How to Become More Environmentally Friendly: For Beginners

Eco-friendly: Not Harmful to The Environment.

For starters, I would not consider myself as being an eco-friendly person. Not because I don’t care, of course, but because I don’t know much about the subject except not littering and using metal straws. Honestly, the only reason why I’m into metal straws is that I saw it on Pinterest and thought it was cool. So, here are the things that I have learned to become eco-friendlier.

Dispose of Correctly

I heard some companies won’t take your recyclables if the tops of the bottle caps aren’t removed. There are recycling bins almost everywhere, especially, on campus. Knowing where the bins are is one thing but knowing what can actually be put into them is another. Also, be sure that the bins that are made for recycling are actually being recycled and not just thrown together with the trash at the end of the night. 

Some statistics for you, it takes:

  • 200 years for plastic straws
  • 450 years for plastic bottles
  • One million years for a glass bottle to decompose. 

Watch What You Buy

When I grocery shop, I search for deals and not what can be recycled. This can be an issue for many people that have lower income like college students. The biodegradable items may not be in the budget. Items that we purchase on a today will someday end up in a land field. So, look for an eco-friendlier item that is biodegradable or disposes correctly of products.

Buy Locally

Purchasing locally grown food has many environmental benefits like reducing food mileage, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. However, just buying from local places isn’t always better for the environment, so be cautious that you pay attention to what you throw into the shopping cart.

Buying locally isn’t just better for the environment but in most cases, it is better for your health, since it is grown locally. Local produce often times hold more nutrients and is allowed to ripen naturally. Also, eating foods that are in season and less processed can further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Google your local farmers market to find fresh produce.

Resale

I’ve been re-selling my clothes on apps like Poshmark, Mercari and Depop for years now. However, I didn’t know the impact it had on the environment. There are a lot of water and chemicals that go into creating garments. For example, it takes 1,800 gallons of water to make one pair of denim blue jeans. The amount of water that it takes to make clothes can be repurposed for things like drinking. Resell properly, you don’t need a fancy camera to take great pictures just your smartphone and good lighting.

These are just a few things that I have found that I can change about my environmental footprint. What I decided to change was to actually pay attention to the different bins on campus, continue to buy my favorite metal straws, start to buy locally and properly sell my clothes. In ways do you educate yourself on becoming more eco-friendly? 

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Resources 1, 2

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