- Reduce Plastic Use:
Americans still purchase an astounding 50 billion water bottles a year and use a whopping 100 billion plastic grocery bags. These products have a big ecological impact and are largely unnecessary. Reusable water bottles and reusable grocery bags are cheap and widely available. If you do not have these reusable products in your daily routine it’s time to start, and they make great gifts as well! This is an easy and incredibly impactful solution to reducing your plastic use every week.
- Conserve Water:
Reducing your water use will help limit the amount of wastewater that makes its ways into our oceans. A few simple lifestyle changes can make a large difference in your ecological footprint count. Firstly, don’t leave the water running for the duration of brushing your teeth and never turn the shower on prior to getting into it. Washing machines and dishwashers should be run only when full. To minimize water evaporation, gardens and yards should be watered only in the morning or at dusk.
- Conserve Energy:
This seemingly obvious step in improving our ecological footprint is often the least implemented. To conserve energy is to create a series of small habits that work together in a larger way to reduce our overall impact. These small steps require working together with your family to encourage mindfulness surrounding these small gestures which include but are not limited to; using cold water for laundry and hanging clothes to dry when possible. Switching to energy efficient light bulbs and always turning them off when leaving a room. And of course, using power strips so you can easily turn off large appliances when not in use. Lastly, if of the means, consider investing in solar energy for the home.
- Shop Local & Sustainable
Your wallet has the largest impact on your ecological footprint. Your purchasing power is your best friend in creating a larger shift in corporate sustainability. When we buy with purpose we are telling companies that we demand social impact and environmental initiatives to be at the forefront of their business models. Purchase local, organic food when possible. Buy organic non-toxic household cleaners and everyday items. Opt for consciously made or second-hand clothing, always avoiding ‘fast-fashion’ brands whose processes are detrimental to the environment. For all consumer goods, choose companies that offset their carbon footprint and are transparent about their long-term path towards green.
Make the discussion around ecological impact one that is commonplace in your household. Speak to your children at a young age about the importance of caring for the earth and its inhabitants. Encourage them with daily tasks that become lifetime habits. We tend to believe that as individuals we cannot make a large impact so educating friends and family about the importance of individuals driving change is paramount for building and maintaining the green movement. Simply put, change starts with you.