We human beings are creatures of habit and Mother Earth is giving us serious feedback that our current behavior and habits are not sustainable. Below is the start of a list of 100 things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and Heal the Planet. Will you help us reach 100? In the comments please leave ideas about how YOU help to heal the planet!
1) CONSERVE WATER
In the US we waste approximately 1.8 billion gallons of water daily by leaving the water running while we brush our teeth!
Suggestion: Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Each time you choose to turn off the tap you save 3-5 gallons of this precious commodity. That’s approximately 200 gallons of water per month and 2,400 gallons annually per person.
2) LESSEN FOOD WASTE
Did you know that 30% of all food is thrown away in the garbage. This causes more harm to our ozone layer than fossil fuels.
Suggestion: Utilize mindfulness when making, ordering, and planning your meals. Take leftovers home and eat them before they spoil.
3) MINIMIZE OUR USE OF FOSSIL FUELS
On average, food travels 2,500 miles from farm to plate. That’s a whole lot of fuel being used to transport a commodity that can be grown in our own backyards!
Suggestion: Look for food grown locally or grown your own.
4) REDUCE YOUR USE OF PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES
Approximately 50 million plastic water bottles are thrown away in the US daily.
Suggestion: Use a glass refillable water bottle instead.
5) JUST SAY NO TO PLASTIC STRAWS!
FACTS: Did you know we use/waste over 500 million straws each day–enough disposable straws to fill over 46,400 large school buses per year?!
Suggestion: Only accept a straw if you REALLY want one and be conscious about your straw use.
6) CHOOSE TO REUSE RATHER THAN ACCEPTING PAPER OR PLASTIC BAGS
Over one million plastic bags are used every minute!!! Yes, every minute!
Suggestion: Get a reuseable shopping bag to use over and over again. If you use a paper or plastic bag save it and use it until it’s no longer useable and then recycle it.
7) GET YOURSELF A BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH!
Plastic toothbrushes are often just tossed out, and can end up in the ocean causing harm to marine life.
Suggestion: Consult your dentist and see if a switch to bamboo is right for you! These compostable toothbrushes leave almost no trace behind, are naturally anti-bacterial and are inexpensive. Get yours here.
Often the products we consume are not made sustainably, and sometimes with ingredients that are not the best for our health. Additionally, a lot of items we throw out, can be reused.
Doing it yourself can be pretty fun and save you some money in the process.
Suggestion: Have some old shirts that are a little too worn out to wear? Try turning that into a rag! Here is a link for some great eco friendly DIYs, give your old items new life!
Making your own body scrubs and toothpaste are also great ways to cut back on plastic, and there are some excellent zero waste tutorials on YouTube.
9) SHOP AT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS MARKET
Food will often travel long distances to make it to our grocery stores, by shopping local, you are reducing the demand for shipped produce, and increasing the demand for local produce.
Suggestion: Not only do you know where your produce is coming from, it’s also an excellent way to support local farmers, and discover new products.
10) REDUCE YOUR ELECTRONIC WASTE (PART 1)
We are constantly upgrading and disposing of old technology as we replace it with the new. This is a huge issue for our environment and health, as toxins from these electronic items leak into the soil and water and can have harmful effects.
If you can, invest in the best quality products, so that they last longer. And think of saying no to upgrades that you don’t need.
11) REDUCE YOUR ELECTRONIC WASTE (PART 2)
Waste disposal is tricky and sometimes is can be confusing to know how to properly dispose of waste. As mentioned above, electronics are often disposed of improperly.
Suggestion: Make sure your old electronics get recycled. Look up local electronic recycling programs. Your county should probably have an option for you. You can also go to your local Best Buy and they will most likely have a recycling center available for you to drop off your old electronics.
12) BUY USED BOOKS. OR READ AN E-BOOK!
3.5 -7 BILLION trees are cut down each year according to the Rainforest Action Network. A huge percentage of the trees that are cut down are used to produce paper goods.
Suggestion: Buy used books from a local bookstore. If there is no local bookstore you can try thriftbooks.com, an online store for used books. And if you want to make sure you are contributing the success of your favorite author, ebooks are also a great way to save money and paper.
Looking for even more ways to help reduce your carbon footprint and Heal the Planet? Check out ways you can get involved with Heal the Planet here!
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”
– Robert Swan