Like so many people, I’ve been noticing my carbon footprint more and more. After taking an environmental science class last semester, I increasingly became more aware of my environmental impact everywhere. I saw it every time I threw something away or anytime I left a light on. I began to see plastic in everything, everywhere. So, I’ve decided to do better, and I encourage you to do the same! Come along on this journey with me as we look into being eco-conscious and how we can make a positive impact.
If you’re curious about your impact, check out this carbon footprint calculator, you might be surprised!
We don’t all need to be living perfectly zero-waste with our instagrammed mason jars of trash, we just need everyone to try a little more. Now, the problem with being eco-conscious is that it isn’t always accessible. I mean, trying to help the environment can, at times, cost money. And if you aren’t living in an area where you have the resources, living sustainably might not always be available to you.
Thankfully things are changing, and although some options might not be available to everyone right now, that doesn’t mean that we can’t all do our part. My hope is that throughout this journey, we can learn more about the options that we do have available to us, and maybe we can learn a thing or two along the way. So come with me my fellow eco-warriors as we take on this new world together.
Because we’re on the topic of accessibility, let’s begin with something everyone can do right now, let’s talk about seven free things that you can do to help the environment.
1. Take shorter showers
Did you know that for every minute you’re in the shower, you use 2.5 gallons of water?! That means that if you take a five minute shower, you use 12.5 gallons of water, a ten minute shower takes 25 gallons! Reducing our shower time can make a significant impact on saving resources.
2. Reuse old jars
Recyclables like glass jars can be reused endlessly, this will not only reduce waste, it will also save you from buying plastic containers over and over again. Glass jars can be used for just about everything, from saving left over soup, to organizing your office desk.
3. Up-cycle old clothes
In the US, about 85% of old textiles are tossed into landfills every year (almost 13 million tons in 2017). After cleaning out your closet, you can donate old clothes or tear them up and turn them into reusable rags or towels. No need to let that flannel you used to rock go to waste!
4. Unplug phone chargers
Cell phone chargers use electricity when they’re plugged into the wall, even when they aren’t charging anything! Unplugging your phone charger before you leave for work can help save energy and money.
5. Freeze vegetable scraps
Freeze your food scraps to use for a future soup creation. You can pull them out and boil them for veggie stock anytime you want, perfect for a rainy New England day.
6. Carpooling or riding a bike
On average, a car will produce about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year (11,500 miles). Picking up a work friend on your way, riding your bike, or even taking the bus are great options for reducing carbon emissions.
7. Use rain water
Now, this one is for my plant people out there (I see you). Put out bins to collect rain water and use this rain or “grey” water to water plants and gardens. It’s higher in nutrients and better for them anyway!
I hope this helped some of you guys to start on our journey towards a cleaner planet, and I hope you continue following along as we carve out the path to sustainable living.