Simple Ways to Save the Planet
I have been trying to clean up my act the past couple of years. Like any relationship, when we take more than we give—our actions destroy the very relationship we have come to depend on and rely on. Our dependence is especially clear when it comes to how we treat the planet and our cohabitants. Take a seemingly small contributor in our world. Bees. If bees were to disappear, we could likely lose more than 30 percent of what we eat. It is estimated that 80 percent of our crops are dependent on our pollinating friends. Interdependence is real. Did anyone else cry when watching Greta Thunberg at the United Nations convention? “How dare you?” her voice thundered out to the global leaders in the room. I am hearing this over and over again in my heart— as I continue to shift bit by bit. Let me openly acknowledge that we need to join the larger efforts too—we need to show up in our communities and to support policymaking efforts in the global warming realm to round out our effectiveness. The individual effort is still a vote though. And we always begin where we are. Here are some simple shifts that have worked for us.
We keep grocery bags in each car we drive. My grocery bags can be found here.
We bring our own produce bags too. Found here.
We have reduced our meat consumption. Ground beef, in particular. We now eat meat 2-3 days a week in smaller amounts. We buy higher quality meat (grass-fed and/or organic) and are more aware of how often we eat animal products. How we eat is very personal but our recent focus on vegetables has been life-changing. As always—do what feels best for your body but any reduction at all is helpful.
We do not use paper products like paper plates or napkins or cups or plastic ware. We also politely refuse straws. I am working on purchasing recyclable trash bags next.
I try to improve one packaging issue each time I go to the store. I replaced my non-recyclable almond milk product for a recyclable one recently. I am doing this product by product. Have any of you gone to a zero-waste grocery store before??
I buy most of my clothes from used clothing stores in my area or from ThredUp. I do think having a capsule wardrobe slows down my consumption habits quite a bit as well.
We all use reusable water bottles in a committed way. I also have a reusable coffee mug that I can bring to our local coffee house if I am treating myself!
We keep our cooling and heating measures in the home at reasonable temperatures. We keep our heat at around 66 or 67 degrees during the day in the winter (I use our upstairs fireplace to heat up the family room or kitchen) and around 79 degrees during the summer.
A few areas I am looking to focus on in the future—
We are saving up for solar panels as Utah is a perfect place for a little solar energy.
We are saving up for an electric car to replace our next car when it dies.
We are looking into carbon offsetting practices. I have made donations to offset our footprint a couple of times but I still feel a bit uneducated about it all.
I want to visit a local zero-waste grocery store in Salt Lake City.
I want to reduce the trash we make to one bag each week. Baby steps!
I would love to hear a bit of what you have done recently to change up your habits to allow for a more sustainable world. Ideas? What have I missed here? Wishing you beautifully green days!!