Over the past year I’ve grown more and more interested in how we help our environment. If you’ve ever tried doing this, you may have encountered the “overwhelming sense of doom” that I did. How can we SAVE OUR PLANET when really it’s the big corporations and terrible presidents who are screwing mother nature to help their bottom line. Its in their ball park.
Then I discovered a few bloggers that showed me how much we as individuals can do to help the environment more so than just using our own shopping bags at the grocery store and reusable water bottles. Here’s just a few less obvious ways that you can reduce waste, and therefore your impact on the environment:
Tea Lovers Tip: Buy Loose Leaf!
I didn’t say these have to be big changes, did I? My favorite place to buy tea is from Westholme Tea Farm, because their tea is loose leaf, and you can get it in a tin. This means you are creating virtually zero waste if you use a metal infuser to steep the tea in, and put it in the compost afterwards.
But wait! It gets better. When you return to the Tea Farm location, they will refill your tins at a discount. So you end up saving money, and are reusing the same packaging. Although we don’t all have a handy dandy Tea Farm at our disposal, you can order from them online, or find another loose leaf tea option (like David’s Tea, etc.) that doesn’t all use plastic and cardboard in their packaging.
Shop Second Hand
I talk about this pretty thoroughly in another related blog post that I wrote, but this one just make sense to include!
“If one million women bought their next item of clothing second hand instead of new, we would save 6 million kg of carbon pollution from entering the atmosphere” – 1 Million Women Campaign
The facts are there. The average person in American creates about 82 pounds of clothing waste each year… a scary statistic indeed. That’s why I’ve made it my goal to try to shop more second hand. Sure, you may not be able to buy up the latest trends the week that they come out, but you do have a chance to find pieces that will last and you’ll love for years to come.
Say No to the Straw
I feel like this is the step that comes after bringing your own mug to your favorite coffee shop. When you’re out for lunch, or for drinks, all you have to say is “no straw please”. Yes, you may feel like an inconvenient weirdo, but when 8 million tons of plastic trash goes into the ocean each year, it’s a consequence I am totally okay with.
Tip for the Ladies
To all the male readers out there, I’m sorry if you get the heebie jeebees when it comes to period talk, but this tip is too good to leave out (and you will live). When it comes to our monthly cycles, if you really think about it, tampons and pads use a LOT of plastic and packaging in general. Average tampons have the box that they come in, the plastic that they are individually wrapped in, the plastic applicator, and the actual cotton part… all of which usually ends up in the trash. Types like OB are slightly better, but you get the idea.
This waste can be pretty much eliminated if you opt for a menstrual cup option like the Diva Cup or Lunette. After doing my own research, there’s honestly a ton of other reasons why this option is better than disposable tampons besides the obvious environment one anyways, so why not make the switch?
While none of these tips will miraculously convince Donald Trump that climate change isn’t a conspiracy invented by China, they are important nonetheless. If our society slowly stopped needing single use materials in their day to day lives as a norm, think of where we’d be! If you try any of these tips, feel free to let me know what you think. Change is scary, but we got this!