The honest truth is, most of us aren’t very informed about our environmental impact. We tend to go through most of life without anyone ever giving us the real facts about the consequences of our actions with our one most important resource: the planet. It just isn’t typically a conversation that we have or hear from our government, teachers, bosses, friends, or family members, but the truth is, it’s one that all of us need to be talking about. It may be convenient right now not to have to think about it, but in just a few years and generations, it’s going to matter. I don’t say any of this to be discouraging or to reprimand anyone, but simply to spread awareness and start the conversation that there are very real and easy ways for us to make a difference together. One of the biggest avenues to helping our gorgeous planet is reducing our waste and being more conscious of our consumption.
Could you imagine if we all did these few very simple things to help out our planet? It doesn’t require a total lifestyle change or an overhaul of stuff and ideas. It’s beautiful because it is so simple. Here are some tips that could go a long way:
- Use up all of what you have. How often do we get bored or tired of something we have and either get rid of it when it’s still perfectly usable or buy a new one that we aren’t bored of yet? What happens to that thing we threw away or that’s just taking up space? It isn’t being used and therefore it’s creating unnecessary waste. Simultaneously, we’re telling companies that create these things to keep making an overabundance of things we don’t need which also contributes to a ton of unneeded waste. By using the things we have, we are being mindful of what we own, saving money, respecting the objects we have, and creating less waste overall. This goes with things like beauty and hygiene products, make up, and even things in the kitchen like food. Food waste is really unfortunate in general, and it’s totally avoidable. My advice? Try not to let things go bad, prioritize eating those things first, and then when you go to the store the next time, try to buy only what you need or know you will eat before it has to get thrown out. I know life is hectic; I’m still working on all of these tips. But, I think it is a huge step in the right direction and could make a big difference. Not to mention, it’s a great way to save money!
- Buy reusable products to replace the ones you normally use. Once you use up the items you have, instead of buying more of something that will create more waste, opt for a more sustainable option such as reusable paper towels, a stainless steel safety razor, and items that generally contain less plastic. You can also invest in reusable produce bags (I got mine on Amazon), reusable water bottles and straws, and more fresh food that contains less packaging. There are lots of companies that are realizing the need for a more sustainable form of consumerism, so another thing you can do is be mindful of the companies you’re buying from. Maybe instead of buying toothpaste from one of the popular name brands, find one you like from a company that uses natural products and is conscious of their carbon footprint. Online stores like EcoCollective and tons of others have products that use less plastic and are created ethically and more naturally with the consumer and planet in mind.
- Try not to buy things unless you really need them. People are starting to become more and more aware of the issue of fast fashion. If you don’t know anything about it, go watch the documentary, “The True Cost.” Fast fashion is really toxic to our world in so many ways. It’s terrible for the workers who make the clothing. The factories create a lot of pollution, and it’s also encouraging a harmful mindset for the consumers. People think they need fast fashion to survive, to be cool, to make them happy, and it’s not just with fashion. People are less satisfied with the things they do own and use, buying things as a way to increase their self esteem. By buying clothes and other products intentionally and from ethically made brands, we can appreciate what we own, protect other humans from the harsh and unfair working environments that we demand through constantly purchasing new and unnecessary items, and we can help our planet a little more by creating less garbage to fill it up with.
That’s all I’m going to say for today. I’ve got a lot more ideas on how to live in a more sustainable way, but even just making these simple changes could go so far. If you want to hear more or if you’ve got other ideas for how to live more sustainably, tell me in the comments! Let’s make the world a better place.