Small Steps You Can Make to Change the World Everyday
Every movement starts with just a step.
Even the biggest, like the Meatless Monday movement which is now being upheld globally in over 40 countries. But it wouldn’t have had as much of an impact as it has if every single person didn’t make the conscious decision to change something about their every day. So what’s your excuse?
It’s easy to feel tiny in this vast world we live in, but every action that we make truly does make an impact! The bad ones, yes, but the good ones too! Counteract your carbon footprint by implementing these small changes into your daily routine.
Use Reusable Bags
The amount of plastic bags we accumulate from all our weekly grocery store trips is daunting (I know you have that designated bag cabinet in your home— we all do.) Not only is it estimated to take between 15 and 1,000 years for the average plastic bag to decompose, but up to 1 million birds, 100,000 turtles and many other sea animals die annually from taking in plastic bags. If by simply using a durable, cost effective bag will do the trick in minimizing your eco damage, what are you waiting for?!
Tip: Keep your reusable bag in your passenger seat so you never forget to bring it on an errand run!
Refuse your straws
Many cities across the country, from Seattle to Miami, have taken a stand on plastic pollution and have banned plastic straws from restaurants, delis, and vendors, even holding violators subject to fines of $250 and upward. While this initiative is awesome, there are still many cities that have yet to take heed. So if you’re in one of these cities, and are offered a plastic straw while out and about, make the choice to say no.
Tip: If you’re a bit on the OCD side and can’t wrap your head around going mouth to mouth with the glass itself, try bringing your own drink when you go out to eat. Having your own eco friendly drink container is SUPER convenient, and ends up helping you minimize your plastic bottle usage, so it’s a double win.
Pick up trash when you see it
Beach clean ups are fun, and an effective way to get the earth a little more clean and your legs a little more toned. However, not everyone lives by the beach (or is willing and able to get up at 7AM to actually get to one.) But if you happen to be walking along a side walk and see an abandoned water bottle or two, take the initiative to recycle it!
Tip: Confirm whether or not you live in a town that encourages to unscrew the bottle cap from the water bottle and recycle it separately!
Take shorter showers
I’m the first to admit that there’s nothing better than curating a good shower playlist. But the amount of water being wasted while you’re using the shower head as a prop for your Pocketful of Sunshine performance just isn’t worth it. The average American utilizes about 70 gallons of water daily, which adds up to upwards of 25,000 gallons per year. If you shorten your shower by just 2 minutes, you can cut your water use by 10 gallons. How’s that for an environmental impact?
Tip: Set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes and race against yourself to get your shower done before time runs out. It gives a fun, competitive edge to the process, and will probably encourage you to have a more intense and effective shower.
Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth
And while we’re on the subject of water conservation, something I’ve found myself doing one too many times is letting the faucet run while I’m brushing my teeth. Whether I’m having a mouthful of toothpaste conversation with my roommate or just analyzing the constellation of pimples on my face in the mirror, the amount of water going down the drain in the meantime is truly disheartening.
Tip: A way to ensure you don’t leave the faucet on while you’re brushing your teeth is to walk away from the sink! Wet your brush, turn the faucet off, and maybe do a lap around your room or kitchen while you’re brushing.
Go meatless one day a week
Taking out meat from your eating regime for just one day a week does unthinkable things for our environment, from energy conservation to a significant decrease in gas emissions. And if you’re already participating in the global meatless Monday, give yourself the challenge of going meatless two days a week! The only thing better than saving the world through your diet is doubling the impact.
Tip: Craving some meat on your designated plant based day? Check out recipes like *these* for some delicious alternatives! https://cookieandkate.com/2016/24-meatless-recipes-that-carnivores-love/
Carpool or walk when you have the option
Burning one gallon of gas generates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, with the average car emitting about six tons of carbon dioxide every year. It’s kind of a no brainer that choices like carpooling and opting for a bike ride or walk to your destination do wonders for our planet. A bonus is that you’ll get your daily steps in, and what’s better than a healthier earth and firm calves?!
Tip: If you’re a student who lives on your college campus, aim to leave for class 20 minutes early so that’ll you’ll be able to walk there! And if you’re a commuter, make friends with another commuter near you and set up a carpool schedule.