Climate Crisis: so much remains to be done, that it can look overwhelming. But, like every big problem we might face, if we just break it into small little problems and everyone helps a bit, what seems impossible to achieve, can turn into a great achievement.
And yes, we really are trashing the planet at an unprecedented rate. The question is: shouldn’t we individually be doing more about the future we want, and talk less about the future we don’t? Professor Erle C. Ellis from the University of Maryland talks about this in The New York Times’ article “Science Alone Won’t Save the Earth. People Have to Do That”. A better future will prevail if we align science with people’s values, aspirations for a better world, and social strategies for that matter.
One thing is for sure. We must act now, and we must act together. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres claimed in his State of the Planet speech: "Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century. It must be the top, top priority for everyone, everywhere."
Governments, corporations, and small businesses should act now, but they aren’t the only ones who need to step in. It’s up to each and every one of us. We can all do something to stop food waste, biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, deforestation and so many other major environmental problems? We don’t have to accept a future of gloom and doom for the Earth. It all starts with simple gestures - here are 100 simple easy ways to help save the planet that you can do right now:
1. Select ethical and sustainable brands
If you need to buy a gift or something for yourself why not choose a mission-driven company or small business? Support ethical and sustainable brands, whose products have a lower environmental impact. At Wonther, for instance, we only use high-quality metals, with well-known origins and a low ecological footprint.
2. Don’t be greenwashed
Many brands have noticed an increasing interest in ethical and sustainable brands, so they are creating lines that might appeal to green-minded shoppers. So far, so good, huh? Well, the thing is they are still using pollutive materials on other product lines and underpaying their employees. This is greenwashing, and it happens more often than you think. H&M, Primark Wellness, and Zara Join Life are just a few examples.
3. Buy second-hand
Second-hand shopping has a huge positive impact on the environment. We create less waste and are saving something from the landfills - not to mention that very few items are recycled (only 15% of consumer-used textiles are recycled).
4. Shop online
Online shopping is definitely more eco-friendly because we save the planet from the emissions produced when the customer drives to the store. Also, a retail outlet uses a lot of energy that impacts the sustainability of physical shopping. Of course, this works only if you support brands with eco packaging and avoid rush shipping. Before finishing that purchase ask yourself if you really need that. Stats show that 45% of consumers have gone on to purchase ‘non-essential’ items during times such as the lockdown.
5. Avoid microfibers
Most of us wear synthetic fabrics on a daily basis. But, every time you wash these synthetic fabrics, millions of tiny plastic bits - called microfibers - are released into the water. They end up in rivers and oceans by the billions. These plastic fibers are now showing up in fish and shellfish sold for human consumption. Now, you don’t have to throw your synthetic fabrics away - that will lead to more waste. Just bear this in mind next time you go shopping and consider purchasing a Guppyfriend wash bag, which is thought to capture 99 percent of these fibers.
6. Borrow, lend and swap clothes with friends
By doing so you’ll be helping out your friend and help save the planet. As an industry, global fashion is a huge polluter. According to the World Wear Project, 85 percent of clothing waste ends up in the landfill. By borrowing, lending, and exchanging clothes with friends you’ll not be buying something new and you’ll also not be adding them to the masses of clothing thrown away every year.
7. Choose minimalism
By choosing minimalism, you’ll become more mindful about your spending habits, consume less, and reduce waste. Make eco-friendly decisions. Adopt a minimalist way of living, surround yourself with items you place value on, and live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
8. Buy fair-trade products
As a consumer, you are able to decide where to invest. Environmental protection is a key element of the fair-trade principles, and by choosing fair-trade products you’ll also be ensuring that workers are being paid sustainable and fair wages. Not to mention that fair-trade products are made in safe and healthy working conditions, prohibiting forced labor and exploitive child labor.
9. Cherish your old stuff
Try to fix things before running out to buy a new one. Imagine how much waste of resources, such as water and energy, you’re reducing by doing that. Reusing can prevent solid waste from entering the landfill.
10. Buy products with eco-friendly packaging or go package-free
The dream is to achieve a plastic-free planet and zero waste. That definitely isn’t going to be easy, but we could start by choosing to buy products with eco-friendly packaging or go package-free. Avoid bubble wrap, styrofoam, and massive cardboard boxes.
