If we ask around many of us would be very happy to make small changes into our daily lives to reduce our footprint where we can. But often enough we just don’t really know where to start.
Also you might be sceptic, how much impact can you individually really make? Just by reducing the amount of plastic you throw out or by using a little less energy? Especially if you are still boarding planes on a frequent base we understand it won’t add up and it can feel overwhelming to even make that start.
You might have heard by now that a vegan diet is probably the single best way to reduce your footprint on this planet. Various research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% - an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined - and still feed the world. It also shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority of farmland (83%) and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.
For you meat lovers out there, going cold turkey vegan is probably not the way to go. Try to skip meat at least a couple of days a week from the menu and get inspired by the great plant-based options out there nowadays (or watch the documentary Cowspiracy if you haven’t yet as this might help change your life).
Also the ‘Zero waste movement’ is becoming an ultimate ambition for green warriors nowadays. Zero Waste is focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or the ocean. Currently, only 9% of plastic is actually recycled.
But we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions doing it imperfectly (Anne-Marie Bonneau). There are little things in everyone’s life that can be changed easily and on a daily base, that will have great impact in the long term. Here are some tips to start:
- Refuse what you DO NOT need. Things like flyers, junk mail, straws, freebies, goodybags.
- Reduce what you DO NOT need. Declutter, simplify, shop more consciously and less, share and rent, and meal plan to avoid food waste.
- Reuse instead of single use. Think of your water bottle, coffee cup and cutlery. Same goes for that wedding guest dress you have invested in and only worn once.
- Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse. Depending on where you live it has become much easier to separate waste into paper, plastics, glass, compost and rest. Invest in separate bins to change your daily habits easily.
- Repair broken items or clothing before automatically replacing them.
- Choose high quality over discounts and trend items. Invest in things that last longer and are ethically made. This accounts for clothing but also furniture for example.
- Shop locally where you can to reduce the miles, pollution, shipping and packing facilities for your products to get to you.
- Shop organic to avoid the use of GMO, chemicals and pesticides in production which impacts both the environment and your health.