doing our part for the earth (little by little)
🌎Happy Earth Day!🌎
Today is an important day, but the Earth deserves more than just a days recognition. It deserves every day because we only have one Earth. So I’ll take this day and all it represents and share my wisdom, in hopes that it help others see and appreciate it too so that by the time next Earth Day rolls around, our actions are speaking loudly & accumulatively.
I want to help you get into action with simple, yet manageable ways to do your part—little by little for our planet. If we all start making small changes, these do lead to big results overtime. The type that just might give our Earth a fighting chance!
And I’m not perfect by any means—I have sooo much learning & growing & doing to still do—but hopefully I can offer you some earth-friendly practices that maybe you haven’t considered yet, like I once hadn’t either. Because at the end of the day, we’re in this together. My Earth is your Earth and together we have the power to make a difference.
This will (try to be) a short & sweet post of simple actions, and then hopefully I can dive into the topics more deeply in the future.
Enjoy and know that we can choose how we show up each day—this (to me) is pretty empowering to know!
1. bring reusable bags when you shop.
This is something so easy to do, but equally as easy not to do, but can hold such power when you choose to do it. One way I like to make sure I’m showing up here is to always throw a couple reusable bags in my trunk to have on hand. Then once I use them (aka they end up in my house again), I grab a handful & put them back in my trunk again. lululemon’s bags are great for this! They hold so much!
A bonus point is if you do have a lot of plastic bags that you were using before doing this step, make sure you return them to your grocery store and recycle them properly (you’ll see designated bins out front/in store near check-out that state ‘garbage bags only’).
Which brings me to the next point…
2. reduce single use waste.
This is a HUGE one, and one we can start today. If you take a moment to think about all the single use items that you might use in a day (and plastic bags are under this heading), you might be surprised.
Take out meals (cutlery, containers, cups). Packaging on products. Food items (this includes whole unprocessed foods too—ex: a bag of potatoes). And the list goes on and on!
And if you dig even deeper, you’ll probably start to realize that most of the single use waste is plastic.
Plastic, to me, almost feels like an addiction. We see it everyday & it’s SO ingrained in our ‘convenience’ society that it’s hard to think how we would function without it. But, we can… and reframing that we don’t need it is a positive start. And like I said above, I’m not perfect. I still use plastic, but I’m really trying to figure out how I can use it less.
Which brings me to the next small change we can do that goes hand in hand with this point…
3. Use reusable items (straws, mugs, water bottles, etc) + choose to reuse.
Unfortunately, about 500,000 plastic straws are used daily, but, thankfully, a lot of businesses are understanding this problem & doing something about it! And we can choose to do our part even before this happens—along with using other reusable products when & where we can.
Example: When going to Starbucks, bring a reusable tumbler with a metal straw (if choosing an iced drink). You not only save a plastic cup (and straw), but you actually get a small discount for bringing a reusable cup. Saving money isn’t a huge motivator for me as much as saving the planet is, but if that’s one for you, then do it!!
I think the biggest single use culprit that we should all switch to reusable as soon as possible is the plastic water bottle. This action is SO simple & SO easy. Because consider for a minute these points when it comes to drinking from one: what’s being leached into it, the quality of the water in that bottle, how quick & inappropriate the use is of it (you could literally drink it in a couple minutes), and then the disposal of it. All this together is clear to me why we should avoid it, and I hope you see that, too!
So choose reusable where you can. BUT ALSO, choose to reuse. And what I mean by this is when you get quality items, choose to repurpose/reuse them vs. throwing them out or recycling. Example: your glass peanut butter jars can come in handy for bulk items in the future.
4. Get reusable produce bags.
This was a fun area to expand in to because it’s small, yet powerful. Think about how many plastic bags on your produce you can end up with in as little as one shopping trip. When I thought about that, I had that ‘aha!’ moment & decided to do something about it.
Now I use my mesh bags or often leave my produce unbagged (especially if it’s bigger items like sweet potatoes) when grocery shopping (and truthfully, since doing this, I haven’t used a single plastic produce bag). If you’re worried about the freshness of your items without the baggies once they’re home and in your fridge, you could:
wrap your greens in a damp towel
add your herbs to a glass of water (this helps keep them freshest)
submerge your produce to a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes prior to using to spruce them back up
5.reduce your toxic load (reduces what ends up on the earth - use nature instead, like essential oils).
There are SO many toxic products out there—the type that end up in our garbage dumps, which can eventually end up back in our water systems. And it’s not even just about us; what about all the other animals that inhabit this Earth? They matter, too. Which is why many years ago, I started making the switch to ditching chemicals and using nature instead in the form of essential oils. You can clean your home & body with them, plus, they aren’t going to harm you.
And finally, my favourite point…
6. go vegan!
This has a huge environmental impact & I’m so proud to have eaten this way since 2012. There’s so much to say on this topic, but please know this: eating a vegan diet is the single most impactful thing you can do to help our planet.
This is where I’d love to step in to help!
I have a collection of vegan recipes if you’re looking for a place to start for eating this way. I also am a nutritionist and would gladly work with you on an individual level if this is something you’re seriously considering, so please get in touch.
If going completely vegan seems daunting, then even choose to eat meat-free one day a week. This is a fantastic place to start and not discredited! I even wrote this article for you on the levels of meat alternatives to help you lead into this amazing lifestyle.
I hope you truly take the time to consider what you can do in your life to support the Earth in a better way. Because we sometimes might not realize, but we really need to treat the Earth like it’s the only one we have… because it is.
For me: I’m challenging myself to take this next year cycle to see how I can improve before next Earth Day hits.
Are you up for the challenge to? We got this & can do it together! One choice at a time.