10 years. A decade. Think about where you were 10 years ago. What were you doing? The harsh reality is that 10 years is all we have left to reverse damage made to planet. After that, the future climate impact is irreversible. That's it. The thought personally scares me. Yet for some, they don't think it's a big deal or ten years is a long time away. That is even more terrifying to me.
So what can you do to help? I've complied some lifestyle changes- better yet, some simple things you can do without completely disrupting your life. Me personally, I love a good complete life change. However if it's too much out of your zone, here are some simple steps you can do to help save the only planet we have.
1. FOR THE HOME - Make your home more energy efficient. Simple steps like switching to LED's and swapping your old faucet to water efficient faucets. Unplugging everything you're not using at the moment. Taking shorter showers simply by doing somethings like shaving after you shower. Luckily for us, we have to turn the water off while showering to conserve our hot water. So it is doable! Turning off lights when your leave a room. Turning your AC temp up a few degrees, or your heat down a couple degrees. Throw on an extra pair of wool socks and snuggle up in a blanket. Some more difficult but extremely effective methods include: throwing a couple solar panels on your roof. Invest your utilities in companies that have been certified by the Green-e Energy. Even if that's not possible, check out your utility companies website for energy saving tips. Weatherize your home. Seal up cracks, insulate your home. We use reflectix in our RV during not only the summer but also winter months to keep out home cooler or warmer it helps dramatically!
Switching from paper to cloth- Switching from paper towels to cloth towels can is an excellent way to reduce paper waste. Cutting up an old t shirt from a second hand store or purchasing reusable paper towels.
Let's talk water. As a family, we collectively refused plastic bottles in our home. instead we purchased a 6 gallon water jug, a glass water dispenser, and reusable stainless steel water bottles. Water Tip: While waiting for your hot water through the faucet, collect that water in a bucket or container and use it to water plants or pets!
2. ON THE GO - When you're out and about, it's easy to be more earth conscious. Bring your reusable cups and containers when filling up your morning coffee and breakfast pastry. In fact, some big named companies like Starbucks give you a discount for doing just that! The same when you're out to lunch, bring your own refillable cups for your drink and straw. Forget your stainless steel straw? Skip the plastic all together! I prefer stainless steel straws over silicon because they are better for the envoirnment and can't form mold on them like silicon can. It took some getting used to at first especially with the kids, but they love them now! we always have our drink containers with everywhere to reduce our single use plastics.
Speaking of plastic (yuck!) consider switching from plastic bags to reusable totes. I love my reusable bags and take them everywhere. I always leave them in the car that way I don't forget them. Quick Tip: running in for a quick snack at the convenient store and forget your bag? Skip it. If I forget my bags, I refused plastic. I've even done it at grocery stores with big grocery hauls!
Another advantage I love about our lifestyle is our lack of space. Sounds nuts right? However for us, not having a huge space has made it so we can't bring a bunch of "things" into our home. We also practice an something in, something out mindset. When something new comes in something old must be donated or sold.
TRASIT- Have you ever considered downsizing from two cars to one? Or even taking public transportation to and from places like the grocery store or work? Maybe even walking to local places in your area like your local coffee or ice cream shop. Simple steps like this will help reduce the emissions you put not the air. and if your walking, your also helping your body as well.
3. YOUR BODY - Here's where some comfort zones may get ruffled. being 100% honest, switching to a plant based diet is the most affective way but if you not down for that, consider going on a less meat and dairy diet. Here's the facts: the meat industry - more specifically, the beef and dairy industries, are the most destructive farming industries. A study at the University of Oxford in the UK found that excluding animal products from your diet can reduce the amount your yearly carbon emissions by 61 to 71 percent NOTE: (the percentage is based on average per capita meat consumption in the U.S.)Also if you choose a less meat diet, choosing local farmers in your area, is also an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When choosing a plant based diet, it's always best to find local produce. Organic is always best no matter where you shop. Another tip: Research what fruits and vegetables are in season and stick with those. We as a culture in 2019, tend to forget that even 50 years ago it was unheard of to get strawberries in January, and in today world, it's a simple drive to your major grocery store because they are shipped in from all over the world.
FEM HYGIENE- Let's get real about it. Ladies, your monthly cycle is not very eco friendly BUT it can be! I'm personally not a fan of cups but they are very popular and effective. There are many other methods that work just as amazing and help reduce carbon footprint. For example using menstrual underwear like Bambody works amazing! For heavier days I turn to Seventh Generation tampons with biodegradable inserts and made with organic cotton.
CLOTHING- one of my favorite places in the world to shop for clothes is a good second hand store. In fact, its a thrill for me! But it's also good for the planet! (A simple cotton T-shirt can suck up 2,700 liters of water—just in the production of raw materials. That roughly works out at 17 bathtubs.) So consider shopping at your local second hand store for not only clothing but also home goods. Also, look for brand that use sustainable good and fair trade practices.
PETS- Living on the road full time, theres one pet product I never realized I would need so much- poop bags! Switching to a biodegradable vegetable based bag will help reduce your use of single use plastics, one of the top killers in the oceans and landfills.
HOUSEHOLD ITEMS - Seriously the list can go in and on. Pretty much anything in your home can be switched to better the environment from eco friendly k cups, toothbrushes, and biodegradable trash bags, theres never an easier time than now to help in any way you can. Not to mention, with companies Facebook, Google and Apple who have already switched to renewable energy sources and Walmart, Amazon, making the pledge to reduce their carbon footprint in the upcoming future- theres not reason we as the entire human race can't change a few habits in our life to better the planet. Big box stores are now carrying more and more eco friendly cleaning products like Seventh Generation and Mrs. Myers.
We all know some of the most basic ways to reduce your carbon footprint. They've been instilled in us since we were young and for good reason too! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. If we want a better place for the future, not just for future generations but for YOU- consider at trying a couple of these lifestyle changes. Ten years is not a lot of time, and when it gets to be too much for the planet, its irreversible. Just ten years.
Do you have a helpful earth friendly tip? Leave it below!