In an attempt to help myself become more aware of what little changes I can make in order to my part I spent a good deal of time researching- Googling, listening to Podcasts, reading articles, listening to audiobooks, educating myself. And now I want to share some of what I have learned with you, because what is the point of knowing all this and not sharing it?
Here are a few, simple ways you can help our planet out, give it a bit of a helping hand if you will.
- Don't shy away from talking about this important topic.
Perhaps one of the most important points that I want you to take away from this post- we need to talk about this, we need to talk about the impact the things we are doing are having on our planet. We need to talk to other people, educate them on how they can help to preserve our world for our future generations.
- Think about your laundry habits.
Do you have a dryer? Do you use it regularly? Why not switch out the energy consuming dryer in favour of the good old fashioned clothesline? Before you use the dryer, also take a look at how you are using your washer, avoid doing half loads and turn that temperature over to the cold side.
- Reserve baths for special "self-care" times.
A bath will use approximately two times the amount of water than if you were to have a bath. Not only will you be saving water, but you'll also be saving yourself money on your water bill (which we all know is expensive enough!). Don't forget to also limit the amount of time that you spend with the water running over your body (and down the drain!).
- Don't forget your reusable bags when you go to the supermarkets.
Australia is getting pretty good at this one since we banned the use of single-use plastic bags, but sometimes we still forget. Taking your own bags on your weekly shop means you have the bags from the moment you walk in the store, meaning you can cut back on other single-use plastic such as the bags you put your veggies in!
- Invest in a reusable water bottle.
As humans, we are terrible at recycling. Around 90% of the plastic bottles once holding your water are left to decompose in landfill rather than being recycled. There are so many different shapes, styles and colors of water bottles you can buy and fill up time and time again.
- If it's within walking distance- get your sneakers on!
Cutting back on the number of times you use your car will not only decrease the kilometers that clock up on your car and save you money on the ever-rising fuel costs, but it will also reduce the number of greenhouse gases emitted into this world.
- Make a conscious effort to reduce food wastage.
According to research, Australians throw out approximately $8 billion worth of edible food every year- $8 BILLION!!!! Here are a few ways you can throw out a little less good food:
- plan out what you need before you get to the store- go in with a clear list and idea of what you need and avoid buying things you think you need but don't really.
- Make a list of what is in your cupboards/refrigerator and work out how you can use them in your cooking for the week.
- Donate any unwanted or unused food to food kitchens, if you aren't going to eat it, someone in need is willing to.
- Compost! So many people scrunch their nose up at the word compost, but how good is recycling those nutrients we can't give ourselves back into our planet?
I am a big fan of cruise control (but I think that could also be laziness on my behalf?), but did you know that cruising along can help improve the distance of your tank of fuel by almost 15%! Fewer emissions, less money to come out of your pocket, less impact on the environment.
When you purchase food that has traveled hundreds of kilometers from its origin to your dinner plate consider how much pollution has been created in order for it to end up in your mouth. By purchasing local produce you are not only supporting your community, our local farmers, you are also playing your part in reducing pollution.
They're all the rage at the moment- they come in lots of fancy colours, pretty designs, and various sizes. Carrying your keep up with you can not only keep your warm beverage warmer for longer, but it can also earn you a discount at your local cafe and you'll be happy knowing that you are not increasing the amount of single-use coffee cups that end up in a landfill.
Charity op shops and thrift stores are not only good for picking up a bargain, but they also mean that you are reducing the amount of packaging you are throwing out. It is not hard to find exactly what you want, just second hand and in perfect condition.
Leaving the room? Flick the light switch on your way out. While you are thinking about your lights- what kind of light globes are you using? Next time you need to do a changeover opt for an energy-wise light globe, they are right next to the normal ones in the aisle!
Here are a few things that can be recycled:
- paper products: any junk mail, magazines, newspapers, office paperwork you don't need.
- tin, aluminum, and aerosol cans.
- empty juice and milk cartons.
- glass bottles and jars if they are green, clear or brown.
- cardboard products.
- all plastic containers (just not their lids!)
- Plastic bags (this includes not recycling actual recyclables in a plastic bag).
- Packaging products such as polystyrene and bubble wrap.
- Dead animals (yes apparently people do that!)
- Takeaway food containers including coffee cups.
- Disposable Nappies.
- Ceramic products, ovenwear, light bulbs.
We all know we roll our eyes when we get our bills in the mail, but now is the time to opt out of receiving paper bills and statements. Most utility and bank services now offer you a "paper-free" option, where you can receive your paperwork electronically.
Here are only 15 ways you can help our planet, there are so many other ways you can give a helping hand. Got some others to add to the list? Add them below so we can all be informed and educated!