11. Rent for special occasions
Spice up your wardrobe without polluting the environment - rent instead of buying. The fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater. If you have a special event, but don’t want to be a part of the increasing fashion’s impact on the planet, consider renting.
12. Choose eco-friendly pet supplies
What we eat, where we shop, and how we get around can either contribute to the environment's sustainability or to its degradation. It isn’t any different with our pets. Just feeding them adds 64 million tons of carbon dioxide to the climate each year. So, support pet companies that are looking for new ways to support environmental sustainability. There are already many eco-friendly products - like pet food, pet beds, snacks, collars and leashes, pet bowls, treats, toys, poop bags, and cat litter - you can choose from.
13. Buy one less new thing a month
Buying less is better for the planet since you’ll be reducing your environmental impact. An incredible amount of research has shown that materialism, in general, makes us miserable and lonely. Start by buying one less new thing a month, and you’ll quickly realize that reducing consumption will make you feel more satisfied and happier.
14. Look into the slow fashion movement
Are you already familiar with the movement of slow fashion? We all know that fast fashion pollutes our water supply, encourages overconsumption, and exploits workers. Slow fashion, however, encourages sustainable practices, as well as ethical working conditions. Choose slow fashion brands to support these values and help save the planet.
15. Quality over quantity - pick products that will last longer
Fast fashion products don’t focus on quality and longevity, slow fashion brands do. This way of life not only combats waste within the industry, but it allows consumers to wear their clothes with peace of mind, knowing they are not adding to waste and have products that will last for a lifetime.
16. Donate old clothes and books to charity
Can you imagine the positive effect on the planet if more people opted to repurpose their clothes or books and donate them? You’d be reducing landfills and our carbon footprint while helping someone in need. If you’re not using it, put it back into circulation - the circular economy helps build a sustainable environment where things don’t go to waste as easily, everything is being used to its maximum potential.
17. Go digital with books
Production of paper involves using machinery that adds a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Paper manufacturing leads to mass deforestation and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Find an ebook application for your mobile phone, or buy a portable ebook reading device. With an ebook reader, you can carry thousands of books at a time.
18. Borrow books from the library instead of purchasing new ones
Borrowing books from the library reduces consumption and waste. As you already know: the less you buy the better for the environment. Especially when it comes to saving paper. Why not make use of your local library? I’m sure you’ll find many books you’d love to read. Another quick tip: borrow from friends and family. Not buying brand new books, limits the environmental damage we cause with our purchases.
19. Read your favorite newspaper online
When it comes to newspapers, there is more paper produced per hour of reading time compared with books. Also, according to an article in the New Scientist magazine, they emit a potent greenhouse gas called methane when they rot in landfills, which is why it’s vital to recycle them. To avoid all these dead trees and air pollution let’s consider reading our favorite newspaper online.
20. Use washable cloth napkins instead of paper ones
Anytime you can reuse resources over the long run, you’re helping the planet. The production, transportation, and disposal of paper napkins increase greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution and use a lot of energy. Replace them with washable cloth napkins, consider organic cotton, old clothes repurpose, and save energy by washing them in cold water.
21. Reuse packaging cartons and shipping materials
Plastic-free packaging movements are winning ground in the world. Packaging cartons are easier to both recycle and reuse. We all do online shopping these days, so reuse those boxes. Just make sure to cover up the old shipping label.
22. Print as little as necessary
Did you know that the average office employee uses more than a full tree of paper per year? Printing really impacts the environment. According to the Environmental Paper Network, 1 sheet of A4 paper requires about a liter of water and 49 watts to be produced. If you really need to print something, try to print double-sided.
23. Reuse computer paper
There are ways to reuse or recycle almost everything. We all tend to use a lot of computer paper that will eventually end up in the recycling bin. Why not reuse them first? Use them to make test prints; use the black side of it as a scratch paper; make post-it notes, or a simple bookmark.
24. Print on both sides of the paper
Why not integrate some more green printing tips into your life? Printing on both sides of the page is a great way to reduce paper waste. Saving paper means saving trees, and reducing waste.
25. Subscribe to paperless billing
Did you know that paper accounts for around 26% of total waste at landfills?
Paperless billing gives customers an opportunity to help the environment, and it’s also more convenient. Sustainable benefits of going paperless, include less paper waste and a reduced carbon footprint.
