7 Habits to Adopt for a Greener 2019
Photo by Leighann Renee
IWake up. Brush your teeth. Go for a run. Shower. Make breakfast. Wash the dishes. Grab your lunch. Take out the garbage. Drive to work. Every day, we go through the motions. We don’t think twice about it. How can we go about our daily routines in a mindful manner that impacts the environment and our health in a sustainable way?
As 2019 approaches, here are 7 ways to create a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle:
Reuse Food Containers
We all have a cabinet full of mismatched containers and loose lids for food. Tupperware goes missing, and we automatically purchase some more containers that will ultimately end up missing and possibly end up in our oceans. Instead of wasting money on containers, you can reuse food containers from foods like cottage cheese and Chinese takeout. You are already buying new containers when you make these types of purchases, so wash them out and reuse them instead of pitching them. You can also replace container lids with reusable plastic wraps. Reusable wraps are organic and biodegradable.
Use Less Water
When you are brushing your teeth, turn the water off. You can cut down your water usage by almost four gallons each time you brush your teeth. Another way to cut down water usage may not appeal to you: Urinating in the shower can save about five gallons each time. When washing dishes, conserve clean water to rinse your dishes in rather than letting the water run. Use small amounts of soap so you don’t need an excess of water to rinse the dishes properly.
Recycling is not hard. More people need to do it. You can set up a bin next to your regular garbage for recyclable materials. Make sure to rinse out any soda cans and other containers that have sugars, sauce or other food residue before recycling. If you don’t have a recycling pickup service, you can find a depot to drop off your recycling. If you are serious about reducing your waste, you can compost fruits, vegetables and eggshells. You can use the compost in your own garden or donate it to the community garden as fertilizer.
Buy Whole Foods
To also reduce waste and stay healthy, you can buy foods without packaging. Use glass jars to transport food from the store to your home. Cereals, nuts, granolas, produce, and even meats can be transported in your own containers. This will help to cut down on your consumption of products packaged in styrofoam, which is terrible for the environment and the human body.
Pick Up After Others
It would be nice if everyone was conscious of and responsible for their own actions. But it doesn’t always work that way. Be the better person. When you see litter, it takes an extra second to bend over, pick it up, and throw it away. This Earth is all of our responsibility, and sometimes we have to pick up the slack for other people who don’t take that responsibility seriously. If this appeals to you, communities often have organised clean-up opportunities where you can make the Earth cleaner in a social setting.
Did you know appliances still use electricity when they are idle but plugged in? To be the most energy-efficient, unplug all items in your house that are not in immediate use. The toaster, coffee machine, blender and juicer don’t need to be plugged in at all times. Also, turn out lights when you are not home. This will help conserve energy use and help you save on your next bill.
Reduce Plastic Waste
One of the biggest contributors to plastic waste are one-use water bottles. Plastic is destroying our oceans. Every bit of seafood we eat has microplastics in it at this point. The time has passed to take this issue seriously. Buy a reusable glass water bottle and take it everywhere with you. Then you can stop wasting money on flats of plastic bottles that end up in the bellies of our fish and other sea animals.
We make tons of excuses why our habits don’t need to change. Some feel it adds too much time to their routine to implement changes. These are just 7 tips that can make our future more sustainable - and it takes virtually no time at all. There are no excuses to be irresponsible about our health and the health of our environment.