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Tips & Ideas for Small Changes To Be More Eco-Friendly

STRIVE FOR ZERO WASTE


*REFUSE*

  • Refuse single use plastics.

  1. When at restaurants, opt to go strawless.

  2. Invest in reusable stainless or bamboo flatware for work and travel.

  • Strive to become a plastic free home.

  1. Replace your toothbrush with bamboo or another sustainable material (over 1 Billion toothbrushes are thrown away annually in the U.S.).

  2. Update your Tupperware to glass containers and mason jars.

  3. Bring your own cloth shopping and vegetable bags.

  • Refuse what you do not need & don’t purchase things with excess packaging.

  • Eliminate paper goods.

  1. Use recycled toilet paper, washable tinkle wipes or swap for a trendy bidet.

  2. Avoid using paper plates and cups.

  3. Use reusable coffee filters.

  4. Use a menstrual cup or other eco-friendly menstrual products.

  5. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones.

  6. Use a white board or the Notes application on your phone for household lists etc.

  7. Go paperless - Think before you print. if you must print, use both sides, also reuse paper for scrap paper.

  8. Change your bills to “paperless” and pay them online or by phone.

  9. Use reusable ear swab and face wipe alternatives.

  10. Ditch paper towels and paper napkins.

PROBLEM: Paper towels have become a daily fact of life for most. More than 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year in the USA. Producing enormous amounts of paper consumes around 110 million trees per year, and 130 billion gallons of water. Comparably, massive amounts of energy are required to manufacture and deliver it from the factory to the store, causing excess carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. After a single use, it all goes into the landfill. SOLUTION: Replace disposable paper towels with reusable cloth towels

PROBLEM: A small and seemingly insignificant item, like a table napkin, can have a significant environmental impact. If 150 million people use 1 paper napkin per meal 3 times a day, 164,250,000,000 napkins would be used over just a 1-year period. Another problem is that paper napkins cannot be recycled after they are used since they are often contaminated by food. SOLUTION: Use reusable and washable cloth napkins

*REDUCE*

  • Reduce what you use & don’t buy unnecessary material things.

  • What can you invest in or buy in bulk to reduce packaging?

  • Could your beverage consumption be more eco friendly?

  1. Ditch individual coffee pods.

  2. Buy bulk loose leaf teas and metal filters instead of individually wrapped bags.

  • Make your own household cleaning products.

  1. Check out the laundry soap recipe!

  • Store your food well, eat leftovers, turn scraps into soup stock, give unused cans to food banks.

  • Research local compost options or start your own compost.

  • Conserve energy.

  1. Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use. (Turning off your phone at night provides a mental break too!)

  2. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs

  3. Purchase the Energy Star when replacing appliances.

  4. Combine errands, carpool, or use public transportation

  5. Pack your lunch with reusable everything- sandwich/snack bags, utensils, coffee cup, water bottles, cloth napkin.

*REUSE*

  • Think Reusable NOT disposable

  • Reuse what you have until it no longer works, rather than when it is no longer in fashion

  • Reuse all bread, chip, dog food etc bags for cat litter disposal, diapers, trash bags etc

  • Wash and reuse ziploc bags

  • Participate in clothing swaps with friends, take items to thrift stores or turn your t-shirt collection into a blanket.

*REPAIR*

  • Repair what you can. Can it be fixed before being tossed? It saves money, reduces waste and creates jobs.

*RECYCLE*

  • Recycle responsibly when all previous options have been explored.

  1. How/where to recycle Electronics

  • Recycle ink - purchase recycled paper if you must print.

  • Donate to and Shop at Thrift Stores and Used Book Stores.

PROBLEM: Buying a new book isn't as innocent as you'd think. There are 2 billion new paper books produced in the United States every year. That's millions of trees and millions of tons of CO2 - quite a large footprint. Why not do your part for the environment while getting your book smarts on? Consider swapping books with friends and family, support libraries by borrowing, or buy used books instead of purchasing new ones. Switching to e-books also saves trees! SOLUTION: Buy used books, or borrow books instead of purchasing new ones

*REPURPOSE*

  • Repurpose items into new things.

  • Eco Friendly Craft Ideas

  1. 9 Eco-Friendly Craft Ideas You’ll Love!

  2. 10 Eco-Friendly Earth Day Crafts for Kids

  3. 14 Recycled Crafts That Will Help You Go Zero-Waste

  4. 50 Crafty And Eco-Friendly Kids’ Activities

*RETHINK HOW TO #BEBETTER & CHOOSE WISELY*

  • Become an individual or business member with 1% for the Planet

  • Look for the 1% Business Member logo when purchasing, support green vendors

  • Encourage your employees to be green - carpool, use alternate transportation modes

  • Put plants around your home and office- they clean the air and provide living ambiance

  • Pick up garbage while walking the dog, or from your local trail, neighborhood, riverbed, park etc - Go plogging!

  • Install Little Free Libraries or Little Free Pantries/Fridges in your community

  • Organize a food drive in your neighborhood for your local food bank

  • Buy organic and eat local - join a CSA or Community Garden

  • Educate and encourage your neighbors to walk more, to recycle, to compost etc

  • If in an apartment building see if you can set up smaller recycling stations around the building that can then be brought to the main area, making access easier for some

  • Switch to an electric mower

  • Use Trees, Water & People’s Carbon Offset Calculator to assess and offset your carbon footprint

  • Plant trees for clean air and flowers for the bees

  • Adopt a Road, Highway or Shoreline and commit to keeping it litter free

  • Volunteer for the environment - Find opportunities from home here

  • Support Nonprofits fighting for social & environmental justice


RANDOM FACTS ABOUT PLASTIC FROM PLASTICOCEANS.ORG

  • Packaging is the largest end-use market segment accounting for just over 40% of total plastic usage.

  • Approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used annually worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.

  • A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes.

  • Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.

  • More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year.

  • Over 90% of Seabirds have plastic pieces in their stomachs.

  • 1 in 3 species of marine mammals have been found entangled in plastic.

  • The process of producing bottled water requires around 6 times as much water per bottle as there is in the container.

  • 14% of all litter comes from beverage containers. When caps and labels are considered, the number is higher.

LINKS TO ECO FRIENDLY NEWS & BLOGS

Treehugger

Grist

EcoWatch

Inside Climate News

YaleEnvironment360

Moral Fibres

Curiously Conscious

EcoCult

Small Footprints Big Adventures

The Girl Gone Green

Going Zero Waste


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