These days, it is more important than ever to be conscious of your own environmental impact on the world. In a society that relies so heavily on plastic and ‘throwaway’ products, it can seem a little hopeless. You may think that one person’s actions don’t matter that much in the bigger picture and that there's nothing you can do as an individual to make any significant change, but by simply changing these five daily habits (and encouraging your friends to do the same), you have the ability to heal our planet and make positive impact.
1. Ditch the straws
This might shock you, but you don’t actually need a straw to drink your iced coffee. Some straws still contain materials that are considered to be carcinogenic or toxic, not to mention they can’t be recycled and will definitely end up in the ocean stuck up some poor sea turtles nostril (remember that super sad viral video?). Basically, straws suck (pun intended) and next time you make your morning starbs run, just ask for no straw!
2. Buy a water bottle and actually use it!
There are SO MANY super cute, great quality water bottles in the world, so why aren’t you using yours? They’re 100 times more instragrammable then the gross plastic ones, your water will probably stay colder for longer, and you never have to pay ridiculous amounts of money for bottled water again. If you have trouble remembering to take your water bottle places, treat it like your phone. Keep it with you at all times.
3. Find alternatives to ‘throwaway products’
Take a minute and think about all of the things that you use once and then immediately throw away. Makeup wipes, keurig cups, you name it. There is an emphasis on convenience in household products which is nice for you, but not so nice for the earth. Would it really ruin your morning if you started using a reusable keurig cup? How hard would it be to wash a few extra washcloths in your laundry or buy a multi use makeup removing towel? Although it may seem like you’re spending a lot on these products, they will probably end up saving you a lot of cash in the long run if you use them consistently.
4. Quit it with the bags already
When asked the question, “paper or plastic?” the correct answer is “neither”. Start keeping reusable bags in your car so on your next trip to the grocery store you can leave feeling like a good person! Chances are, you’re never going to use those bags for anything after you unpack your groceries, and just like straws, they will probably end up inside a sea turtle or something.
Okay, so this one is a bit more of a project, but if you’re serious about making an impact, composting is the way to go. You will be SHOCKED at the amount of items you can compost (cardboard, paper products etc.) and how little trash you can cut down to. In my house with 4 people we can usually make it up to 2 weeks now without filling up the one trashcan in our kitchen because of all the compost we have. There are composting services to help you with this process, and soon it becomes a habit just like taking out the trash!