A Beginner’s Guide to Saving the Planet

With environmental concerns pervading the news, it is hard to escape the horrors of the potential future of the planet. If, like me, you are often kept up at night worrying about climate change, the environment and the future of Earth, you can ease your conscience by knowing there are in fact ways you can help.

No single person can save the world, but easy of us can make simple steps to reduce our environmental impact.

  1. Mindful Purchases
    One of the most simple ways you can manage the amount of waste you contribute to, is by being mindful of what you are purchasing. Do you really need that top that’s in the sale? Is there an alternative of some of the food products you buy that have less packaging? Can you repair your old clothes instead of buying new ones?
    Being aware of what you are purchasing and consuming, thinking about the environmental impact it may have before you mindlessly consume can make a big difference to the waste you produce!
  2. Reusable…
    Something that is no longer excusable is buying bottled water every day, or every time you are out, and buying a takeaway coffee in a disposable cup. Make the small investment of a reusable water bottle and coffee flask and you can use these every day rather than buying single-use items that have to be thrown away. Not only will this help the planet, but it will help your bank account as you can re-fill water from your tap or from cafes and coffee shops (in the UK) often give you a discount for bringing your own mug!
  3. Food waste
    It is astonishing how much food we waste in the Western world. Many of us live in abundance, and do not bat an eyelid when we throw out some fruit that went rotten or throw out our leftover dinner. The more you plan what you are going to eat throughout the week, the better. It is always best to use up fresh food first as you have a shorter time period in which to consume these things. If you have made too much food in the evening, your options include saving it for your lunch or dinner the following day, or freezing it for another day where you have no time to cook!
    Again, this is all about being mindful of the food you purchase, eat and waste. The more aware you are of limiting your food waste as much as possible, the better you will get at it.
  4. Bathroom essentials
    Unfortunately there is not just one type of waste produced in the bathroom. Many of our products come in lots of plastic packaging that we have no use to dispose of on a regular basis. One of the simple ways you can reduce bathroom waste is by swapping your shower gel to a bar of soap. Many shops sell bars of soap with no packaging, or wrapped in paper which you can either re-use for something else, or recycle. I have recently switched to a Shampoo Bar from Lush. Although I admit these are more pricey than a bottle of shampoo, in my opinion it is an investment if you can afford to do so. You need a small amount of the bar to wash your hair and they come in no packaging at all!
    Another great way to reduce your waste is to swap make-up wipes and cotton wool pads for re-usable cloths. This could either consist of a simple flannel and some coconut oil from a jar (re-usable for many things!), or a reusable make up cloth which only requires water, such as this. I use the latter and it works great!
  5. Meat and dairy
    It is becoming increasingly known about the effects of the meat and dairy industry on the planet. See articles such as the following for more information: The Guardian, Vegan Sustainability and The Independent.
    For many people, it is a lot to ask to suddenly switch from a diet high in meat and dairy products to a plant-based diet overnight, but cutting down on your meat and dairy intake is a great place to start. You could introduce one day a week where no meat is consumed, or swap your milk for a plant milk, for example. Contrary to what many people think, a plant-based/vegan diet does not have to be difficult or expensive, and introducing more beans, lentils, whole grain rice, pasta and bread, fruit and vegetables will not only help the planet but will help your health and bank account!

There are just some of the beginning steps everyone can take in order to reduce their waste and make a small difference to the environment. For more in-depth tips, please see:

https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_offices/armenia/help_us/eco_help_living/

https://www.eomega.org/article/3-biggest-ways-to-reduce-your-environmental-impact

30 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment

 

 

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