5 Easy Ways We Can Reduce Our Impact On The Environment

Most everyone knows the importance of recycling- it’s good for the environment obviously! And why protect the planet? Well, it is the only one we know of so far that has chocolate…

March for Science Boston (2017)

Here are some additional tips I have found that can really help lower your carbon footprint in your day to day life.

REDUCE OR REFUSE SINGLE USE PLASTICS

I had always thought I had been fairly conscious about my plastic habits. I try to get paper over plastic and refuse that little green tab at Starbucks to keep my coffee hot, but after researching more about single use plastics I have come to realize I can do MUCH better than I have. Here is a list of the most common day to day items we can reduce or reuse.

STOP WITH THE STRAWS

Take a look around, there are plastic straws everywhere! They are in your favorite frozen drink,  coffee, tea, juice boxes, pouches and so on. Very convenient yes, but how many of these plastic straws get recycled and reused into something else? According to Ecocycle- Be Straw Free, 500 million straws are used in ONE DAY in the US!

500 million straws could fill over 127 school buses each day, or more than 46,400 school buses every year! Thats about 1.6 straws per person per day!

Theres an easy way to reduce your use of plastic straws, purchase reusable straws! We have Stainless Steel Dishwasher Friendly Straws. We stick these in homemade smoothies, iced coffee, and even bring it to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.

USE YOUR OWN BAGS

This one seems pretty obvious, but how many of us actually remember to bring our own tote bags? Aren’t we always running around and think, “Oh I completely forgot I need this and that for dinner?” Well, me too!

Try leaving a couple reusable bags in your car or one in your office. That way, if you are rushing out or to and from point A to point B, you’ll have your bag.

ALSO, DON’T USE BAGS

Getting some fresh produce for that tasty salad or homemade marinara sauce? Leave the small plastic bags and just throw the items in your cart. The cashiers don’t care that they’re not in a bag. And if your worried about germs? Well, think about the journey those fruits or veggies took before getting on that shelf. They weren’t in bags for that. And you should always rinse before you eat anyway.

BE COFFEE CONSCIOUS

MAKE YOUR COFFEE AT HOME

How many times a week do you grab coffee on your way to work? Or a midday break? I used to get a coffee every morning! Realizing that I save over $20 a week just by making my coffee from home. Thats over $1,000 a year! Here is a pack of three of my favorite reusable travel mugs that you can purchase and save yourself time and money!

K-CUPS

Let’s take a second to talk about K-Cups. There are many reasons why K-Cups are so successful. They’re convenient, fast, cheap, and easy to use with minimal clean up. The obvious reason to avoid using K-Cups is simply because it falls under the single use plastic category.

Can you recycle a K-Cup? The short answer is, yes! However you must separate all the different components of the K-Cup in order to recycle it properly. To learn more about recycling a K-Cup check out this link: Can You Recycle K Cups? 

Already have a Keurig? Not a problem! They make reusable K-Cups! Do yourself a favor and buy one or two of these bad boys. In the end it’ll save you money and its better for the environment.

CHOOSE A REUSABLE COFFEE FILTER

Continuing on with the reusable theme… coffee filters! Metal mesh coffee filters are the way to go for your Mr. Coffee or Chemex.

TRY SHADE GROWN COFFEE

Before my husband and his brother experimented with importing shade-grown Honduran coffee and starting up their own brand, I had never heard of it. But after looking into it, (and tasting it!), shade-grown coffee seems like it’s not only the best choice for the environment but also for your health.

Earth Easy says:

“Shade grown coffee requires little or no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. The shade trees filter carbon dioxide which causes global warming, and aid in soil moisture retention which minimizes erosion.”

CONSERVE

We’ve heard it before, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, turn the lights off when you leave the room, but did you know these simple tips to conserve?

WATER

  1. Take a 5 minute shower versus a bath
  2. Wait until you have a full load of laundry to do a wash
  3. Fill a basin with water to rinse your razor
  4. Replace old toilets with a duel flush model

ELECTRICITY

  1. Air dry clothes after the wash
  2. Fully turn off and unplug electronics when not in use (learn more about phantom energy)
  3. Turn the A/C up 5 degrees and heat down 5 degrees when you are not home
  4. Switch out your old light bulbs with energy efficient florescent ones

To learn more about how you can conserve visit Sciencing.com

EAT LESS, OR NO, MEAT

(This is a big one!!)

March for Science Boston (2017)

The meat industry is responsible for nearly one-fifth of all man-made green house gases! That is absolutely insane, and it is no wonder we are seeing more and more vegetarians and vegans.

Now I am not going to plead with you to stop eating meat. But decreasing your consumption of meat will help the environment. Do you think you can cut out meat at least once a week? Join in on Meatless Monday!

Sustainable Table says:

“On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.”

Do you think you can do more than once a week? Try three times, or do what we did and try to see how many days in a row you can go. (We’ve been going since November 2016) You might find that you feel the same or maybe better than before!

Don’t like reading? Watch Food Choices on Netflix. It’s a well rounded documentary about making more conscious choices in regards to how our diet effects our planet and all life on it.

TRANSPORTATION

This is simple. If you use less gas, your carbon footprint is smaller. Now you could run out and buy a Prius, or a Tesla, but here are much easier ways to reduce the fuel in your transportation in your daily life.

  1. Walk
  2. Ride your bike
  3. Heelys (only partially kidding)
  4. Longboard
  5. Carpool (Lyft ridesharing)
  6. Take the bus
  7. Take the train

 

In the end, everything adds up! If you can do a little bit each day to reduce your carbon footprint and encourage others to as well, the planet and future generations will thank you for it.

Please share this post to educate others on the easy little things we can do to ensure a safer, healthier, world for us all.

Alexandria Ronzio
Alexandria Ronzio

Former Team USA Senior Pair Skater, Proud Dog Mom of 2 Rescue Pups, Wife, and Frequent Traveler

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.