What better time to talk about this Modo/Moksha pillar than right around Earth Day? Although we often don’t think about our connection to the earth, we are forever intertwined. Because of this intersectionality, it is not only our opportunity but our duty to conserve and protect the earth so that generations to come may experience the same breath-taking beauty that can be seen in the simplest flower to the tallest mountain.
But also, let’s get real. Sometimes “going green” or conserving is intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Every single person can participate in tons of small ways. Can you imagine if everyone took on one small thing to help conserve? The effects would be hugely palpable. For example, according to the National Park Service, Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day. To understand just how many straws 500 million really is, this would fill over 125 school buses with straws every single day. Bet you didn’t think that cutting out disposable straws could make a difference, but look, it can! Small steps matter because they add up. So, as always, we have provided you a list of 8 ways you can go green, so pick which ones work for you and start (or keep) caring for the planet and giving back to this beautiful planet that has given so much to each of us.
8 ways to go green(er)
- Limit your use of disposables. Whether it’s a straw, excess napkins, or a coffee cup, there are alternatives. Try bringing your own coffee mug to the cafe. If you can’t resist using a straw, considering buying an alternative one (who knew there were so many options?!) and keeping it in your house, car, or purse (or all three).
- Skip the bottled water. Fortunately, we live in a city where we are able to drink the tap water. But if that’s not your preference, invest in a Brita at home and get in the habit of caring a reusable water bottle around with you. Also are you hooked on La Croix? Consider buying a SodaStream (just don’t add the syrup). Although it may be more money up front, it will also save you cash in the long run.
- Roll down the windows. Skip the AC when you can and open up the windows. The fresh air is better for the soul anyway!
- Think before you buy. Not participating in consumerism is one of the best things you can do to help the planet out. The less we buy, the less is produced. Before you buy any thing, try asking yourself if it is something you need. Of course, you have needs, so perhaps it is. But if you find it’s not, can you skip purchasing it? Don’t forget that some items are easily borrowed from others as well!
- Buy quality clothing. This goes hand in hand with the other suggestion, but buying from certain stores and companies is a huge move toward sustainability. Do your research because those companies do exist and they are becoming more common. Also be sure to buy clothes that will last, repair clothes that tore instead of buying new ones, and avoid fast fashion–stores that get new shipments of cheap clothing every day of the year–like H&M and Forever 21.
- Go meatless. Okay, okay hear us out. We are not saying you have to be vegetarian, but try limiting meat consumption. Perhaps that means one meal a week doesn’t have meat. Do what is attainable for you then see if you can build on that. The meat industry uses lots of resources, so the more you are able to limit it, the bigger impact you will be making.
- Make your own cleaning products. Try making your own cleaning supplies – it’s a win-win, not only does this limit the amount of toxins in your home, but it also eliminates a lot of the packaging in traditional, store-bough cleaning supplies since you can reuse the same bottle for your homemade products. Don’t know where to start? Head here for a list of recipes and specific use cases for each one.
- Be an advocate. As we said before, your small changes matter. They do. But small changes from millions of people could have an astronomical impact…so inform others! Let them know that saving and respecting the planet is everyone’s job, not just the employees of Green Peace, and then let them know that it doesn’t have to mean drastic changes and then proceed to provide suggestions for how small changes and heightened awareness truly can equal big results.
We’d love to hear other hot tips and tricks you have for being a small-change, conversation guru. Comment below and let us know. And if you use some of these suggestions, let us know how they go! Happy Earth Day, Month, Year and LIfe!