This article is dedicated to my children and to future generations
We all know by now that we need to start making changes to reduce our footprint. It’s horrific what we’re doing to our planet and we really need to make changes now, otherwise the next generations will suffer the consequences. If you want to know your footprint on Earth, go to Footprint Calculator.
What to do?
So, you pretty much see a pattern here, right? We need to reduce our footprint as much as possible. Most people think they really cannot make a difference, but if we all make little changes, we can achieve what we’re looking for. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen it before, all you need to do is to reduce, reuse and recycle!
Changes in your house
1. Kitchen cloth towel
How many trees die in order to create paper towels? This is a great alternative. They can last months; in addition, they will save you money and help the environment
2. Reusable straws
I got a set of 4 about 6 years ago. I never had to buy more 😉
3. Reusable storage bags
4. Donate and buy used clothes
How many times have you given away clothes that are still in great conditions, but you just don’t wear them anymore? Well, they can still be used, specially if it’s work clothes or winter wear. Please donate clothes that are in good shape and go around some thrift stores, you can find gems!
You have no idea of how much money you’ll save by swithching to Terra Wash. It lasts for 365 washes, so just imagine. On top of that, you’re not contaminating the water with harmful chemicals and you’re not creating more waste with regular detergent containers
- Plastic bags. This is how you can do it. They are used to create plastic patio benches and tables, for example. Note: they need to be recycled separately
- Cell phones
7. Go paperless
If you already pay most of your bills online, choose to not receive paper statements, instead go paperless. Many companies even offer you a discount when you choose this option
8. Ditch plastic bottles
Seriously, you just can’t keep buying bottled water. Here are 6 Reasons to Stop Buying Bottled Water . All you need is a good filter and a reusable water bottle (like the one below). For a filter, I recommend Frescapure® 3500 Water Filtration System (you can message me and I’ll get you in touch with a representative. You can mention my name and you’ll get a free gift)
9. Make your own daily used products
Think of every bottle, container, stick or sachet that ends up in the trash (hopefully in the recycling bin) from personal care products. Here’s a great option, make them yourself. You will reduce and reuse so much more. Besides, you won’t contaminate the water that goes through your sink or shower. Think about it, if a personal care product it filled with chemicals, then you’re passing those chemicals into the water. By opting for safer options, you’re helping yourself and the environment in more than one way
10. Diva Cup
Let’s do some math. You are woman and you use 20 pads every month. You need 240 pads a year. Let’s say you menstruate for 40 years. You’ll have used 9600 pads throughout your life. Remember, they are not biodegradable! They will stay in landfills for hundreds of years. On top of that, pads and tampons are filled with chemicals that go right into your skin, therefore, into your system. The Diva Cup is a game changer. You’ll experience freedom, sleep relaxed and sometimes you might even forget you’re on your period.
11. Switch to eco-friendly house products
Let me say one thing: the ingredient “fragrance” can contain over a hundred different chemicals. Many of them can be hormone disruptors, carcinogenics, etc. Anything you use in your house for cleaning is full of chemicals, and you really don’t need so many toxins.
As of cleaning products, white vinegar and baking soda are a great alternative. They are non-toxic, cheaper and environmentally friendly. Just in case you wonder of their potency, keep in mind they actually clean better. They kill germs as well as popular cleaning products. Here are three studies that show how effective white vinegar and/or baking soda are: Study 1 (Effectiveness of Common Household Cleaning Agents in Reducing the Viability of Human Influenza A/H1N1), Study 2 (Alternative Hard Surface Cleaners), and Study 3 (Acetic Acid, the Active Component of Vinegar, Is an Effective Tuberculocidal Disinfectant). In addition to baking soda and white vinegar, Oregano essential oil is a power bomb. It even kills the MRSA bacteria. And I will not post a picture of how the bacterial infection looks like because it’s very raw, you can Google it.
In regards of beauty products, here are great options and alternatives.
