Global warming is real. The environment is in danger. These are things we have known for a while, but are only now truly sinking in. I’ve found myself thinking “what can I do to help the environment?”. The first thing that came to mind was veganism, but in my current living situation that’s simply not possible. So I began to search for other, more simpler ways. And today I want to share those.
1. Go thrifting
The fashion industry produces a lot of CO2 and is a real danger to the environment (also, child labour is still often the case). It’s one of the primary pollution industries on the planet. Every year, more than 120 million trees are cut down to make our clothing. The fashion industry also wastes and pollutes massive amounts of water (about 11000 litres of water are used for one clothing item). So that’s why buying second hand clothes is a good way to help improve the environment. Going thrifting can be a challenge, because you need to have some luck if you want to find something nice. Luckily, sites like Ebay and Etsy also offer second hand clothes, as well as the app Depop (a personal favourite of mine). Right now about 70% of my clothes are vintage, thrifted or up-cycled.
2. Recycle, reuse & reduce
Recycling is important because it helps reduce the amount of waste on this planet. But have you ever thought about how much you’re throwing away? Well I did. So that’s why I started reusing things, especially packaging material. I save and clean jars, using them to store my tea and herbs in. I reuse boxes, mostly for shipping packages, but also to store my junk in. And I also reuse fabrics, metal cans, ziplock bags, plastic containers (from Chinese takeout) and pieces of paper with a blank side or blank space on them. By reusing materials you’re wasting a lot less while also saving money! On that note, preventing having to recycle plastic is even better. Plastic is very harmful to the environment, so try and avoid it if possible. If you buy fruits, don’t use a plastic bag, but bring your own bag. Try not to use plastic bags in general. Use glass bottles instead of plastic. For a lot of things there are non-plastic alternatives out there.
Another tip for when you order from us: recycle the package materials! We use bubble envelopes, and you can pull out the plastic part so you can recycle that. When we ship something in a recycled box, try and keep it intact when opening so you can reuse it too!
3. Get moving
Here in the Netherlands, cycling is a big part of our culture. We cycle everywhere. But in other parts of the world, that isn’t always the case. So to reduce exhaust fumes, it’s a good idea to go cycle or walk to locations that are fairly close by. For myself I made the rule that I walk if it’s within 15 minutes walking distance, or cycle if something is within 20 minutes cycling distance (even though I don’t like cycling much). Public transport is also better for the environment, but is often still doing damage (also it can be expensive). So by walking or cycling you can save the environment and your wallet!
4. Reduce food waste
We as humans are very good at wasting food. And that waste creates problems for the environment. That’s why this tip is all about encouraging you to reduce your food waste. Don’t buy or order more food than you know you can eat or will eat. Save leftover ingredients for another meal. If you bought too many ingredients (for example, because the supermarket doesn’t do small portions), make some extra food with it so you can save it, freeze it, and eat it another day. I’m a huge fan of freezing leftover meals because it saves me time and money. Instead of having to cook every day I sometimes eat leftovers. If you have fruits and vegetables you know you won’t eat, consider feeding them to animals at, for example, a petting zoo (do check if said animals are allowed to have those fruits and veggies). In general, try and be very aware of how much food you buy and how much of that food you are actually gonna eat.
5. Pick up your trash
Lastly, one tip I find very important. Our oceans are full with plastic and other waste. Forests and other animal living grounds are as well. We are polluting the planet and killing animals with our waste and it’s very worrying. So that’s why I want to urge you to pick up your trash. Don’t throw anything into someplace that’s not a trashcan. And if you see a big chuck of styrofoam lying around, or a plastic bag, just pick it up and throw it in a bin. Picking up someone else’s trash is no fun, but killing the environment is much worse.
Do you have any tips for helping the environment? Comment them below!