Protecting our environment is a collective job. Our planet is our responsibility. You might have wondered about how you can contribute to protecting our planet. Here are some effective ways to reduce your waste.
Cut down on single-use waste by shopping locally at a farmers’ market or your local greengrocers. Shopping locally is great for both the planet and your local community. The less your produce has had to travel to you, the less of an environmental impact it has on the planet. By shopping locally you save water and reduce the use of gas, packaging, and pollution. At your local farmers’ market, reusable crates are used as opposed to wasteful packaging that will be discarded. Your food arrives in your hands a lot fresher as it has had to travel a short distance.
By shopping locally you are also eating in-season food which has been said to be better for your health. When purchasing foods that out and not in season, they are usually more expensive or have had to travel a greater distance.
Consider buying in bulk to reduce your use of single-use plastic and packaging. Bulk buying usually means cost savings as well. Plastic bag usage is in the millions which you may not feel the impact of every time you pick a plastic bag up but the environment certainly does. Most of our plastic ends up polluting the oceans, with each of us doing our bit we can reduce the pollution of our oceans.
Bulk buying usually entails bringing your own contains or glass jars to fill up with your food. Items such as dry foods, cereal, nuts, and even toilet paper can be bought in bulk.
Replace The Plastic Straws
Switching over to reusable straws is an inexpensive and easy swap. One straw may not seem like a big deal but when you consider the fact that as a collective we go through millions of straws every day, that’s a huge environmental impact! Plastic straws cannot be recycled easily due to the material it is made up of. They also do not ever fully degrade meaning that every single plastic straw created will exist forever.
Straws are one of the most commonly found litter in the ocean. This then harms marine life. As well as seabirds as plastic straws can easily be swallowed, suffocating the bird. It has been estimated that over a million seabirds die every year from plastic.
Switch over to reusable straws today and reduce your negative environmental impact.
Recycle Recycle Recycle
By recycling, waste is reduced in several ways. Pollution is reduced as fewer items are being sent to landfills and incinerators. Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by recycling.
Another source of environmental impact is e-waste, which can easily be overlooked. Due to technological advances, we are going through electronic devices at a rapid rate. E-waste includes many different materials and toxic chemicals. This includes lead, mercury, and arsenic. These substances leach into the environment during the disposal of electronics which are harmful to both the environment and human health. To combat this, the professionals behind Collins Recycling recommend a particular e-waste processing method that extracts the important metals and does not harm the environment.
Composting is an easy way to reduce your food waste that will end up in a landfill. You can use any organic matter such as food, garden waste, and even paper which then rots to create compost. This composting process occurs naturally and creates fertilizers for plants and trees.
As interesting as this all sounds, you might be wondering what the environmental benefits of composting are. You’ll be glad to know that composting has huge benefits for our planet. By composting organic matter, it produces less methane than if it ended up in a landfill. Methane is more potent than Carbon Dioxide and reducing the release of this gas is a huge benefit to emissions and climate change.
Through the plants and trees that are grown due to your composting, Carbon Dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. It also reduces the amount of waste collection required. This also means less transportation, vehicle miles, and emissions. If there is a waste reduction this also means that there will be a reduction in landfills that need to be incinerated. This reduces greenhouse gases.
The impact of fast fashion on the planet is well known. ‘Fast fashion’ refers to items that have been produced cheaply which copy the latest catwalk trends and are quickly distributed to stores around the world. This seems like a no-brainer for retailers and consumers however what is the cost for the planet?
It is estimated that fashion production makes up 10% of total global carbon emissions which is as much as the EU. Fast fashion pollutes rivers and streams and 85% of textiles are abandoned each year and end up in dumps.
Fast fashion means that clothing will often travel around the world several times during the manufacturing process. Most clothing is created in developing countries where policies surrounding pollution are not as rigid.
Because of fast fashion, consumers are now used to buying and tossing clothes as often they want. Once an item of clothing is no longer considered in style, it’s gotten rid of because it isn’t hard to replace.
Thrifting is great for both your bank account and the planet. Although there is an ethical clothing movement occurring, this is fairly slow and many of the items are priced pretty high. If these items of clothing are not in your budget then thrifting is certainly your best bet. Because of the increased awareness around protecting our planet, thrifting is now much more popular. Which is great news because this means that you’ll be able to get your hands on a wider variety of clothing!
These are only a few suggestions of ways in which you can help protect our planet. Each of us has a responsibility to do the best that we can. It may require some more thought and planning around your day-to-day activities but these changes make a huge difference in reducing your waste.