The best way not to contribute waste the world? Reduce how much you use. Recycling is great, but it takes energy to do so, so by reducing your output of recycling, you’re reducing the energy consumption. Pretty neat, huh?
I’ve been known to turn old creamer bottles into jugs to infuse water with fruit, soda bottles can become planters, cans make excellent storage… there’s really no limit on how you can reuse your recyclables with a little creativity and time.
I’ll never negate the importance of recycling. Recycle everything that can be recycled, or otherwise it’ll sit in the Earth or in the ocean for our children and our children’s children to deal with. I don’t want to put that on them.
- Skip your shower.
Did you know it’s better for your skin and hair to take showers every other day instead of once a day? I know it’s not our society’s habit and some people may be grossed out by it, but seriously- it’s better for you and for the environment, so it’s something to consider.
- Plant plants.
Plant a tree for oxygen. Plant flowers for the bees and for your eye’s pleasure. Plant fruits and veggies for you, your family, and your friends. It doesn’t matter what it is, get in the dirt and make something grow.
- Go vegetarian.
Do it for a day, a week, a month, whatever you can. Some people incorporate one meatless day into their week. Modern meat farming is extremely detrimental to our environment (I could write a whole post on this alone), and going meatless helps curb that.
- Pick up litter.
People who throw their trash on the ground are a special kind of asshole. If you see some garbage where it doesn’t belong, do your part for the Earth, pick it up and throw it away properly. And don’t you dare throw your garbage on the ground.
- Look into alternatives for pesticides.
For example, my mom rents out her goats, and they clean up people’s unwanted plants by eating them, no pesticides included. Check out your area and see if there are services similar to this provided when you’re considering yardwork; of course, you can not use pesticides yourself, and help the environment that way.
- Conserve water.
If you NEED that daily shower, limit it to five minutes at the most. I find that playing a four to five minute song helps me keep track of how long I’ve been in there, and if the song changes, I know I need to get out.
- Do full loads of laundry.
Doing half loads wastes water and energy. This should also help your utility bill look better.
- Use essential oils when you clean.
There are a ton of different recipes out there for essential oil cleaning supplies as an alternative to chemicals, but I’ll tell you my current favorite all-purpose surface cleaner is a blend of rosemary and mint. Yum!
- Use natural soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
Needless to say, all of these wash down the drain and accompany the water wherever it goes. If you use products with harsh chemicals or dyes, these get into the water too.
- Shut off the lights.
Shut off everything when you’re not using it. Unplug chargers and small appliances when not in use. Again, these changes will not only help the environment, they will also help your electric bill just a little.
- Mind your thermostat.
Turn it down when you’re away from your house! You can always turn it back up when you return.
- Find alternative transportation.
Biking and walking is better for the environment (and you!) than driving. Do these whenever possible.
- Buy local.
As much as possible, buy things that were made in your region and didn’t have to travel far to get to you. This goes beyond food to building materials, appliances, cars… you name it, the closer it was produced to you, the less of a strain it puts on the environment to get it to you.
Incorporate these changes into your daily life and you can be sure you’re contributing to a happier, healthier planet Earth. Remember, though the calendar says today is Earth Day, the truth is Earth Day is every day. Good planets are hard to find. ❤