We all know that our current use of unsustainable products and materials like plastic are filling up our landfills at a crazy rate - and we know something has to change. But what? While the problem seems vast, as always, the solutions can be much simpler when we think in terms of our own lives. It’s important to emphasize the control we can take on a personal level rather than becoming overwhelming at a global scale and doing nothing as a result.
We can start by simply making better decisions and being more aware about what we use and what we throw away. Going green not only helps your pocket, but it also helps your health, the health of the future generations, other species and the planet itself. Here’s five easy ways to reduce our waste and become more environmentally friendly:
Replace plastic with glass
Plastic is so common. Cups, bottles, toys, home appliances, bags, accessories, everything. But plastic is so, so toxic for our planet. It takes 1000 years for plastic to decompose once we throw it in the trash. We still aren’t taking recycling this material seriously, and this means it is left for our soil to hold on to it for 10 centuries. Instead of plastic bags, use cloth bags. Instead of plastic bottles, choose glass bottles. Try to reduce the use of plastic in your everyday life as much as possible. This material is a bigger problem to our planet than we can grasp at the moment.
Choose reusable instead of disposable menstrual products
More than 2 billion women in the world menstruate at any given time. This means tampons and pads are being used and thrown in the trash every day. They’re known to be one of the biggest cloggers on our landfills. It takes more than 100 years for a tampon to decompose (it’s not just cotton, there’s adhesives, bleach, all kinds of toxins to help it absorb). It’s not different with disposable pads, either. A sanitary pad can take up to 800 years to decompose. Scary, right?
Instead of using disposable tampons and pads, switch to a menstrual cup or cloth pads. They’re not only better for the environment, but they’re also better for you. Unlike the traditional period products, menstrual cups and cloth pads are toxin-free.
Reduce the use of paper
Producing paper means cutting trees, cutting trees means killing the lungs of the planet and the production of oxygen, ultimately meaning we’re killing ourselves as we’re killing mother nature. You can easily reduce the paper production if you give away your old books for recycling and reduce the purchase of paper. E-books, not printing every document in your company, we live in a digital age where we often can’t remember when was the last time we held a pen, anyway!
Get just as much as you need
As consumers to the local or global market, we buy and buy and buy and the market keeps producing and producing. This costs us water, power, materials like paper, plastic, anything you can imagine. Buy the things that you need, and hold on to them while they’re still serving you. Try to recycle as much as you can from the possessions you don’t need, and if you want to get rid of something that isn’t functioning, don’t throw it in the trash straight away - see if you can recycle it, donate it, or give it a new life somehow.
Start using cloth shopping bags
Speaking of being consumers, we're so used to heading to the grocery store and grabbing those plastic bags to take our fruit and veggies on the go, that we can forget one of the simplest ways to make a big impact - bringing our own reusable bag to shop with! This is simply a matter of getting yourself a sturdy (and cute!) cloth bag, and developing the habit of grabbing it to take with you to the store. One easy trick to is to keep a couple in your car with you so you've always got one with you when it's needed! Our cloth bags have reinforced super durable straps that are perfect for this job!
Teach young people to nurture nature
Nature doesn’t always go VS nurture, sometimes, nature needs nurture, too. The habits of being loving and nurturing to your environment often come to us when we’re young. It is our responsibility to teach young people how to take care of the environment and why. Children learn by models, and we should make sure that we’re the right models to learn from.
It may seem like a daunting task, but when we all do our own small part to reduce waste in our lives, we really do make a difference. So come on, rebels! Let’s stop wasting - and start making a difference for ourselves, and our planet!