26. Recycle your junk mail
Did you know that more than 100 million trees are destroyed each year for junk mail? Try to contact the companies to remove your name from their distribution lists. Don’t forget to recycle all junk mail you still end up receiving.
27. Use your phone for notetaking and save paper
Many people would rather use paper to take notes, but why waste it? You are not being eco-friendly and it’s not even more convenient. Once out of the house you might need that information you wrote down and not have it. Your phone, however, is always with you.
28. Treasure the trees
There was a time when trees covered about half the land surface of the Earth. That’s not the reality anymore. Trees are being cut down every day, and they are disappearing at an alarming rate. According to the World Bank, between 1990 and 2016, the world lost 1.3 million square kilometers of forest. Yet, we need them more than ever - they regulate our climate and water. They are a vital brake on global warming, and we need them to survive. Consider buying recycled paper products and think about sustainability while buying wood products like furniture.
29. Choose mechanical pencils
The lifespan of a wooden pencil is pretty short, while the mechanical one has the potential to last for a very long time.
30. Use tree-free toilet paper and paper towels
The reality is that we are consuming faster than we produce - the process of turning a tree into a toilet roll or hand towel is far from sustainable. Have you considered bamboo-based paper? Bamboo requires less water to grow, it re-grows without planting, and it doesn’t need additional chemicals.
31. Plant a tree
Do it! Plant a tree. They are beautiful, majestic and there aren’t two alike. Their ecological and environmental value is unmatchable. They provide habitat to over 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity; absorb a ton of carbon dioxide; produce the oxygen we breathe; and also produce shade, which can lower your energy costs 10-15%. They control climate by moderating the effects of the sun, rain, and wind; and their leaves absorb and filter the sun’s radiant energy, keeping things cool in summer.
32. Pick up litter even if somebody else dropped it
Littering is a crime but many people still throw their trash on the ground. The litter you see on the sidewalk has toxic materials or chemicals that can be blown or washed into rivers, forest lands, or oceans. so, even though it might have been somebody else dropping the trash, Earth is still our home. Pick it up and place it in the recycling bin.
33. Save water in small gestures
We cannot emphasize enough how much saving water is important. Yes, 71% of the Earth is covered in water, but only 3% of the water on Earth is freshwater, and only 0.5% is available for drinking because the other 2.5% of freshwater is locked in ice caps, glaciers, and others.
Simply put: our available water supply is finite. Think about this while brushing your teeth, washing your face, washing your hands … Don't keep your water running when you are not using it. If it is running, do something useful with it, like collecting it to water your plants.
34. Never dump anything down a storm drain
Storm drains empty directly into the nearest creek, river, or ocean. They are meant for rain or melting snow, however, that water quickly picks up motor oil, fertilizers, litter, and other pollutants that can be harmful to fish and the aquatic habitat.
35. Choose safer cleaning products
Keep a critical eye on the ingredients in our household products. Why not go for natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable cleaning products? These ones help both your health and the planet.
36. Try making homemade cleaners
Why not try and make your own safer cleaning products? They work as well as those filled with chemicals. There are a lot of homemade cleaner recipes online, and you could learn out to make your own sanitizing wipes, hand soap, glass cleaner, grease cleaner, clothing stain remover, and many others.
37. Brooms before hoses
Did you know that by using a broom to sweep sidewalks or similar, you’ll save 150 gallons of water (or more) each time? Give more use to your broom and help save the planet.
38. Fully load your dishwasher and washing machine
This seems like common sense at first glance, but many people don’t fully load their dishwasher and washing machine and are losing out in terms of efficiency. Choosing a small load setting won’t do much, because the machine is still using most of the water and energy of a full load. According to Energy Star, a typical household can save 3,400 gallons of water a year by fully loading their washing machine.
39. Wash your clothes at a lower temperature
According to Energy Star, water heating consumes 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Using the cold cycle cuts energy use by more than half.
40. Wear your clothes more than once before washing them
You don’t need to wash your clothes every time you wear them. That’s a waste of water and energy, and you are even shortening your clothes’ life. If you've sweated a lot while wearing something, go ahead and wash it. If not, don’t be afraid to wear your clothes 2, 3, or 4 times, the American Cleaning Institute helps determine the right amount. According to them, you can use your pajamas 3 or 4 times, bath towels 3 to 5, and jeans typically 3 times before washing.
