Simple steps to reduce your impact on the environment
In light of the International day of the Environment, we have decided to put some dots on the i´s and provide you with the answer to the first question that new-bees of the sustainable world make: How do I start reducing my impact?
Simple, one step at a time. The change can be done, for example, by areas of your house. As long as you are trying, every minor change makes a difference, even if it doesn't look like it.
We have summarized the changes we consider most important in each division of your home. So go ahead, embrace your favorites and start changing the world for the better!
If you take a look in your bathroom and observe your beauty products, you will notice that every single one of them is covered by plastic: the shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toners, make-up, toothbrush, creams... You can always recycle them once they are over, but that is for sure nothing compared to actually avoiding the plastic entirely. Additionally, almost every standard beauty product is tested on animals because of the nasty chemicals they entail, implying the suffering and even the death of many before the product enters the market.
So, what to do to reduce your environmental impact? Easy, substitute them for better products! Chemical-free, vegan and/or plastic-free alternatives. In our website you can find many alternatives under the tab “Beauty Products”, including:
- Bamboo toothbrushes
- Solid Deodorants
- Bamboo Cotton Swabs
- Natural Face Masks
- Facial Cleansing Bars
Besides substituting your favorite beauty products, it's very important to start paying attention to the water consumption, especially in the shower. Everyone loves a long shower or bath but they are really not sustainable for the environment since water is a precious limited resource. Fortunately, nowadays there are some really cool tools that make it easier to reduce your impact, save water and your wallet from extra expenses:
- Eco shower heads: these allow you to have a strong steam in the shower whilst using less water.
- Tap Inserts: these allow you to have a strong steam using less water while washing your hands.
- Water Timer: for the dedicated ones, a timer in your shower to warn you when your water usage is getting high and it's time to get out is a great way to save some water.
When it comes to the Kitchen, reducing your trash and modifying a bit your diet are the key ingredients to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. But let's take it by steps. One by one, here is what we recommend:
- Buy a tote bag and never let it go: these are easy to carry and the best way to avoid that single-use plastic or paper bag each time you go shopping.
- Don't use the free plastic bags in the vegetables and fruits section: They are completely unnecessary since the fruits and vegetables already have their own natural protection and you will wash them anyway when you consume them.
- Buy Local: Foreign products travel long distances to reach the shells of your favorite supermarket and doing so causes the release of large amounts of CO2 and greenhouse gases. By buying local products you decrease the demand for foreign ones, support the economy of your country and allows you to have fresher products in your kitchen.
Avoid packaged goods, go to bulk stores: the less trash we make, the better (specially plastic). So, do your best to avoid it! Find a bulk store nearby, get a few glass or cotton recipients and get the goodies you can without single-use packages.
- Recycle: We know its really hard to avoid trash completely. And what's the second best thing you can do? Recycling it! For extra tips about how to reduce your trash, we definitely recommend you to follow the blog: Trash is for Tossers.
- Reduce your meat consumption: Did you know that the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognize that a well-planned vegan diet contains all the nutrients our bodies need and is suitable for every age and stage of life? But we are not telling you to get full on Vegan mode (unless you want to), only to reduce your consumption of meat. Several researchers have already stated that this is one of the best things you can do to reduce your impact on the environment since the meat industry is one of the most damaging to the environment. This happens because:
- Globally, animal agriculture is responsible for the release of more greenhouse gases than all of the world’s transportation systems combined;
- It takes a very big amount of water to grow and maintain the meat industry: “more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, while producing 1 pound of tofu only requires 244 gallons of water.” (Peta, 2019);
- "Without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife." (The Guardian, 2018).
- Avoid palm oil products or inform yourself and buy sustainably produced ones: Palm oil is the major driver of deforestation for some of the world's most biodiverse forests. Destroying them has terrible environmental consequences due to the loss of habitat of endangered species and the millions of tons of greenhouse gases that are thrown into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. This oil is in nearly everything we consume. It's in close to 50% of the packaged products we find in the supermarket (from pizza to chocolate and even deodorants and toothpaste). Fortunately, a lot of palm oil producers are changing practices towards more sustainable ones. Find out how and who here.
For this, Eco-Warriors, we have already developed a whole post about it. Find out all about consuming and buying sustainable fashion here.
In your home as a whole, it's very important to save energy. By consuming less power, you are reducing the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants and conserving earth's natural resources. Besides, avoiding the over-use of water the use of nasty chemicals in your home are also great ways to contribute to Earth´s preservation and reduce the impact on environment! Here are some tips and tricks to do so:
- Make washing machines at a low temperature: Your clothes will still be very well cleaned, we promise!
- Avoid drying machines: Do you know what´s the best natural drying machine in the world? The Sun! During sunny months, hang your clothes and let them dry naturally. Within a day they will be dry and ready to use.
- Put-off unnecessary lights and other appliances when they are not needed: An easy habit that will save you lots of money and energy at the end of the month.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs: These last longer and save energy!
- Avoid air sprays: Most of the air sprays contain chemicals that are harmful for the environment. Use candles instead - they are eco-friendly and provide a great room environment!
- Choose eco-friendly cleaners: Many household products contain harmful chemicals that are dangerous for your health and the environment. Fortunately, nowadays there are a lot of very good sustainable alternatives such as the Pure Castille Soap!
As you can see, Eco-Warriors it's all a matter of changing your habits since there is a lot you can do. Now, let's change the world from home? :)
- Carrington, D. (2018). Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth [Accessed 27 May 2019].
- PETA. (2019). Meat and the Environment | PETA. [online] Available at: https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/meat-environment/ [Accessed 27 May 2019].