World Environment Day was yesterday (June 5) and World Ocean's Day is on June 8 so I thought it the perfect time to think about my impact on the world and how I can reduce my carbon footprint to become a more eco friendly earthling. I wrote a list of 20 things I can do, and you can do too! I'm so inspired to be more vigilant in the implementation of these actions. I've found that when I have committed to something, like a keep cup, reusable produce bags and a refillable water bottle, that it becomes second nature very quickly. I think a lot of these things just take a little bit of thought and maybe a minor inconvenience sometimes. A lot require doing nothing at all (like NOT buying stuff! Should be easy right?).
Anyway, here goes...
Say no to straws, bring reusable bags to the grocery store, use a keep cup and have a reusable, refillable water bottle. These are the basics!
Be aware of plastic packaging. Choose products that use glass, card, paper or metal containers over plastic. And then recycle them!
Bring your own takeaway containers. I’m starting this today! But if you do get takeout in plastic containers reuse them! I store lots of stuff in my pantry in those containers and they are dishwasher safe. They last a really long time if you look after them.
Reduce the amount of meat and dairy you consume – better yet, remove it altogether! I admit to consuming dairy, and seafood too, on occasion. Nobody is perfect. It is better to reduce than do nothing at all.
Buy in bulk! There are bulk produce stores popping up in my city and they are awesome. Rice, pasta, quinoa and the like can be stocked up on using reusable containers, or paper bags without any waste at all.
Try to purchase second hand goods when possible. Thrift shopping and antiquing is really fun and so good for the planet.
Say no to fast fashion.
Use public transport.
Be really selective about the food you buy. Think about whether it will get eaten and then try to use everything you buy. Apparently one third of the food produced every year is wasted. That’s crazy! I have become the queen of creative ‘Nourish bowls’ by using all the veg and leftovers in my fridge.
Grow your own. You don’t have to grow a whole vegie patch (that requires an awful lot of time and effort!). But leafy greens, shallots, rocket, and herbs are easy to grow and require little space.
Don’t buy every new gadget just because you think you have to have it. Phones and computers and the like are made from all kinds of terrible things, and the waste from our disposal of them is appalling. Use these things until they are no longer usable. Don’t give in to the idea that these objects make you cooler or better. They don’t.
Pay for the ‘eco’ or ‘green’ ticket (if you can afford it).
Reuse ziplock bags, bubble wrap, plastic packaging and plastic bottles as much as you can. Plastic is a hardy material – that’s why it is so ubiquitous! We need to stop thinking of it as a throw away material.
Make your own beauty products from what is in your pantry. Do you really need all that make up? Again, really think about what you will use before purchasing.
Support makers, crafts people and artisans over big corporate entities. This is another high priority on my list this year!
Explore the natural world as often as you can. Encourage others to come with you. Be enthusiastic about what you discover, don’t play it cool, express your wonder at the world around you.
Be curious. Actively cultivate your curiosity. Walk, observe, sketch, read books, listen to podcasts about the world and the universe, open your mind.
Take 3 for the Sea! Or 5 or 10 or 100! Pick up rubbish and dispose of it properly.
Look after yourself. Try your hardest to stay motivated and positive. I can sink into lows very quickly and need to consciously remind myself that those lows are where I become lazy and useless. It sometimes takes all of my strength to get out of them but I can never give up on our mumma earth and all her wonders. (Hippie talk works for me a’right?)
Lastly, cultivate a mindset that recognises our place in the circle of life – understand that you are a part of this planet, that you are not separate from it and that what you do and how you behave has an effect of other people and other forms of life. Understand this not only intellectually, but in your being.