In the current day and age we all need to change our lifes a tiny bit to help the environment out. There’s so much that needs to change which we don’t have any say in, but we can all do our bit and help out by making our own little changes. And no, you don’t need to change your life drastically and start living like a hermit without electricity or anything like that. Every tiny change can help the earth, so today I made a list of small changes you can make to live more sustainably. If you are ready to start helping the environment, keep on reading!
1 | Lower Disposable Plastic Use
Plastic is one of the biggest enemies of nature. The plastic soup in the ocean keeps groing and killing innocent animals, so we need to prevent this. Try to cut down your disposable plastic use. An easy way to do this is to start using reusable stuff like drinking bottles, tote bags and straws. You can even get reusable make-up remover wipes nowadays. And whenever you do need to use disposable stuff, opt for paper or bamboo versions, like with cotton buds. Another great idea is to try buying zero waste. For example, you can get shampoo and conditioner bars which come in cardboard packaging. No plastic is used for these products nor for the packaging, which is great.
2 | Shop Secondhand
Another big issue right now is consumerism. It’s very normal to buy a lot of stuff, use it for a short amount of time, and then get it replaced and just throw stuff out. There’s almost no one who does not do this (me included), but it is quite bad for the environment. One way to work against this is to start shopping secondhand. This slows down the production of new product, which is better for the environment. Plus, it’s also great for your wallet, since secondhand items are often more affordable.
3 | Rethink Your Buying Habits
When you’re out shopping, try to really think on what you’re buying. Am I just buying it because I can, or is this something that I actually need and will use? Will I get rid of it within a year or will it last me longer? Those are simple questions you can ask yourself, to prevent yourself from buying unnecessary stuff. It’s better for your wallet and the environment.
4 | Invest in Sustainable Basics
Whenever you do decide to buy something that is not secondhand, try to buy something from a sustainable brand. Most of these brands are more expensive, but their products are a lot more durable, made with less harmful materials and are most often more ethical. So when you buy from a sustainable brand, the product will last a lot longer. It’s a great idea to get your basics from sustainable brands. You might pay a bit more, but you will get a lot of use out of the product plus a better feeling when buying.
5 | Use, Reuse, Donate, and Recycle
So you’ve thought about buying the product and you’ve gotten something sustainable or secondhand (or not), so you’re going to use it now. The best way to reduce your waste and your consumerism is to really use your items until you can’t anymore. Try to get the full use out of your items. Is the item done or can’t you use it anymore? Try to either repurpose or donate it before you decide to just throw it away. If the item really isn’t any good anymore and it belongs in the trash, always remember to recycle!
6 | Limit Water Use etc.
Look at all the products and services you are using on a daily basis, like water and electricity, and find ways to reduce the amounts. Think about if you may be showering unnecessarily long or keep the water running when it doesn’t need to be. Do you keep the heating on when you’re not even at home? It is so easy to reduce the amount of water and electricity you’re using by just paying attention. Try to keep your eyes on what you’re using and try to reduce these amounts when you can.
7 | Consume Less Animal Products
I can write full on essays on the impact that meat consumption has on the earth. So much product and water is wasted just to take care of the animals, not to mention the extremely high greenhouse gas emissions of the industry. It’s intense and very unnecessary, because humans do not need animal products to live a healthy life. So if you want to help with this problem, just eating vegetarian once a week can make a difference. Try to swap out a few animal products for plantbased ones, for example your daily yoghurt for soy yoghurt, is also a great help. Every little bit helps, and you don’t have to eat any less for it to help. Nor less delicious stuff, because there’s so much really yummy veggie food out there! It can never hurt to try it every once in a while.
8 | Create Less Waste
Have some food leftover from today? It makes for perfectly fine lunch or dinner the next day. There’s no need to throw all that precious food out the window. Also try not to buy more than you need (if that’s even possible, I know this is especially tough since most food comes in certain sized batches), so you don’t have a lot of unnecessarily spoiled food after a while because you weren’t able to use all of it.
9 | Use Public Transport
Try to choose public transport or go by bike or foot whenever you can. Especially here in the Netherlands, where almost all public transport runs on wind energy and electricity, it’s so much better to choose that over your car. Let’s reduce CO2 emissions together!
And those are just some simple changes you could make to help the earth a bit. There are so many more things you can change and especially many more drastic things, but if you want to start out helping the earth, these are just some easy ways to begin with. And there’s definitely no need to reduce your quality of life. You can live a perfectly fun and healthy life even with these changes. I try to implement these ideas in my everyday life, but I’m not always perfect either. It’s okay to just do a few. With such a big problem, it’s the small things that count as well, so these are just some ideas to help you start out. I hope you find these helpful! If you have any ideas for lifestyle changes to help the earth, please let me know. I’d love to hear your ideas on this matter. I want to thank you for reading and I’ll see you next time!