water, it uses twice the energy it would normally use, so washing with cold water is a must. In that same note, air drying your clothes instead of using a dryer, also makes a huge difference in terms of energy use.
Let’s Make Things Physical
In other words, start moving. Walk whenever possible. By now we know cars are really harmful to the environment. Even hybrids. You could have the most environmentally friendly car in the market, and it can still be contributing to traffic and setting off carbon emissions. Try walking, cycling, and using public transportation as much as possible. You could also start using ride-sharing apps and carpools.
Walk down any aisle of your nearest supermarket and you’ll see all sort of brands marketing themselves as eco-friendly, sustainable, or green. While a lot of companies have become more sustainable in the last decade or so, most are not as green as they claim to be. If you’re serious about being more environmentally conscious, you’ll need to do your research and figure out which brands are actually helping the environment and which ones just have a really good marketing team.
Another way to shop smarter is by choosing reusable products. We heard a lot throughout 2018 about single-use straws and how devastating they are to the environment, but they’re not alone, plastic toothbrushes are harmful as well. The average toothbrush is made of a combination of ingredients that are not biodegradable and considering that we’re supposed to replace them every couple of months, that’s a lot of waste. Bamboo brushes are a more sustainable alternative. They do have plastic bristles, but that’s just something that we’re going to have to live with as bristles from animal hair are too hard on both gums and teeth and tend to retain moisture which leads to bacteria.
Have You Heard of Sharing Economy?
There are ride-sharing apps, and you can also share clothes, toys, and even entire libraries. Sharing economy is all about reusing instead of discarding. If you have little kids, you can start a toy sharing club between other families with little kids instead of buying brand new toys. The same thing goes for clothes, instead of throwing away clothes for whatever reason, think about swapping with friends, or look for already established wardrobe sharing apps near you. Sharing economy is great if you’re looking to save some cash, consume less, and be more helpful within your community.