This month we are celebrating giving and receiving love in all forms; from food love to self-love, this month is full of love! We couldn’t leave the planet out of our little love fest, because we are feeling like it is in need of a lot of love at the moment. I’ve got some ideas to share on how you can show the planet a little bit of love every day and I will share a few of my own favorite ways that I reduce, reuse and recycle at home.
As you know, plant-based eating is the single biggest way to help the plant. We eat every day and most of us eat at least three times per day for decades. That’s a lot of food! And a lot of opportunities to tread lighter on the earth. Not only is animal agriculture the leading cause of climate change, but it impacts other resources as well. One pound of ground beef takes nearly 1,800 gallons of water to produce. To put that into perspective, McDonalds uses 190,000 pounds of beef a day. That’s over a third of a BILLION gallons of water EVERY DAY. And that is only McDonalds for only ONE day. Mind blowing! Ouch!
Doing all the research to make positive changes can be difficult and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You can try to overcome inertia with brute force, but I like to lean on the work that other smart people have done.
Household Waste Reduction
When I started trying to reduce my waste footprint, I found an amazing source: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/. Kathryn has compiled a vast amount of information and resources. Each time I go to buy something, like shampoo, I go on her site and use the search function. She’s searched for tons of options for commercially available products and even homemade recipes that reduce or eliminate waste. A couple of options for plastic-free products are new online marketplaces. Etee has dedicated itself to selling plastic-free household products. Dropps is the other household products company I use. And Habitat Botanicals makes great personal care products that come in biodegradable packaging.
Clothing is another source of thoughtless environmental damage. I was shocked to learn that a pair of jeans is typically made with a synthetic dye that is polluting rivers from the factory waste. Producing denim also takes a huge amount of water. One pair of jeans requires 2,500 gallons of water. Luckily, there is an emerging number of brands that are dedicated to producing environmentally responsible clothing. A remarkable site, GoodOnYou, discusses the various environmental and social issues with textiles and fashion. They even have a brand directory to point you in the right direction when you are ready to buy your next adornment.
Shopping for new and different products might be intimidating, but reducing your footprint doesn’t have to be complicated.
Stop using paper towels
It takes 51,000 trees to make up the amount of paper towels that are thrown away every day. Get yourself some cloth napkins and dish towels. Just throw them in the washer when they are dirty. They can be cute, colorful, or plain. Either way you are saving tons of natural resources.
Take your own cup when you go to Starbucks (or anywhere for that matter). It does not have to be a Starbucks branded cup. I usually make my own tea at home, but when I’m on the road, I have my Yeti mug. At Starbucks, you get a discount for bringing in your own cup.
Stop wasting food
In the U.S. the average person wastes 238 pounds of food a year, costing them $1,800 a year. Freeze those leftovers that you brought home last night. Those bananas that are getting a little too brown and soft… peel them, put them in a glass container, and stick them in the freezer. They are awesome in smoothies or banana bread (when you get time to make it). I get it… sometimes that kale gets slimy before you know it, but a few little things go a long way to save you money and reduce impact on the earth.
Stop using glyphosate (brand name Round Up)
You aren’t just killing weeds with it. It gets in the soil and kills the microorganisms that make the soil healthy. And the problem perpetuates because it runs off into drainages and watersheds. And if it’s causing destruction outside your body, how are the microorganisms in your gut fairing? If you really can’t stand a few dandelions or some clover, add a few minutes of pulling weeds to your workout. Functional exercise is in.
Cheers to showing our planet some LOVE!