12. Reusable Beeswax Food Wrap
13. Bamboo toothbrush
14. Create a compost bin
Do you want to reduce even more the amount of trash you create? Well, start a compost bin. Watch How To Make Compost At Home, to know all the steps and the best advice.
15. Plant some plants & a tree
You can start by planting you own herbs (even on your kitchen counter). It’s really not that difficult. Then you can proceed to plant some fruits and vegetables. You can use the compost you made and learn more about the topic (through books from a library or blogs).
If you have the space and the weather allows you to, plant a tree. If it’s complicated, you can start using Ecosia as your search engine (instead of Google). They claim “Ecosia is like any other search engine, with one major difference: we use our profits to plant trees.” Pretty cool, right?
Changes on the go
16. Reusable plastic utensils
Just keep them in your purse, backpack or suitcase. You’ll be ready for every occasion
17. Portable straw
Seriously, can it get any better than this?
18. Portable cup
… Apparently it can
19. Coffee Mug
Let’s do some math again. Let’s say you get one coffee everyday on your way to work from Monday to Friday. That means you’ll be using about 20 disposable cups per month, 240 per year, 9600 in your lifetime (considering you work for 40 years). That’s without considering an additional cup per day or one during the weekend. Thankfully, here’s a simple solution, voila!
Try to carpool or take public transportation. You don’t need to drive all the time. If you can, try to help yourself by commuting smarter. You’ll safe money in gas and car expenses, reduce traffic and contamination and relax as a passenger (and not the driver)
21. Ride your bicycle
Not only you’ll get a nice workout, but you’ll help the environment. If the distance is not too long and the weather is nice, a good ride will boost your endorphins
Changes in your food
22. Eat less processed
Every time we eat something in a bag, it means there’s a factory that processed it. If you can switch to locally-grown and less processed products, you’ll be helping your health and the planet.
23. Eat less animals and animal products
I know most people doing the Ketogenic or Paleo diet will tell me a thousand reasons why protein is so good, but that’s not the point. Let’s use movies as examples, if we lived in times like in the movie Wall-e, would you waste water in farm animals? Probably not. In addition, have you watched the movie The Croods? In the beginning of the movie, they found a huge egg and that was the meal for the whole family. When it was the dad’s turn, there was nothing left. Ironically, he said it was fine, that he had eaten last week. How about the hunting scene of Dancing with Wolves? That scene really makes you think of how easy is our life now. Those last two movies show how much humans had to go through to get some meat (or food in general) and how often they ate it. Sorry, but cavemen didn’t eat meat 5 times a day.
Go back to the images I posted in the beginning. You would make a huge difference just by eating meat once a week, instead of 7 times a week. How about switching to dairy free products? Small changes, done by many people, can make a difference
24. Reusable produce bags
You get bananas in a plastic bag, you tie it up. By the time you get home you can’t untie it and end up ripping the bag to get the bananas. Most fruits and vegetables come with a natural coat (peel), so there’s no need to use a bag. You’re going to wash them anyway, right? Now, if you need a bag so your produce is not all over the place, choose something better, like these bags
25. Reusable shopping bags
Same happens here. Plastic bags are not durable. Choose something more resistant and eco-friendly, like these bags
Like I mentioned in the beginning, I’m very passionate about this topic because I’m concerned about myself, my family, my children, you, your loved ones and everyone from future generations. We owe it to them.
I know many will say some of these items are too expensive, but seriously, are they really expensive? $10, $15 or $30 is not impossible. Keep two things in mind, you will buy many of these items and won’t have to spend more in a while, as many have a very long life-spam. Second, you don’t need to get everything today, you can do it over time. Any change is better than none. You can buy one or two items monthly, until you achieve an environmentally friendly household.
Remember the change comes from within, you need to make a change. Other people, your family, the government, the world will follow by example; but the change will really come from within. Start with you, your home, your community… and people will follow.
Hope we can all make a difference,