At this point, most of us are tempted to just go to bed and pull the covers over our heads and eat some (probably-also-going-to-kill-us) chocolate. Our planet’s problems seem so enormous and dire; they’re practically beyond our scope of comprehension and certainly out of our control, right? Well, hold up. Not exactly. It’s easy to do nothing because you can’t solve the whole thing, but if we each do a few small things, it can all add up to one big save. With that in mind, I have some individualized one-person-saves-the-planet tips and tricks for you to incorporate into your daily life that are low-key, not dramatic and totally doable.
This isn’t about the politicized phrase “climate change” or about politics. Because whatever you believe about rising sea levels (or not), I think (hope!) all of us can agree on two things: (1) we would like to have clean water, clean air and clean soil so we can live happily and healthily – or, to put it another way, we don’t want anyone sticking us with filthy water, air or soil; and (2) if we wait for our politicians (of whatever party) to save us, well, we’re all gonna die.
Are we with each other on this one? Clean planet for us and our progeny and screw the politicians?
I have 8 simple suggestions. I originally wrote them all into one blog post, however, it was so long I thought it might be easier if I broke it down. If you want to read the whole thing in one go, the long, detailed blog post is here.
If you prefer it broken into segments, just click on them in any order you choose for more details:
1. Ditch the Plastic
This one is the hardest because we are surrounded by plastic! It's in everything from our water bottles to our grocery bags. Never fear, though, I have some easy tips to incorporate into your daily living that will not only help you reduce your plastic impact on the planet, but will improve your health and even add some green to your wallet! Read on here!
2. Recycle and Re-Use and (of course) Reduce
You hear this ALL the time, but, specifically, what does it really mean for each of us as an individual and, again, how we can we do these nice things to help clean up our earth, air and water while, at the same time, creating immediate benefits to ourselves. What about furniture and fixtures and electronics and clothing and old sheets and towels? I am so glad you asked. Read on here!
3. Eat Organic
Cutting back on your intake of chemical pesticides and herbicides can drastically improve your health and that of your earth, air and water. Curious how and why? Click here.
4. Eat Plant-Based
A plant based diet will make you leaner, healthier and happier. It also just happens to be awesome for the earth. Want the 411 behind how and why? Of course you do. Check out how you can easily "health" up your eating without dieting and while still enjoying all your fav comfort foods here. For those of you commercially producing animal meat and dairy, there are amazing organizations like my own beloved A2Px out there that will help you transition to often more lucrative plant-based farming to supply the burgeoning plant-based protein/meat/dairy industry instead. Don't knock it til you try it.
5. If You Drive, Drive Electric. Regardless, Make Your Commute Eco Friendly
For some of us, driving is a necessity, however, we don't want to breath in all the nasty chemicals that the exhaust of the typical conventional car produces. Car exhaust is super bad to breath in and diesel engine exhaust is a "Group 1" carcinogen (that means it most definitely causes cancer in humans - more on that here). Let's try not to get cancer, shall we? For more on making your commute clean, click here.
6. Use Your Energy Thoughtfully
Most of us (me included) don't really think much about the planet when we pay our electric bill or run a load of laundry, however, a ton of tiny things we do in the way we use energy can improve our health, make the planet cleaner and even provide us with some financial benefits. Read on here.
7. Consume Thoughtfully
Even small choices in your shopping, like what brand of shoes you buy, can have significant impact on the planet. I have some cheat sheets for you here (don't worry; they're not long or complicated).
8. Garden (even in a city apartment)
My personal favorite: easy ways to green your space to make your air cleaner, your mind more relaxed and possibly even give you some free fresh herbs, fruits, veggies, and/or flowers. Even if, like me, you are the opposite of a green thumb and live in a small urban apartment, you can still enjoy some green! Check it here.
Some people will argue that some of these changes are worth more or less than others. Cool. Put the emphasis wherever is easiest or makes most sense to you. Customize this to you and don’t get overwhelmed because if we each do some small things, it all adds up to one gigantic thing. Get out of bed, put down the chocolate and go save the world … because you actually can!
Footnotes & References
See, e.g., https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/microplastics#health-effects,https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/22/health/microplastics-land-and-air-pollution-intl/index.html,http://www.exeter.ac.uk/research/feature/microplastics/,https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/microplastics-have-been-found-in-peoples-poop-mdash-what-does-it-mean/,https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/plastic-planet-health-pollution-waste-microplastics/.
See, e.g., https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/feb/19/are-we-poisoning-our-children-with-plastic
See, e.g., https://food.ndtv.com/facts/storing-your-vegetables-in-plastic-bags-heres-why-you-need-to-stop-1729511
See, e.g., https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-organic-food-cancer-20181022-story.html
See, e.g., https://www.parents.com/baby/diapers/cloth/eco-friendly-diapering/?slideId=slide_b68e1d04-72ec-455b-9acc-19a4600a3d3a#slide_b68e1d04-72ec-455b-9acc-19a4600a3d3a
See, e.g., https://www.ewg.org/release/massive-study-finds-eating-organic-slashes-cancer-risks
See, e.g., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3569688/, https://www.ewg.org/release/massive-study-finds-eating-organic-slashes-cancer-risks,https://www.newsweek.com/eating-organic-foods-linked-lower-cancer-risk-1182713,https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/29/usda-diet-nutrition-environment-sustainability-omega-3-beef,
See also https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-plantbased-diets-weight-20150122-story.html
See, e.g., https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/list-amino-acids-grain-quinoa-1405.html