There are so many ways to live your life in a sustainable way, but few of us are doing it. Using renewable sources, cutting down on energy consumption and taking an extended walk instead of using the car are all things which are simple in theory, but not so easy to implement into a busy life. So what are three easy ways to be good to yourself and the environment?
There are certain changes that you can make which won’t cause as much of an impact on your lifestyle, but will keep you eco-friendly and at peace with the world for a time.
Use reusable carrier bags and ditch using plastic carrier bags
If you are getting a plastic bag each and every time you shop, you are adding a lot more unsustainable products to the environment which need a place to go when they’re not used any more - and often this is a landfill site. Plastic carrier bags are not biodegradable and take up to 1000 years to decompose. That is why it is important that we use reusable bags instead of plastic carrier bags.
The UK have introduced a levy charge for plastic bags each time they are used when packing away the shopping at the till in order to decrease the amounts that are wasted, offering reusable, sturdier and bigger bags for customers to bring back to the store instead.
There are a few countries which have implemented this scheme at different points over the past 20 years, but it’s one that we need to consciously think about. Taking your own bags (totes are great) to stores to pack away your shopping is one way of cutting back on the unnecessary addition of plastic to our world.
Reusable bags are made from natural materials, such as cotton or hemp, and can be washed for reuse. These reusable bags will save time and money in the long run as you won't have to buy new ones every time you go shopping. These reusable bags can be made in various shapes, sizes, colours, and designs which makes them much more attractive than the plastic carrier bag. Reusable bags are also very durable and can carry heavy weight without ripping or tearing.
Use eco-friendly health products
We are constantly buying up bottles of shampoos and conditioners, putting plastic toothbrushes into our mouths which need replacing every few months and slathering ourselves in chemicals which make their way into the ecosystem. Strip things back and go natural for a while, see if there is any difference to your general day to day regime - you may find that you start to feel better within yourself and are spending less.
You could get a miswak toothbrush from https://miswakclub.com/ which requires no water or toothpaste to use - keeping costs down as well as the waste that comes from the boxing for it.
If you buy bulkier, bigger bottles, there is more chance that you are going to use it in a lot less time than you would smaller bottles of shampoo or conditioner. Subsconciously you think you have more and therefore use more. So if you don’t want to ditch the store-bought stuff for avocado and olive oil homemade concoctions just yet, you can still do your bit for the environment by making your bigger bottle last for a lot longer. Add a pump dispenser so you can control the amount you are using. You can also reduce the amount of packaging that your products come in by using refillable containers or buying refill packages.
Alternatively, opt for natural shampoo and soap bars which last ages and don't come in plastic packaging.
We should use water-based products instead of silicone-based products to reduce the amount of waste that we produce. Silicone-based beauty products are often waterproof and will not break down in water. This means they can sit in our drains and pipes, clogging them and causing damage.
Walk more often to benefit your health and the environment
The most simple thing to do for so many of us! The majority of us would rather take a car ride down to a place that is only a 10 minute walk away, and by doing this we are adding so much more pollution to the environment than we would care to admit.
Not only is walking good for your exercise, but it’s great to socialise with other people who are of the same frame of mind - when was the last time that you walked down the street and said hello to somebody passing you?
People who walk more often are healthier and happier. They also have lower risk of obesity, depression, and anxiety. Walking is also good for the environment because it reduces carbon emissions.
Walking is a simple activity that anyone could do to improve their health and the environment.
You are probably not too surprised to hear that the environment is in trouble. The air is polluted, the water is contaminated, and the earth’s resources are being depleted. But what you might not know is that your health could be at risk, too.
The link between our environment and our health has been well established. Our surroundings affect how much energy we have, how healthy we feel, and how well we sleep. When your surroundings are polluted or toxic, your body will work harder to fight off infection or heal damage from toxins. And when you don’t have enough energy or sleep to do this effectively, you may experience symptoms of illness or disease.
Luckily there are many simple ways we can begin to look after our environment and our health at the same time. The three examples above are a great starting point and very easy for anyone to start doing.