Did you know that July 11th is World Population Day? The increasing world population poses many threats to the world, including damage to the environment. Days likes these are great reminders of how small, individual changes can have a big impact. There are the obvious options like carpooling and simply recycling plastic bottles but there are even more small things we can all do to help the planet out without changing our lifestyle drastically. (And if you’re not convinced, please Google images of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and see the horror for yourself.)
Save paper scraps
Keeping a folder with “scratch” paper for jotting down phone numbers, making shopping lists or any other quick notes is a good way to use the backs of failed printer copies, junk mail or crafting scraps. In this way, you can use paper to the maximum before reaching for a blank one.
Give old clothes a new purpose
Admit it, you’ve probably got clothes piling up endlessly in your closet from sale after sale. If you decide there are things you just aren’t using, one option is to donate them to charity so someone else can love them. However, if you think some pieces are too beat up, you can use the fabric as rags. In this day and age when “fast fashion” is the norm, try to think about ways you can use them to their full potential instead of buying new clothing aimlessly. You could even give boring tees drastic makeovers with just a pair of scissors.
Image: Autri Tahedi
Opt for a reusable water bottle
Plastic is so harmful to the planet because it takes so long to decompose. Using disposable water bottles creates a great amount of plastic waste that could be avoided altogether with a reusable water bottle. If you have hard water in your area, look into a filter in order to get safe drinking water.
Switch the plastic wrap for tupperware
When taking your lunch on the go, opt for plastic or glass tupperware instead of plastic wrap. Your food will stay just as fresh and you can avoid the needless use of plastic.
Image: Kari Shea
Turn it off
Yes, it’s that simple. Turn the lights off when you leave a room and unplug appliances completely instead of leaving them on standby. A power strip is a good idea to turn many devices off at once.
Avoid plastic bags
Another way to avoid plastic, the dreaded enemy, is to opt for reusable shopping bags. Grocery stores usually have a selection of reusable bags on sale, but a canvas tote of your choosing will probably make for a more chic alternative when shopping.
If you’re interested in making more radical lifestyle changes, the Zero Waste movement is a great philosophy you should look into, as well as going vegan. These require a lot of commitment but they will also help out even more. Even if you’re not doing anything huge, every little bit counts to help out. We may struggle to change our ways, but all of us should be aware of the impact we have on the Earth and do our part, hard as it may be sometimes.