It’s pretty obvious that how we treat our environment is an important part of sustainability when it comes to the worlds ecosystems. There’s so many different ways we can contribute to helping our environment thrive and stay on track. I’ve compiled a list of ways we can help save the environment that I think are very do-able and maybe even new or unique strategies to you. Some of these are very obvious and you probably already do them but I really wanted to create a post about something that I am passionate about and to help educate. I hope you enjoy learning!
1. Use a clothes line vs. a dryer
Using a clothes line can decrease the average homes carbon footprint by 2400 pounds a year.
Not only is this beneficial for the environment but it has so many other advantages. Line drying enhances freshness and helps to remove strong odors. It’s much more protective of your clothing as dryers can be very harsh with the high heat and tumbling. This means less purchasing of new clothes as well (but I will get to that later). It also keeps you physically active! Who said it was easy to hang and fold laundry 😉
2 . Use reusable straws and cups
17,654 straws were picked up off of 2800km of Canada’s shoreline during beach clean up events last year and are the 9th most found ocean trash. It takes up to 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose, even though they never completely decompose as they are not biodegradable. The degrading of plastic releases chemicals that are toxic to wildlife and the environment. It’s best to just decrease your use of plastic all together.
A lot of take-away cups from Tim Hortons or Mcdonalds are not recyclable. Most coffee hubs accept reusable coffee mugs so there is no reason not to use one.
The coolest thing about composting your food is turning it around full circle and using it as soil to feed your vegetable garden. Can that be any more environmentally friendly?
4. Ride your bike or walk to work
I understand not everyone has this option but you can always ride your bike or walk to and from grocery stores or friend’s and family’s houses. Here in Canada many people spend more time and energy running their cars for several minutes to warm them up in the winter time. The time it takes to do this is probably longer than it would be for them to walk to work. Not to mention…it’s extremely beneficial for your mental health.
5. Don’t eat farmed salmon
Farmed salmon happens in small netted areas off the coast. Farmed salmon originated in Norway and quickly expanded to other areas of the world. Not only does farm salmon lack health benefits as it contains a lot less nutrients than wild salmon but it also leaves a significant impact on our environment. How? High concentration of fish in a small netted area produce a lot of waste and excess food which drops the sea floor, covering it and destroying the habit underneath. Farmed salmon is also at high risk for developing and contracting diseases amongst themselves and passing them onto wild salmon due to migration routes. (Ew!)
6. Understand your recycling
It’s crazy how many things we aren’t able to recycle! Check with your township/county/city to see what is recyclable in the area you live in. We received a handy pamphlet from our county a while ago and it amazed me what I wasn’t able to recycle. I’ve got it down pat now though. I highly recommend shopping locally since a lot of non-recyclable items are food packaging from grocery stores whereas your local farmers market doesn’t usually provide you with this kind of non-decomposable plastic or foam.
7. Quit fast fashion
What is fast fashion? Fast fashion is when a trendy article of clothing is produced quickly and sold for a very low price. The apparel industry is an extremely heavy polluter due to the energy that is required to grow raw materials and fabric as well as the number of chemicals involved in dyeing fabric. Apparel and footwear industries account for 8% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions and is predicted to rise to 49% by 2030. There are so many alternatives to buying & selling new clothing. You can find great clothing items at your local thrift store and most cities/towns have consignment stores (you can make money by selling your old clothes)! There are also many online options to sell or buy clothes like thredUP & Depop.
8. Plant a tree
C’mon…do I really need to say anything about this?