41. Use a line to dry your clothes
If you can, why not go for line drying clothes and promote energy conservation? Green American Magazine reports that air-drying clothes can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds a year. Plus, your clothes last longer this way - give it a try.
42. Take a shower instead of a bath
The European Environment Agency reports that by taking a shower instead of a bath you can cut your water consumption by a third. Of course, this only works if you pause the water flow while soaping.
43. Share a shower
Why not take the opportunity to share shower time with your lover? You’ll be saving time and water.
44. Don't use bad chemicals in your garden
Pesticides used in our garden kill bugs we want to kill, and those we don’t, which means important pollinators like bees and butterflies are at risk as well. Also, consistent use of bad chemicals can lead to toxins entering rivers and oceans through water run-off. A holistic approach to garden care can help you avoid traditional pesticides.
45. Start a vegetable garden
By growing your own food, you are helping to reduce the high amounts of burning fossil fuels that fill our environment. Adding to that you’ll know what you’re eating. You can choose to put harmful chemicals aside and organically grow your own food.
46. Plant flowers that attract bees
An estimated one-third of the food we consume each day relies on pollination so how to save bees has become a hot topic. Unfortunately, honeybees are disappearing globally at an alarming rate. We should be planting flowers along with banning harmful pesticides. Here are some bee-friendly plants you could plant: lavender, blue borage, marjoram, abelia, and lilac.
47. Buy plants for your home
Besides making your room more inviting, plants are more sustainable than a bunch of flowers. As a matter of fact, NASA conducted research into the power of indoor plants discovered that there are over 50 houseplant types that remove pollutants and gases. They can also help you to sleep better, and help you focus. Areca Palm, Philodendron, Peace Lily, and Dracaena are just a few examples of plants that help clean the air.
48. Burn natural candles to scent your home, instead of air fresheners
While air fresheners smell nice, they release harmful particles into the air - called volatile organic compounds - which according to the EPA can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; and damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Burn candles to scent your home instead. But not any candles, those made from paraffin wax are actually emitting carbon into the air. Go for the most natural path: coconut wax, beeswax, soy, and flameless options.
This may be an obvious one, but is also one of the most important ones. Recycling ensures materials and natural resources aren’t wasted; energy is saved during the manufacturing process; reduces emissions of greenhouse gases; less waste goes to landfills; it keeps wildlife safe.
50. Repurpose glass jars
Pickle jars, sauce jars, peanut butter jars… Instead of throwing those away, repurpose them. There are so many things you can do with a glass jar, such as making a soap dispenser, putting a candle inside, use them as a vase, a food container to take to work or to bulk your goods. You pick.
51. Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of a disposable cup
Starbucks uses more than 8,000 paper cups a minute, and this is just an example. Cups that people later throw out of the window or leave on the sidewalk. Why not go for a ceramic coffee mug instead? When you’re on the go, a travel coffee mug will make all the difference. Some coffee shops even give a discount if you bring your own mug.
52. Use reusable bags
Charging extra for plastic bags at the grocery store was a big step. However, there are still many people buying those, either because they forget their reusable bags at home, or because they stick to what’s more convenient. In any case, here’s a quick tip: leave a few reusable bags in the car or hang them at your entry door. You can also carry one in your handbag, this way if you end up needing a bag while running an expected errand, you’ll have one at hand.
53. Use a reusable water bottle
In the US 1,000,000 plastic bottles are sold every minute and only 30% of these bottles are recycled. You do the math. Adding to this, according to an article in The Guardian, the World Health Organization has announced that plastic bottles have actual plastic fibers in them. So, choose a reusable water bottle to protect your health and help save the planet.
54. Fruits and veggies don’t need their own plastic bag
Buying fruits and veggies is great. However, do they really need their own plastic bag? Buy them loose or bring a reusable bag from home.
55. Buy groceries that aren’t wrapped in plastic
It may be hard to find groceries without any type of plastic, but at least try to find ones with minimal packaging. Things are changing and there’s been a powerful shift in consumer awareness, however, there’s still much to be done. How many times have we seen one avocado wrapped in plastic?
