Easy ways to live sustainably

Last week I raised the issue regarding climate change and how it affects you. By your votes this week, today’s post will be a continuation of last week’s post!

We’ve talked about what climate change is, and how dangerous its impact is; now we can discuss how every one of us can prevent it from having an extreme impact. This is not at all an exhaustive list, but I have chosen the top 7 tips towards living more sustainably, which is doable by each one of you.

Let’s begin!

  1. Give up plastic water bottles
    A plastic water bottle…it quenches my thirst…it’s handy…it takes up less space…..what makes it so wrong? Let me tell you, what a small 600ml plastic bottle does to you and the environment! Firstly plastic bottles contain so many chemicals that you can’t see or taste! Chemicals such as Bisphenol A and phthalates (I know they sound like gibberish); are only some of the chemicals in there that make the bottle what it is. That is, hard and clear, as well as flexible. However, these chemicals are known to host many of our health problems such as; some types of cancer, neurological difficulties, defects newborn babies, affects gender development and plenty more issues which I thought were too sensitive to discuss.bottles
    Plastic bottles are also not as easy as you think to recycle! Most of the plastic bottles which are thrown in the ‘recycling bin’ are not recycled because only certain types of plastic bottles can be recycled by certain districts. That means a lot of bottles just end up in our landfills leaching dangerous chemicals into the ground!
    Moral of the story….avoid plastic water bottles and instead stock up on those VOSS bottles that are ‘the thing’ right now, stainless steel bottles, or even the bottles in the school section at your nearest department store. You’ll be saving money from continuously buying a bottle of water, and saving yourself from health problems.
  2. Eat locally
    Shop locally! Nowadays you walk into Coles and you find all the fruits and vegetables at any time of the year that are from all over the world. It’s convenient for you, but these products consume massive amounts of fossil fuel energy to be imported to your corner store. By eating from your private owned grocery store around the corner, not only are you helping the economy grow but you’re also having an impact on what gets shipped in here. The less people that buy imported fruits and veggies, the less they’ll import. You are also saving yourself from consuming chemicals, which are used to make those fruit and vegetables seem as though they are all year round.
  3. Avoid using plastic bags
    I know it’s hard to avoid plastic bags, if you’re from a Wog family you probably have that one closet that has a plastic bag full of other plastic bags. However, through research I’ve learnt how plastic bags are very harmful to the environment and thought I’d share it with you. Firstly plastic bags are made from crude oil. Crude oil, if you don’t know is a non-renewable resource, and just manufacturing plastic bags contributes a lot of pollution to our air. Plastic bags are also not biodegradable. Basically what that means, is these plastic bags which you eventually throw out because it has too many holes in it, is not biodegraded. That’s right, you’ll die, and your great great great great very great grandson will be born and that baggogreen wouldn’t have biodegraded yet. It takes 400 years (at least) for just one bag to biodegrade! Let that sink in.  Approximately each year, between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are being used worldwide. Almost 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals die every year because they either mistake the bags for food or get strangled in them (Livestrong).
    So invest in a couple of those shopping bags that you see at the counter when you’re checking out, and take them on your shopping trips; you’ll be doing yourself and your environment a favour.
  4. Shorten your showers
    Yes yes I know! It’s the hardest thing in the world. Coming back home from a long day at work, school or uni, and all you want to do is just stand in the shower. It’s just like your bed, it’s hard to leave sometimes. But you eventually need to get out. I’m not saying cut down your showers tonight by 5 minutes. Start slow. Let me draw you a picture. (With the help of ‘Living Green and Saving Energy’), we waste an average 2.5 gallons per minute from a typical shower head! SO, your task this month is to try and shorten your showers by 1 minute each time. When you’ve gotten yourself to spending only 5 minutes in the shower you’ve approximately save 3650 gallons of water per year! Not only will it save water but it will also save the unnecessary energy that we consume which is required to heat the water to your desired temperature. Sleep on it!
  5. Stopping junk mail
    I hate junk mail, you hate junk mail, we all hate junk mail! Junk mail is the most useless thing known to man honestly! Half of those promotions are expired, and the other half we’ve never heard of. According to ‘Ocean Futures’ more than 100 million trees are destroyed each year for junk mail! By opting out of your junk mail, you keep trees just chillin’ and providing with awesome oxygen and taking out the CO2 in the air. To stop junk mail from coming to your house click this link: http://www.adma.com.au/consumer-help/do-not-mail-service/
    Here, you put your details down and then officially become part of the ‘Consumer do not contact list’
  6. Unplug electronics when not in use
    A lot of us think when we turn the TV off it’s off, or when we’re not using the microwave it’s not using any energy. FALSE! According to ‘The Guardian’ 8% of the total electricity used in our homes comes from appliances left on standby as well as this wasted energy is responsible for 4m tonnes of excess carbon dioxide each year! All you need to do is turn off appliances from the actual powerpoint, if you’re not using it. If you’re going out, turn off your television, your microwave, your lamp and dvd players. There’s no use leaving them on. Not only will you help the environment but you’ll also reduce your electricity bill.
  7. Avoid driving when possible
    We’ve all heard this one before! When you have a car and a license, it’s kind of hard to resist driving everywhere you go. I mean who wouldn’t! You’re in your own space, you can sing as loud as you want, and you have control of where you want to go. Driving a car from point A to point B, means combustion of fossil fuels. It also means several different types of gases are emitted including carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, meaning it contributes to global warming! Not only that, sometimes car matter is deposited in the soil and water, which can somehow find its way into the food chain (not good!)
    Basically, whenever you can carpool with someone, take the train/bus, walk or take a bike. Sometimes you’ll save yourself some petrol, as well as get some exercise at the same time!

There is an endless list out there that is money-free and easy to incorporate into your daily lives. Be proactive, start with yourself first, don’t worry about others for now.

Most importantly, share this around with others! Educating each other really opens our minds up, and makes us aware of issues that we usually ignore. We just need to all be on the same page in order to make a difference in this world!

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to vote down below what you’d like to see next week!
Comment down below if you have any suggestions and/or opinions!

Thanks for coming back!

Keep Smiling

Sources:

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/whats-the-problem-with-plastic-bottles/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/216666-why-are-plastic-bags-so-bad-for-the-environment/

http://www.oceanfutures.org/news/press-releases/stop-your-junk-mail-and-save-environment

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ethicallivingblog/2007/nov/02/pulltheplugonstandby

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