It’s easy to think that one person cannot make a difference. The truth is, each and every one of us has the power to make change. The little things we don’t think make a big difference can actually have a big impact on the world around us. These are easy tips that everyone can and should incorporate into their daily routines to lessen our impact on the environment every day. Spend the rest of this month focusing on your daily lunch with these starter tips.
Reduce Plastic Use
Our planet is literally being suffocated by plastic pollution. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces are covered in plastic pollution. 40 percent. This garbage kills wildlife and is completely preventable. Bring your own fork and knife- Keep a fork, knife and spoon in your desk at work. Don’t have a desk?
Bet you have space in your locker. It may sound yucky to keep your own utensils in your desk but they are washable! Don’t want to borrow from your set at home? Stop by your local resale shop and pick up a set for less than $1. Don’t forget, metal utensils are non-porous, meaning they cannot absorb outside substances. So if you are having a germaphobe moment, calm down and wash those babies in hot water and soap. This makes an environmental impact but it’s also convenient: you will be prepared for whatever lunch comes your way! Make a commitment not to use plastic utensils.
Bring Your Own Water Bottles and Coffee Cups
This one goes out to all you coffee shop junkies. If you go to the coffee shop every morning before work, you need to do this. It may not seem like much but every day, your disposable cup, lid and sometimes straw goes straight into a landfill. First of all, you will be reducing waste. Secondly, your drink will stay hot/cold for a long time. Thirdly, you may get discounts and FREE drinks from time to time! Many coffee shops give discounts to customers who have reusable cups. When you are traveling having your own refillable cup can save you money! If you are on a road trip, nearly every fast food or gas station will allow you to fill up your cup with FREE ice and water. The best time to have your own cup is at the airport. You can choose to pay upwards of $5 for a tiny, polluting bottle of water or fill up your large, personal cup for FREE- as many times as you want. More and more airports are installing water bottle filling stations, so you can skip the rusty old water fountain all together.
Get a reusable straw
Plastic straws are probably one of the worst offenders when it comes to pollution. It seems unfair that such a tiny, unnecessary item is polluting our beaches and hurting wildlife at such an alarming rate. According to Ban The Bag, more than 500 million plastic straws are used daily in the US alone. The great news is that there are tons of different options for reusable straws. They come in glass, stainless steel and even biodegradable paper. When you go out to dinner, politely ask your waiter NOT to bring you a straw. Bring your own lunch to work and cook more meals at home- Less take out means less pollution. Not to mention you will save loads of money and could even become healthier! Challenge yourself to two weeks of lunches from home. Once you get that routine down, start to branch out! You will see that it’s easy to reduce your personal waste every day.
Read your labels
What is in that product? Yuck! Overdoing unnecessary chemicals makes everything from house cleaning to skin care products cheaper to produce; but at what cost? Not only could you be polluting your body, you could be polluting the earth. Support companies that embrace sustainability!
Donate Your Clothes
Did you know that Americans put 14.3 million tons of textile waste into landfills every year? That is crazy, considering that clothing can either be reused by others or recycled and turned into other things. When it’s time to let your sweater go, make sure your first stop is the resale shop.
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