56. Say no to plastic straws
It's estimated that five hundred million straws are used each day by people in the United States alone, but many types of straws cannot be reused or recycled due to the chemicals they are made from. Buy glass, stainless steel, or bamboo straws instead of plastic. Take them with you everywhere and say no to plastic straws.
57. Go for homemade gifts
Giving a gift that you’ve made yourself adds that extra touch and helps save the planet. A homemade chocolate cake, beautiful ornaments, bath bombs, candles, wildflowers, or the most typical and thoughtful one - a letter. Your options are endless. Be creative.
58. Give people experiences, not things
By choosing a dematerialized gift, you can also reduce waste. Buying less stuff helps curb your consumer carbon footprint, and plus, experiences make people happier than possessions. Offer a horse-riding experience, a yoga class, a windsurfing lesson, or a candlelight dinner. There are so many sustainable options.
59. Donate money to reliable environmental organizations
There are many worthy environmental organizations doing great work that are worth supporting. They have the background research, social networks, know-how, and action plan to fully serve their missions, so why not support them if we can?
60. Do an eco-friendly activity
Enjoy the outdoors with zero-waste camping, go for walks or explore on your bike, have a picnic, or join a beach cleanup activity. These are just a few simple examples. Take your friends or family with you and enjoy the good weather while helping save the planet.
61. Watch eco-documentaries
Are you looking for a meaningful way to pass the time? Being able to visually learn more about the world around us from the comfort of our home is incredible. There are several must-see films or documentaries that come with an impactful message about the fate of the Earth. Sit back, press play, and prepare yourself to be amazed, or rather choked. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a suggestion: Seaspiracy. Premiered on Netflix globally in March 2021, it’s a documentary film about the environmental impact of fishing. It will blow your mind.
62. Become an environmental volunteer
Environmental volunteering is your chance to protect the environment. You’ll learn new skills, make new friends and meet like minded-people; develop teamwork skills; explore nature; and of course, feel personal satisfaction from helping others achieve their objectives and help save the planet.
63. Tune into a climate conference
Why not make use of that little free time on your hands, to listen to one of many digital climate conferences? It will help you better understand the subject. Follow activists, changemakers, and platforms such as We Don’t Have Time and stay tuned to their summits, lives, or events. On Earth Day, April 22, they’ll welcome everyone to Exponential Climate Action Summit II, and if you look closely at their program highlights you’ll notice a big part of it will focus on “What can I do as a citizen?”.
64. Donate your old devices to schools and other institutions
Instead of adding your old devices to a landfill, why not give them a new life? Many individuals and organizations will greatly appreciate having them.
65. Change to LED light bulbs
LED light bulbs are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly developing lighting technologies. These light bulbs consume less power per unit of light emitted. Basically, you’ll be using less electricity for the same light output, and this reduces greenhouse emissions from power plants. They last longer and offer better light quality than other types.
66. Turn off the lights when not needed
Turning off the lights is rule number one when it comes to saving energy. It will reduce carbon emissions and other harmful greenhouse gases. Do you want any simple way to help save the planet?
67. Unplug your appliances
Did you know that your television uses energy when it’s on standby? Unplug it overnight, for instance. The same with your toaster, hairdryer, charger, and others. You’ll be helping save the planet and saving money altogether.
68. Use rechargeable batteries
Many people don’t realize how heavy metals, corrosive materials, and others are bad for the environment. Rechargeables are greener on the production end because they last for many years. However, don’t forget to recycle those too, or you’ll not be preventing those heavy metals from harming the environment.
69. Take the stairs over the elevator
Taking the stairs benefits the environment and our health. An article in The Guardian reports that a typical workplace elevator may produce between 0.3 kg to 0.6 kg of carbon dioxide per person per day, which means that by the end of the year you’ll be responsible for 60-120kg of avoidable CO2. Also, isn't it a great way to workout?
70. Choose to use a train, instead of a plane
Reducing the emissions of travel is also key. Air travel is now one of the fastest-growing contributors to climate change. According to independent research, choosing the train over a flight cuts CO2 emissions per passenger by 90%.
Plus, when we choose to travel by train as opposed to taking a short-haul flight, we encourage countries to invest in rail infrastructure, which will help the environment in the long run.
