Somebody Do Something
Everyone thinks it costs something to help, or reduce waste on this Earth. Which really truly irritates me because I alone can think of many of ways to clean up our Earth and have fun by doing so.
EFFORT is all that is required here.
Living environmentally friendly is available TO/FOR EVERYONE.
Before I jump into it, let me explain why I decided this topic deserves A LOT more attention.
SHOULD I REALLY EVEN HAVE TO?
But almost every person I run into has some sort of excuse as to why they can not benefit our planet in a way that is also efficient + convenient for their lifestyle.
Obviously the two main excuses are:
TIME + MONEY
Well let me just make one thing clear.
You had the time AND the money to buy that $2.45 iced coffee this morning…
So, please tell me what is stopping you from spending another $2.45 OR THE SAME $2.45 on something more beneficial to YOUR HEALTH and the Earth’s.
(Im not saying to stop drinking coffee, by all means trust me I am definitely NOT endorsing that, but more than the average amount of people on this Earth buy coffee every day and only a handful of our population’s people are shopping second hand. Most pieces in the Op Shops average for $2.50, think of how many “new” outfits you could have.)
** Also, please note I am not singling out shopping second hand as the best or the only way to reduce waste but it helps tremendously considering fast fashion and plastic go hand and hand. Plus, it is ridiculously easy considering we all need clothes on our backs and almost ALL of America’s population has a some sort of addiction… Which means were all spending money on something we don’t need almost every day just because we can and want to… So why not start where it matters, at home, and your closet is the best place to start, less clothes = less laundry!)
Which means everyday you are demanding more time resources, plastic materials, and manpower to process it all. If you are going to get a coffee from Starbucks or Dunkin’, why not save up that $2.45 from only 2-3 days of NOT BUYING coffee, to buy a Reusable Coffee Mug and reduce some plastic waste. (FYI DUNKIN’ GIVES FREE REFILLS IF YOU BRING YOUR OWN CUP BACK, EVEN VIA DRIVE-THRU AS WELL) Hence, the reason I still have this little coffee addiction, HALF THE TIME I AM GETTING IT FOR FREE!
Buying one reusable water/coffee cup can save YOU around $3000.00 DOLLARS per year (which is what the average person is spending on prepackaged water bottles). Water is a necessity which should be free... So why are millions of people spending money on a product wrapped in plastic that we already pay a monthly “water bill” for?
Oh right back to the other main excuse, TIME.
If you think about it, it honestly takes more time to go to the store and buy the big heavy water packs, than it does to fill up a cup of water at home. So if we are talking conveniency… I do not really see the point in arguing any further so i’ll just leave it at that.
At our house, we always have two large water decanters filled at all times. As soon as one runs out, we just fill it back up and drink water from the other decanter while that one is getting cold again in the fridge. Simple as that. (:
(Again, Life is not hard unless you make it.)
When I first began to “walk with a lighter footprint” I thought I had to spend a ton of money i did not have to replace all of the things I already owned with vegan, organic, cruelty free, “BPA FREE”, and natural products. Yes, including my plastic sandwich bags, pots +pans, food and condiments, along with pretty much everything else we owned (STILL OWN). I later realized, throwing away/donating all of these great things I already owned would be WASTEFUL for myself and to the Earth, as would blowing through my money for hundreds of new everyday + house hold products.
Then I remembered, “Life is not hard unless you make it.” DUH.
So, instead of becoming overwhelmed by all the products you already own, breathe. I am here to help.
THIS TAKES A WHILE, THIS IS A SLOW PROCESS.
Give yourself the time and patience to see every that “step” counts when committing to changing you’re lifestyle (and the world;)). Heres 3 EASY STEPS I followed when I began converting to an easier more natural way of living.
STEP ONE: use the most out of every single thing you have for as long as you can.
