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Words By: Tanya Cramp
“Going green” sounds great but is it really possible to do in everyday, modern life? The short answer - yes. Read on to get information about how daily habits impact the environment and learn how to make lifestyle changes and embrace the power of green.
The concept of “going green” can be interpreted in many different ways. To us, it means making a deliberate lifestyle shift and prioritizing care for the planet over convenience. And because regulations and big business practices have a while to go, there are things you can do at home that feel small but make a positive impact on reducing your environmental footprint.
See below for some of the biggest threats to our environment and actions you can take to make a difference.
The food choices we make every day impact the environment. Going beyond frequently-debated examples such as plastic water bottles and straws, what we are eating also contributes to environmental issues - specifically, the consumption of meat and organic farming. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock is responsible for 18% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. It also takes more than 1,500 gallons of water to make 1 pound of beef, adding to the resources needed to support meat production. Having better alternatives in food practices such as organic farming helps, but there is still plenty of work to be done in the agricultural industry as a whole to help cut down on this resource consumption.
Be deliberate in your food consumption choices with these tips:
Yes, we are going to talk about plastic. Why? Plastic packaging accounts for about half of the plastic waste in the world and only 9 percent of the world’s plastic produced (estimated at nine billion tons) has been recycled. Most end up in landfills and in the environment. To add to this - 40 percent of the demand for plastic comes from single-use plastic products. Single-use (disposable) plastics are designed to be used once before being thrown away or recycled and can be anything from the cup, lid, and straw for your iced coffee, to the plastic container your vegetables come in. This means almost half of plastic is designed to be thrown away with no way to reuse or recycle the material.
We eat to live and live to eat - here are small ways to be thoughtful as you shop and dine:
Related to single-use plastic in food consumption, plastic materials designed for “one-time-use” are lurking in all corners of our homes. From our toothbrushes to shampoo bottles to paper towels, this “use and throw away” approach has become second nature and can be an intimidating habit to break. Luckily, there are many eco-friendly alternatives to reduce waste.
Take a look around your home and see if there are plastic or one-time-use items that you could replace for a reusable option. Below are a few common household items to start with:
Knowledge is power but action changes the world. Comment with other ways you’re shrinking your environmental footprint below.