We only get one Earth! We each need to do our best to take care of what's left of it. We have created such a convenient lifestyle, which unfortunately creates a lot of waste. Here are 5 ways to be a better Earthling.
Keep a hot/cold travel mug and a reusable tote bag handy for when you need to stop for a quick cup of coffee/water, or pick up milk and eggs on your way home. Paper cups and plastic bags, plastic bags and paper cups...they're everywhere! It takes a lot of resources and production to manufacture these items that you will only use once, and then significantly more resources to rid them from the immediate surroundings. Even then, they aren't actually gone. The same is true for water bottles. Bring your own!
2. Eat Whole Foods
This is easier said than done, but I believe in you. Eat whole foods that come with minimal processing and packaging. Fruits, vegetables, and butcher counter meats (wrapped in paper) are all examples of these wonderfully minimally packaged items. Shop around the outside edges of your grocery store. It's good for your health and good for the environment.
3. Buy Better and Repair
Instead of buying more stuff more often, spend a little more on better stuff and repair those items instead of replacing. We all love to buy stuff! It's practically the entire purpose for having a job. We can all cut way back on the constant cycle of stuff being brought in and out of our households.
4. Refuse Single Use Disposable Items
Individual coffee brewing cups, to go containers, plastic straws at restaurants, disposable single use utensils are all items that can be replaced in your life. Is that a fork in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?... It's both! Just be the weirdo with a fork in your pocket and Tupperware in your purse. You will be doing your part, and that feels a lot better than having a fork in your pocket!
5. Recycle Well
Hopefully your community offers roadside recycling pick up. If not, this will require a little more effort. Sorting takes no time at all when you have a recycling bin as accessible as a trash bin. I'll bet you're throwing plenty of recyclables in the trash. Used paper towels and the rolls they rode in on, cardboard pizza boxes, yogurt cups, and junk mail are all things that consistently end up in the trash. Sending used consumer products and packaging to the recycling center isn't quite as good as reducing the use of these items, but it's a good start. I'm personally aiming for a 3/1 ratio of recycling/trash bags, and it's working!
Let's all try our best to limit our negative impact on the environment so that it will be around for our ungrateful children and for our children's ungrateful children.