Eco friendly practices don’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Learn about these 5 easy ways to be a more conscious consumer!
Let’s face it, we as humans have done quite a number on our dear Mother Earth. She’s done nothing but treat us well and provide us with precious resources, and we’ve re-payed her with nothing but landfills, oceanic garbage patches, and global warming, oh my!
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like we have GOT to do better! Unless we want future generations to have to walk around in hazmat suits just to navigate daily life we are going to need to each do our part to restore the ecological balance that we been tampering with for far too long.
These five eco friendly practices that are easy to do will contribute to the health of our planet and in turn, the health of both you and me.
1. Shop Your Own Block
Shopping at your local farmers’ market is a simple way to not only help the environment but also keep your dollar within your local community. Not buying products shipped from far away means cutting down on waste from packaging and pollution from transportation.
Locally grown products are often pesticide free, which means less pollutants that are emitted into the air and getting infused into the products that you are consuming. Local produce is often sold at peak freshness which means that as the consumer you are receiving maximum nutrients. Shopping local also encourages food safety as it passes through less hands prior to reaching the end consumer which means less opportunity for contamination.
Curbed Chicago compiled a great reference guide to local markets so check it out to find the farmer’s market nearest to you. Local foods = the best foods!
2. Say Peace-out to Plastic
Let’s talk about how plastic is the pits. Many of the chemicals found in plastic can affect your brain, your hormone production, and can even contribute to cancer. In a study conducted by the CDC it was found that 93% of people in the U.S. tested positive for BPA which is a harmful chemical that can be found in plastic. Eek!
Only 9% of plastic made has likely been recycled and a whopping 79% of plastic finds it’s way into landfills or into the environment. It’s reported that one million seabirds and 100,000 sea animals die every year from plastic pollution.
A great alternative for food storage is glass. Glass containers don’t possess any manufactured chemicals that can seep into your food creating a potentially harmful situation simply based upon how you store your PB&J when you take your lunch to work. Here are a couple of other eco friendly alternatives to plastic for storing food, and travel necessities.
- Stasher bags that are available in a number of different colors and sizes.
- Re-Zip stand up reusable storage bags also available in varied sizes to suit your varying needs.
- Metal or glass straws like theses from Simply Straws.
It can take up to 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose and in a lot of places they can’t be recycled. Instead of using a plastic straw opt for no straw or frequent places that offer reusable metal straws.
3. Go Green When You Clean
The majority of household cleaning products contain a number of hazardous chemicals and additives that may do a number on dirt and grime but also do a number on the air we breathe, the water in our oceans and the bodies of our loved ones.
Using natural or more eco-friendly products cuts down on toxic waste, pollution, and eliminates our exposure to hazardous materials that can lend a hand in promoting a number of health issues or illnesses. Using products that are labeled as “green” like Mrs.Meyer’s or Citrasolv where the first ingredient is the liquid extract from an orange peel, even helps to minimize the effects that harmful cleaners have on climate change.
4. Search For Your Favorite Cat Vids Using Ecosia.org
Coming across this search engine was a total game changer for us! For every search you complete using Ecosia.org a TREE is planted somewhere in the world where it is needed the most.
It works just like any other search engine except the difference is that the ad dollars that the search engine generates for the company is used to plant trees. How amazing is that?? You can literally contribute to saving the earth from the comfort of your computer screen. Every search removes 1 kg (about 35oz) of CO2 from the air. Using this search engine is basically the easiest way ever to become a bit more eco conscious.
5. Turn Off the Lights
One super effortless way to reduce your carbon footprint is by simply turning the lights off or turning the electronics off and conserving some energy. By doing this you may even start to notice some savings in your energy bill which makes for a healthy wallet.
Use the extra cash for some well deserved self care or use the time you aren’t spending glued to a screen to take a walk outside and enjoy some of the earth’s natural beauty that we are working so hard to preserve.
All in all, these are only a few suggestions of quick easy ways to be a little bit more conscious of the impact we have on the environment.
There is so much more beyond this list that we can be doing to reduce our carbon footprint but we’re in good shape if everyone just makes a commitment to start small. Best of luck in your eco adventures and we hope to see you back soon!
Looking for a recipe? Try these eco-friendly, and delicious pumpkin chickpea blondies!
More about Alicia
Alicia “Chacha” Miller is a 30-something ex Sales Director in fashion that is now on a quest as an #RDtobe! She attended Howard University for undergrad and is getting her Master’s in nutrition at USC (#GoTrojans). Alicia and her husband recently had their first baby girl, Reign, and couldn’t be more in love with her!
They also have two pups and we recently moved to Chicago from Columbus, OH. Alicia is originally from LA, loves boxing, and is obsessed with Jeni’s ice cream. Her first language was Spanish, and her dream vacay is Thailand.