“Nobody did a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little”. – Edmund Burke
Everyone has so much going on with their life. We all have our own problems, family dramas, broken windows, sick animals. Everyone usually has something going on that no one really knows about – which is why, we should always be kind. However because of a lot of these reasons, we often get swept up in our own bubble and find it hard to see the bigger picture. It’s sometimes hard to remember that not only do you have your own problems, but our planet, the environment, everything around us also has problems and problems which are huge, in the great scheme of things.
I myself am definitely guilty of this, and it’s okay, but I do want to be a better person for our surroundings, for our planet. I like this one and I don’t think Mars is a hugely viable plan B.
Stop Buying Single Use Plastic
This has to be the top of my list. Single use plastic is really terrible. It’s on everything, in everything. So it’s hard to avoid. Fortunately a lot of places now, here in Australia have banned single use plastic bags which is a great start! But there is still room for improvement.
As individuals we can start by investing in a few things.
– Reusable Coffee Cups – A lot of people assume that takeaway coffee cups are recyclable so it’s not that bad. Wrong. Most takeaway coffee cups are lined with a waterproof plastic called polyethylene which not only makes them non-recyclable, but it’s also a toxin which you are then ingesting.
– Reusable Shopping Bags
– Reusable Straws – Glass, Silicone, Bamboo or Steel are all going to be better than 1 use plastic straws. Not only are plastic straws semi toxic, they usually end up in the ocean or on a beach just waiting for some poor animal to eat them.
– Reusable Cutlery – For the same reasons as above.
– A Stainless Steel or just a general reusable drink bottle – Not only are a lot of drink bottles full of toxins, the water in these bottles has been tested to be no better than tap water (in most countries) and you will save money! Bonus!
Reduce Your Consumption of Animal Products
Let me start by saying that no, i’m not a vegetarian nor vegan. However, I do try to do my bit. This is just a list of small things I try and do to reduce my consumption. Why? There are many reasons that every person should try and reduce their meat consumption. From the environmental impact of farming animals, to unethical farming of animals such as pigs and chickens.
I do NOT want this to start an argument, everyone is entitled to their opinion, so please keep yours to yourself.
– Limit red meat intake to 1x per week
– Buy Organic, Free Range & Local when you can
– Adjust Meals to be Meat-Free e.g Sweet Potato Burgers or Lentil Bolognese
– When choosing fish, try smaller fish lower down in the food chain such as sardines
Reduce Food Waste
As someone who grew up with not a lot of money, wasting food was really not an option. We ate what we were given because otherwise you went without. However as I grew up I got to know that not everyone is like this and if you look at the statistics, almost HALF of the food that is produced, is wasted. That is shocking. Its too much. If you look at statistics, there is more than enough food produced in the world to feed everyone yet, about 790 million people in the world are malnourished and don’t have enough to eat. In short.
– Plan your meals and only buy what you need
– Stop throwing away food
– Make use of leftovers
– Freeze anything you don’t think you will be able to eat before it goes off.
– If you have the space, create a composting bin for fruit and vege scraps
Transition to Natural Cleaning Products
Not only are general household cleaning products bad for the environment, the are also bad for your health. There can be up to 3000 different chemicals in household cleaning products, breathing that in is not good for your health and having it go through the pipes into plants or waterways is not good for the earth. Make simple changes such as:
– DIY toilet cleaner can be made out of Vinegar, Essential oil & Baking Soda
– DIY surface cleaner can be made by putting white vinegar, water & essential oil in a spray bottle
– Dr Bronner’s make great, non toxic cleaning & general products if DIY isn’t your thing!
Little things such as stopping the water running when you are brushing your teeth, waiting until there is a full load of washing or washing your hair can save a tonne of water.
There are plenty of other things that everyone can do to do their bit, feel free to share your favourite tips below!
DISCLAIMER: I am not saying that everyone needs to be perfect and follow every step perfectly. That just isn’t real life. My belief is that if EVERYONE did ONE small thing, or even a few small things, it would make great change. Scaring people off by telling them they need to change everything in their life is never going to work.
I am never going to pretend i’m perfect or that I know everything about this. However if I can even get 10 people to use a reusable coffee cup, then I will be happy. That is better than being completely ignorant to the problem.