For most individuals, it’s easy to get caught up in a lifestyle that doesn’t necessarily put our planet first. While you might already do you your part to separate and sort your recyclables at home, there are other ways to make your everyday routine greener.
It might feel as though being eco-friendly involves a lot of work, but for the most part, it can actually be quite simple. If you’re hoping to change your lifestyle to better meet the needs of our planet, here are some small lifestyle changes you can make that have a big impact.
How many times have you found yourself signing up for a company’s reward system or even a local newsletter that you end up not reading? The next time you grab your mail as you get home from work, take a moment to re-evaluate the amount of junk you’re receiving. Chances are, most of the mail you’re throwing out has to do with unwanted subscriptions. Take the time to make a list of all the places that send you letters or pamphlets that you don’t read, and unsubscribe from them.
Believe it or not, an estimated 5.6 million tons of junk mail consisting of advertisements and catalogs end up in landfills each year. Of this amount, 44% are discarded completely unopened, and only half of this percentage is recycled. While at first glance, your unwanted mail does little harm to our environment, the amount most Americans throw away clearly adds up.
Do yourself and our planet a favor by canceling as many of your unwanted subscriptions as possible. This small change will leave you with less clutter, and leave our landfills with less junk.
Gardening is a great way to both give back to our planet and for you to feel refreshed and rewarded. Picking up gardening as a hobby doesn’t necessarily mean you have to turn your entire backyard into a space to grow vegetables, in fact, simply planting some small flower beds can be just as impactful.
Gardening also serves as a great way to combat the decline of bees, who offer endless environmental benefits, so make it a point to plant bee-friendly plants. If florals aren’t really your thing, try to grow produce and herbs you know you’ll consistently use in the kitchen.
Being able to grow these essentials yourself will lessen your carbon footprint in the long run by decreasing your grocery store purchases and your driving time.
A great way to combat textile waste is by shopping from sustainable retailers for items you know will last you a significant amount of time. For example, retailers like Patagonia and Lululemon can be on the pricier end of the spectrum, but their products last longer and are manufactured by companies that value our environment. Patagonia regularly audits its methods of manufacturing and is consistently looking for ways to lessen its environmental impact. Similarly, brands like Lululemon are taking charge when it comes to their overall company waste, by empowering customers with information on how they handle their packaging and waste internally.
If you want to support higher-end brands that make a difference but you don’t have the budget for it, try making your shopping even more eco-friendly by thrifting. Whether you’re looking for a new Patagonia for your next hike or you want to score the perfect Lululemon leggings for yoga, you can make your style even more sustainable by buying these items secondhand.
Look for ways to buy used Lululemon online the next time you have the urge to splurge. You can even find used Patagonia for less as well, allowing you to shop for brands that last longer while still buying within your means.
You’ll feel good knowing that you’re wearing clothing from brands that care about our planet while keeping your wallet full at the same time. Wherever you end up shopping next for your new seasonal looks, try to factor in sustainability along with your style.
One of the main reasons most people end up not volunteering is because they feel as though they don’t have enough time. While you might have a more chaotic schedule than most, dedicating a few hours out of your month to a good cause might be a lot simpler than you think.
Plan a day well in advance to do some volunteer work in your community that you know will benefit our planet. From helping out at a community garden, to participating in a carpool to work every once in a while, it’s the little things that add up.
If you’re finding that there aren’t as many volunteer opportunities with sustainable causes as you would have hoped, organize an event yourself. Gather up residents of your neighborhood to clean up highway trash, or start a monthly initiative at your office to help rid the city’s streets of extra litter during your lunch hour. No idea is too big, or too small.
Green Surfing the Web
There are many ways you could give back to Mother Earth by tweaking your online habits. Here are some ideas:
- Plant trees with your online searches with tools like Ecosia
- Disable instant notifications on apps so you can focus on life and work
- Shop for products that support climate action like 4Ocean, Climeworks, ForestSHOP
- Play quizzes on ForestPlay and take actions to grow a forest with us
Hope we inspired you to take these little positive actions for our environment. All the best!