I speak to people all the time who are shocked by how much effort I put into being more sustainable. I tell my mum about how I rinse my bottles and use the correct bins and she looks exhausted just hearing about it. Once upon a time it seemed simple; recycle and take shorter showers. But the truth is, it was never that easy, we were just ignorant to the damage we were doing to the planet. Here are 5 ways to be more sustainable without having to skip on the shower time.
Eat less meat
It is a shock to most people that eating meat has a negative impact on the environment but unfortunately, it’s the hard truth. The best thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to become a vegan. Now, I’m not suggesting you do that, just simply cut back. Especially on your red meat consumption. Methane gas is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and it is emitted when cows pass gas. You can reduce your carbon footprint by 25% just by cutting down on red meats such as lamb and beef.
If you live in a large city, then you probably already catch public transport to work every day because it’s the best option. However, if you’re in a more regional area where public transport only comes once an hour or stops running at 4:00PM, then you’re probably less inclined. That doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to hang up the keys. If you carpool with friends and family when heading out, you can be more sustainable and enjoy a few drinks. If you have colleagues that live in the same neighbourhood, take turns carpooling. If something is in walking distance, make the conscious effort not to drive.
Reduce your waste
Take a look around your house and look for changes you could make to reduce your contribution to landfill:
- Stop wasting food. Buy as you go or meal prep to avoid throwing food away
- Create a compost for your fruit and vegetable scraps
- Avoid buying things in unnecessary packaging
- Make more food from scratch – you’ll buy less plastic and everything will taste better (hopefully)
- Say no to plastic straws. We all know paper straws are disgusting so if you’re a ‘vodka soda’ kinda gal or guy, purchase a reusable straw and carry it around
- Buy reusable produce bags – I got mine on Ebay for $7
We’re told time and time again but how many of us actually do it? I’m not just talking about throwing your water bottle in the recycling bin when you’re at the beach. Buy two bins for inside your house to it’s easy to separate your rubbish. Do your research on what can and can’t be recycled. If office life has taught me anything it’s that most people don’t know what goes in what bin. Make sure that you clean out all containers before putting them in the recycling bin as contaminated rubbish will just go to landfill and your efforts will be wasted. Visit Planet Ark for details about recycling in your city.
Buy recycled and Organic products
I know sometimes recycled items might cost more but if we continue to purchase them, demand will increase competition and drive the price down, economics 101. Support companies that take the initiative to produce products using recycled materials, they are the future. Buy organic products that are free from harsh chemicals. Not only will it reduce pollution you’ll protect yourself from the unknown impacts it could have on your health.
Living a more sustainable life is easy if you just take it one step at a time. The Government has forced you to use reusable bags, now the rest is up to you!