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Easy Ways to be Eco-Friendly

In this new decade, more and more producers and consumers seem to be looking for ways to minimize their contribution to pollution and global warming. Chains like Starbucks and Tim Hortons have introduced new cup designs to discourage plastic straw use, cosmetic brands like Lush are trying to minimize wasteful packaging, and vegan meat brands are consciously trying to reduce the large carbon footprint produced by animal farming. If you haven’t hopped on the eco-conscious movement just yet, here are a few simple things you can do to be eco-friendly (besides reuse, reduce, and recycle). 

1. Eat Less Meat

As mentioned previously, animal farming creates a lot more pollution than most people are aware of. Many farm animals collectively produce enormous amounts of waste and gas that leak into and negatively impact the atmosphere, as well as lakes and rivers. Surprisingly, these gases are more than just stinky—they can include nitrous oxide, ammonia, and endotoxins. 

2. Use Canvas Bags

While a lot of stores are charging for plastic bags these days and selling more eco-friendly options, plastic bags are still widely used and still a problem. By purchasing a canvas bag, you can carry a lot without worrying about the bag splitting, and you can invest in one that matches your style if you want to be a little fancy on your grocery trips. 

3. Switch Over to Cloth

When you think about it, there is a lot of waste generated from everyday paper items we use, such as paper towels, napkins, cotton rounds, and the like. While it’s not necessary to switch over to cloth toilet paper, some of these paper items can be easily replaced with cloth alternatives. In the long run, these alternatives can also save money.

4. Use a Stapleless Stapler

If you’re someone who often staples together various papers, or uses paper clips, a stapleless stapler could be a great investment. Besides saving money in the long run on clips and staples, it’s convenient, aids in paper recycling, and is very satisfying to use.

5. Buy What You Need

In a capitalist culture, you’re always encouraged to spend money. Many people end up buying everything new and shiny, eventually resulting in a lot of unnecessary waste. In managing your money, really thinking about what you need, and resisting impulse purchases, you can be eco-friendly while developing good financial habits. 

Anna Karch

UWindsor '20

Anna Karch studies English, French, and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor. In her spare time, Anna enjoys playing piano, journaling, and spending time with friends. As an avid reader and writer, she hopes to continue writing in the future.
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