71. Walk or ride your bike instead of driving
Enjoy the fresh air, let the wind rush through your hair, and … leave your car at home. By walking or riding a bike you’ll be reducing carbon emissions. Not only that, you'll be reducing landfill waste, improving air quality, and protecting wildlife. Start reducing your carbon footprint. If more people start riding their bikes instead of driving, experts estimate we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11 percent by 2050.
72. Join a carpool to get to work
During wintertime why not join a carpool? Chances are you’d get soaking wet to work, walking under the dark and gloomy typical winter weather. Talk to a few co-workers and help save the planet together.
73. Take leftover food home from the restaurant
Up to 40 percent of the food produced in the US goes uneaten, and when we waste that food, we waste all the water, energy, labor, and other resources that go with it. Restaurants are one of the largest (estimated) business sector generators of food waste.
Next time you go to a restaurant keep that in mind. If you can’t finish all your food, ask to take your leftovers home. Don’t forget to use as little packaging as possible, and preferably a reusable one.
74. Plan your meals ahead to cut food waste
How many times have you gone to the grocery shop, decided on a meal for dinner, and then you find half of them at home already? You can waste less food by shopping wisely. Plan out the whole week’s meals in advance, and you’ll definitely reduce your food waste - have a grocery list and stick to it.
75. Use reusable containers to store food
One of the simplest ways to be more eco-friendly and lower your environmental impact is to switch to reusable containers. According to a 2017 study, 91% of plastics are never recycled, which means they end up in landfills and oceans. Why not pick jars or other glass containers for drinks and store leftovers rather than plastic containers?
76. Use less saran wrap and aluminum foil in the kitchen
It may save your sandwich, but it’s polluting the ambient. Put saran wrap and aluminum foil aside and start using more eco-friendly alternatives. Why not switch those to reusable wax wrap? Also, store leftovers in glass containers.
77. Learn to love leftovers
Did you know that households are responsible for the largest portion of all food waste? Uneaten food from your kitchen shouldn’t go straight to the trash. Stick your leftover in a glass container and keep it in the fridge, or freeze it for days later. If you don’t want to eat the same meal 3 nights straight, experiment with new dishes.
78. Use a smaller plate
How much did you leave on your plate last time you ate? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, if food waste was a country, it would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China. Many use a smaller plate to control food portions sizes while on a diet - you can also control food waste by doing so. A Danish study shows that if the plate size is reduced by just 9%, the food waste can be reduced by over 25%.
79. Eat organic
It’s easy to see how eating organic benefits human health, but what about the environment? The lack of fertilizers and pesticides means less pollution and higher quality soil. Choosing organic foods instead of processed foods helps decrease soil and water contamination, preserve wildlife, conserve biodiversity and, of course, reduce climate change.
80. Start composting
It’s very easy and the use of compost for planting saves water by helping the soil hold moisture and reduce water runoff. It’s great for the environment because it recycles organic resources while conserving landfill space.
81. Before you travel donate or freeze leftover fresh foods
If you are about to travel, but your fridge is filled with leftovers, fruits, and veggies, or other products with short expiry dates, don’t throw them away or leave them there. Share them with friends, and neighbors, or people in need.
82. Stop accepting disposable cutlery and napkins
Every time you get take-out, for instance, they offer napkins, plastic forks, little packets of a thousand different sauces, dips, and dressings… But then, once at home, you use your own stuff - silverware and such. By doing so you are contributing towards more waste at the landfill. Let’s start avoiding the use of disposables in our daily lives and help save the planet.
83. Switch protein sources
The fact is that some foods eat up more land and resources than others. Meat, dairy, and fish have a bigger environmental footprint than do plant-based foods. If you aren’t yet ready to go vegetarian or vegan, start by reducing those protein sources from your dishes.
84. Buy local
Have you ever thought about how many miles your food has traveled to reach your plate? Local food doesn’t create large carbon footprints through overseas plane travel or long truck trips. This means buying local equals cutting down on fuel consumption and air pollution. By buying locally, you’ll be reducing your food miles, and help your community economically, supporting local farmers and producers. It also helps to protect local lands and wildlife.
85. Read the labels when shopping
More than ever, consumers are looking at labels to make sure products match up with their values. If you want to protect the environment look for sustainability labels on the products.
