Empty jars, plastic containers in your drawers, and several plastic bags stored in your cabinet … Are you going to throw all of that away?! Do you know that by doing that, you’ll be greatly contributing to endangering our planet?
Being environmentally conscious means living in a way that does not harm the environment. People are becoming more aware that we must protect our planet from man-made disasters, and there are numerous ways in which an individual can make long-term changes to lessen the negative impact on our daily lives. After all, small changes make a big difference.
You can start with something small, such as using paper straws instead of plastic straws, and every time you use plastic, remember all the sea creatures that will become entangled in the waste we throw into the sea. Install solar panels to transition your home to renewable energy if you want to make a big change.
Since COP27 is currently being hosted in Egypt, in which world leaders are discussing climate-related disasters, here are a few simple changes to help you embrace a more sustainable/ eco-friendly lifestyle.
1. Cut out Plastic
Plastic seems to have found its way into every single aspect of our lives. However, giving it up isn’t as difficult as you might think. A simple way that will make a huge difference is that when you're going grocery shopping, bring a canvas or fabric bag instead of using the supermarket’s plastic bags.
Another small change is to choose anything in a glass container over plastic; glass containers are easier and safer to reuse. If you're looking for creative ways to use a glass jar, Pinterest has some great ideas. You can keep all the coins you may find around the house in a glass jar and turn it into a piggy bank.
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Almost anything, from batteries to paper, can be recycled. Before you start throwing stuff away, take a moment to see if you can recycle them instead. If you're not sure where to begin, there's a recycling company called "Go Clean" that can help. It basically comes to your doorstep and collects all of the items you recycled. It weighs the items you recycle and then gives you cash or household products in exchange. How beneficial is that?!
3. Eco-Friendly Products
Use eco-friendly products, such as shampoo and conditioner bars rather than those in plastic bottles. Moreover, cleaning products contain toxic substances that are harmful to the environment. That is why it is preferable to use green cleaning products; there are more natural and organic cleaning methods that are far less harmful. If you type “organic cleaning methods” on YouTube, you’ll find plenty of great videos that will walk you through the entire process.
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4. Sustainable Fashion
Start shopping for sustainable fashion brands; most of them are based on recycled materials and slow fashion, which means they use less electricity and provide a healthy work environment for employees. We're sure the majority of their fashion pieces are handmade with love, so you'll be getting something truly one-of-a-kind.
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5. Switch to Menstrual Cups
Tampons and pads on the one hand are single-use items that can cause skin irritation. Tampons may contain artificial perfumes and fragrances that can cause skin allergies and irritation, and they are not always disposed of properly. Menstrual cups, on the other hand, have none of these drawbacks. Going for a menstrual cup, which is a silicone cup that catches all of the blood, can be reused each month. They're not as scary as they sound. Menstrual underwear is also available these days, which is much more environmentally-friendly.
We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing an eco-friendly brand, Shemsi, that provides period underwear. Check out the interview here to know more about the brand.
6. Switch to Bamboo-Made Products
Most toothbrushes that we spot in the supermarkets and pharmacies are made of plastic. Unfortunately, every year, we throw away plastic toothbrushes that are never recycled. These end up in landfills or the ocean, polluting the environment and endangering marine life. Bamboo toothbrushes are a more eco-friendly option. This is the best option for our planet for the time being.
There is a local brand called "Urban Earthlings'' that sells many eco-friendly products, such as bamboo toothbrushes. It is better to use bamboo toothbrushes, which are as effective as any regular toothbrush on the market without requiring you to put plastic in your mouth twice or three times per day.
7. Reusable Beauty Products
After a long day at work or with friends, you go home and remove your makeup first thing to allow your face to breathe. While that’s all healthy and recommended, you can refrain from using cotton pads. Instead, use reusable soft cloth eraser pads. Apply your make-up remover product to it, then begin removing your make-up. When you're done, wash it and hang it to dry so you can use it again the next day. And just like that, you've reduced your waste.
It's available at "Sephora" or if you want to support a local brand, you can find it at "Self the brand."
Another eco-friendly way to reduce waste is to use reusable makeup Q-tips, which are a more sustainable and sanitary alternative to cotton Q-tips. It is used for makeup touch-ups and cleaning in small spaces.
There is a local brand called "Last Object," and they created reusable Q-tips as well as other eco-friendly products.
8. Eco-Friendly Technology
We’re not going to suggest or ask you to swap all of your appliances with eco-friendly ones. However, you can start with something as little as turning them off when you’re not using them. Don’t leave your electronics on standby; switch them off and you’ll make a huge difference. Furthermore, if you want to do something more than just turning off your appliances, you can invest in new energy-efficient ones. You’ll surely use less energy when the product is on.
9. Don’t Waste Food
Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges the world faces today is wasted food. Did you know that the food you’re throwing away adds to the amount of carbon footprint in landfills? Carbon footprint has a negative impact on the environment in several ways as it is the primary cause of human-induced climate change and it contributes to urban air pollution. It also leads to toxic acid rain, adds to coastal and ocean acidification, and makes the melting of glaciers and polar ice worse.
10. LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs are not only much more efficient than traditional bulbs, but they also live much longer. It’s a win-win situation because you'll use less energy and consequently replace your light bulbs less frequently. Furthermore, you can actually customize the lighting to your needs or the style of the area because they come in a variety of brightness levels and patterns.
11. Fix, Don’t Throw Away!
While throwing something away may seem quicker and more cost-effective occasionally, repairing or restoring it is more environmentally friendly. The tools and knowledge you need to fix almost anything are readily available online, and if you still can't fix it, why not try turning it into something else? There are several channels that can teach you DIY projects.
12. Choose The Right Transportation
If you can travel to your destination on foot, by bicycle, or by public transportation, do so. Driving isn't particularly environmentally friendly and can significantly increase your carbon footprint, unless you're in an electric vehicle. When you must drive, make sure you get the most of your car by driving slowly, checking that the tires are properly inflated, and making sure the engine is in good working order to reduce pollution.
Finally, adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle will help the entire world to witness a real change towards a better tomorrow. Be a part of this and start applying the listed suggestions in your life. Tell us if you know other ways to save the planet and embrace an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
Main image credit: Pinterest