When it becomes time to replace an item that finally wears out, breaks (is unfixable), or if you can afford to do so without damaging your financial status, make an effort to research ethical brands that go out of their way to incorporate a great price and eco-friendly product (AND ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING) into one great product that will last a lifetime, or pretty damn close to it. I personally follow tons of small businesses (most are Women owned, BONUS) on Instagram, that are environmentally friendly or shops that hand make their own products. As I see things wearing down in my home, I would save/bookmark/screenshot items I knew I wanted to buy soon to replace it. This way I don’t fall into easily buying the most convenient thing near me + I support a small or local business while getting a product that will last.
STEP TWO: begin going through your home + life to see where the most waste can be reduced. (Most of my waste comes from food products, their packaging, and day-to-day house hold items like paper towels.)
Once you have identified where all of YOUR waste is coming from you can easily do any of the ideas from the list below to help reduce it!
STEP THREE: (OR SHOULD I SAY THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP) take the time to PROPERLY clean, fix, and take care of any “new” or old purchases in your home, this way they can reach their full potential and last as long as possible.
We literally have all the time in the world so why are we not spending it preserving the things we spend our hard earned money on that we “must have” if were just going to let it get ruined or be okay with it wearing away. NOT ME. I practically use everything I own until its dust, meaning Ive used the SH*t out of it and nobody else can even use it which means it can’t end up back in the Op Shop.
Plastic requires more new plastic to make “NEW” plastic. The plastic you think you are recycling to be reused has NO benefit for our Earth at all. RE-READ THE FIRST SENTENCE AGAIN…
Other than your satisfaction of having the “newness” of a product and the fact that you think it is technically “clean or never been used”. The real problem is, most people are not aware of how much processing + handling goes into every single product on the market to get on to the shelf to you. Which means hundreds or even thousands of different hands touch each item to deliver it to the Target +Walmart shelf you picked it up off of, plus whoever stocked the shelves and of course the hundreds of other people who grabbed the item and changed their mind five seconds later and put it back. So how clean is it really?
The biggest mistake you can ever make is buying a product new from the store (shirt, cup, kids toy) and not wash it. Hand wash it, throw it in the washer, or even wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe or a damp cloth with dish soap. Any of these ways will easily work.
TRY TO DO THIS TO EVERY SINGLE THING YOU OWN.
You will soon start to realize how many items you have in general and how many are unkept, OR how many of the same thing you have. Which means its time to reduce your waste!
FREE IDEAS TO HELP REDUCE WASTE
Be PICKY about what you allow into your home, SAY NO THANK YOU TO FREEBIES
(less clutter, less to clean, less waste)
Cancel Junk Mail Subscriptions
(If you can’t, recycle the Junk Mail Ads/Grocery Ads to Thrift stores near you to wrap fragile goods)
Reuse any plastic produce bags to use them again the next time you buy your produce
(or use them as Pet Waste bags!!)
Reuse the same water bottle every day
(this can mean using a free plastic water bottle or buying your own reusable travel cup)
Reuse boxes/envelopes for shipping or make boxes from recycled boxes
(which is great since then you can cut them down into the size you need)
Cut up old towels, fabric, or clothes
to become reusable paper towels or dish cloths
Compost your leftovers
Reuse To-Go ware given to you from Restaurants
Reuse any containers you purchase from your grocery store
Spend one day a week/month picking up garbage around your neighborhood
When traveling, salvage any complimentary soaps + shampoos to donate to homeless shelters this way the products are actually being used and not trashed after a guest has checked out of the room (even if you didn’t use the products the hotel must replace them with NEW ones every single time a new guest checks in)
CHECK ONLINE FOR A LOCAL/COMMUNITY ZERO WASTE SHOP
Now, I am not saying being completely environmentally friendly is super easy or 100% cheap because the reality is, if you look hard enough within anything you try to do in life, there will always be an expensive alternative choice along with many other options. You can make any can of lifestyle 100% affordable for you as long as you seek out your options and TRY.
AGAIN: EFFORT is all that is required here. (;
Living environmentally friendly is available TO and FOR EVERYONE.
LIFE IS NOT HARD UNLESS YOU MAKE IT.