86. Eat less (red) meat
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a special report on climate and soil, which indicates a diet rich in legumes, vegetables, and fruit as an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and consequently climate change. The livestock sector (raising cows, pigs, and chickens) generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars combined. You don’t have to stop eating meat all of a sudden but try to reduce the level of meat in your diet.
87. Prioritize locally-grown meat
If you can’t yet go without eating meat try to prioritize locally-grown meat. That way, you’re ensuring that the animal was raised ethically and wasn’t shipped a long distance to be sold in your grocery store.
88. Buy in-season fish
Fish caught during spawning seasons didn’t have enough time to reproduce or are immature, and this will affect their sustainability. Avoid buying them during their breeding or spawning times and that will help maintain stock levels. The Marine Conservation Society has a handy guide to help you choose the right fish at the right time of year.
89. Buy foods in bulk
Consider purchasing non-perishable foods in large quantities. One big bag of rice, cereal, nuts, pasta, or anything like that, uses less plastic than five smaller ones.
90. Remove make-up with reusable cotton pads
As convenient as makeup wipes may be, they are not great for the environment. Beauty brands have come out with eco-friendly alternatives to these, and we should all start using them. There are makeup remover pads, made from bamboo, designed to last for years.
91. Use bar shampoo or soap instead of liquid ones
Swapping to solid soap bars is a great way to reduce your plastic waste. Shampoo bars can also last up to 80 washes, they are more concentrated than traditional shampoos.
92. Use a razor with replaceable blades
The EPA estimated that in the 1990’s we threw away about two billion disposable razors, and our population has grown by about 75 million people since then. Many razors end up in landfills every year, and while razor blades will rust away into nothing, the plastic handle will be left behind for thousands of years. Why not invest in a reusable metal razor with a replaceable, recyclable head?
93. Buy eco-friendly hair brushes
Did you know that hair brushes are not recyclable? Most of them are made from different materials which makes them unsuitable for recycling, such as rubber, metal, sealants, and glue. To stop them from adding to landfills, let’s go for an eco-friendly hair brush like wooden or - better yet - bamboo hair brushes.
94. Go for a menstrual cup or reusable pads
Can you imagine how many disposable pads and/or tampons a woman goes through in a year, or a lifetime? According to an article in The Guardian, the average woman uses roughly 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. Landfills are overflowing with period products, and so companies have been creating eco-friendly alternatives to these conventional products. Give the menstrual cup or reusable pad a chance.
95. Go for refillable beauty products
Refillable products create less waste and there are refillable versions of so many of your beauty go-to. These eco-friendly products include foundation, perfume, lipstick, eyeshadow palettes, and more.
96. Go makeup-free for one week each month
How about going makeup-free for one week each month? Makeup-free isn't just good for your wallet, skincare, and mood. It’s also great for the environment. Did you know that there are plastics added to cosmetics, too? A report states that microplastics are used to regulate the viscosity of cosmetics, condition the skin, and stabilize emulsions in beauty products.
97. Make your own face cleanser and scrub
Store-bought skincare products are loaded with chemicals. What if you could achieve a radiant glow without harming the environment? You can make a coffee, coconut milk, or chocolate scrub. Play with ingredients or research for some DIY facial scrub ideas.
98. Go for a bamboo toothbrush and then reuse it
Conventional plastic toothbrushes take more than 400 years to decompose. They usually end up in our oceans - to prevent this from happening there are eco-friendly options. Pick a bamboo toothbrush, it will reduce the environmental pollution and plastic waste in our oceans. When it’s time to replace it, reuse it for household cleaning, as a shoe polisher brush, or plant holder.
99. Educate yourself
Educating yourself on what’s happening and how you can make a difference is the first step towards saving the planet. The fact that you are taking time to read this article means you are already open to it, so keep surrounding yourself with information on how to solve this problem. Read about it, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries and follow zero waste and sustainable influencers to help with day-to-day changes. Last but not least don’t forget to support ethical and sustainable brands - it will really make a difference in the world.
100. Share this post
Don’t know where to start? Start by sharing this post - the more people aware of this the better. We need more people taking action to help save the planet. These small changes will add up to a big impact on the environment in the long run.
It’s not easy, but pick a few options, that are doable, and try to be consistent. Remember: small steps, small gestures, consistently, all together, can save the world - are you up for it?
Share in the comments below any other small gestures that can be added to this list.