10 EASY Long-term Changes to Make this Earth Day

Posted on by Andrija Barker

Sustainability: (v)
the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level AND avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.

Today, let's focus on ways we can be more eco-conscious that will not only benefit the planet long term, but something you can actually keep up, long term. Thus, satisfying both forms of sustainability!

First, let's acknowledge that sustainability is not one-size fits all. Certain conveniences assist individuals with disabilities and it's important these items still exist and are accessible for those that need them.

Okay, let's begin!

1. Stop Using Plastic Straws

If you don't need one - don't use one. Here's why 

Be sure to request off the bat from whoever is serving. It's possible even without you unwrapping the straw if it's left on your table, it may get thrown away.

But if you really really like them - that's okay, you've got some reusable options:

    2. Exfoliate Naturally

    Giving your skin a good scrub is always a treat - unless it's made up of microbeads or microplastics. These tiny beads have historically been incorporated into face wash and toothpaste to provide an exfoliating benefit. But as you can guess, this benefit is to the earth's detriment. They are far too small to be filtered and when in rivers or oceans they look like delicious food to sea creatures. This unfortunately does not always pass through their system. 

    Check out this list of the best micro-bead free exfoliators for alternatives.

    3. Dry Your Hands the Joe Smith Way

    1. Shake 2. Fold - watch this video and you'll understand.

    4. Celebrate Meatless Mondays

    For those of you celebrating meatless everydays, we applaud you! But for those that haven't gone full vegetarian, try out meatless Mondays. Cows are particularly bad culprits, explained more here. So, decreasing your meat consumption on Mondays, or even more than Mondays, can help ease your carbon footprint. 

    5. Sniff Test

    Are you 100% positive that needs to be washed? Maybe think twice before throwing that sweater in the wash (that never leaves the house anyways). 

    6. When it Comes Time, Cold Water Laundry 

    Reduce energy use in heating up the water for your laundry. Your clothes will also thank you for the switch to cold water laundry! Bonus points: hang dry them after! 

    7. Green Wrapping

    Gifts are the best - but we can all agree it's what inside that really matters. So if you really must, be sure to wrap responsibly. Here's a few ideas to get the ball rolling:

    • Old newspapers
    • Mason jars 
    • Baskets
    • Fabric scraps
    • Old calendars

     

    8. Google it First

    So this sounds really lame, but this is the best resource available and it is at our fingertips! So why not do a little research before purchasing or doing something. Is _____ (fill in the blank) bad for the environment? Boom - you've got answers!

    9. Buy it in Bulk

    Dry goods are readily available in your grocery store in individually stored packages - but in the bulk section the same item can be available for you to purchase as much or as little as you want. Brownie points to those buying in bulk that reuse the bulk bags! 

     

    10. Go LED

    For the times when your lightbulbs burn out, have a box of LED lights on hand. Why LEDs? They last longer, utilize less energy to run, are made with less toxic materials, we could go on. Find out more here


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