As I’m learning how to become more eco-friendly friends and environmentally conscious, I thought I would share a few of my goals. Here are 6 ways that I will become more eco-friendly this year.
1.Sell my car
Well I can officially cross this off the list because I sold my car back in January. After months of debating, I realized I wasn’t using the car enough to justify the monthly cost and upkeep of it, nor was I really going out (even pre-pandemic) to the point where I needed a car for my lifestyle. I’ve also been researching electric car options and compared the carbon footprint of my car to the electric model that I want and I was shocked with how much unnecessary carbon was being emitted into the Earth, under my watch. Month one of not owning a car is so nice. I feel like I have more time during my day because I’m not making excuses to go run an errand (aka the coffee pickup window) and I find that I am better stewarding my time. My mom and I will carpool on weekends and we plan our errands based on what needs to get done. Overall, I find I have more time on the weekends, which also sets me up for a successful week.
2. Composting/Reduce Food Waste
This is something I am in the research stages of. I live in a townhouse and there are certain regulation as far as composting goals. I’m trying to figure out what I can and cannot do in regards to this. I like the idea of giving my food another life, so to speak, and not tossing my remains in the bin. So, as my knowledge/the implementing stages happen, I will be sure to update.
3. take recycling and waste more seriously
I recently tuned into a sustainability conference and one suggestion was adding a garbage can to bathrooms, to help with recycling throughout the house. I absolutely love this and realized that there are way more items I can be responsibly disposing of and even reusing. I’m also interested in reaching out to the waste and recycling center and learning what services they offer that I am not implementing.
4. Reduce plastic purchasing
I’d like to say that I don’t purchase plastic, but that’s not the case. I’m on the hunt to find brands that are empowered to reduce and eliminate plastic in their production. I already purchase most things fair-trade, but of those items, they are included in plastic containers or encased in/with unnecessary single-use materials.
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5. Utilize my voice to make a change
This year I want to venture into a realm of advocacy I haven’t before. I love writing about how we can all make a difference, but I want to do more. So, I’m going to be using my voice to help with policy changes and I also want to make a shift and join a company on a mission similar to mine of making a difference and providing resources/education for people and businesses to do better.
6. Find replacements for things I’m using up
As I’m using products up, I want to replace them with more sustainable options. When I know I’m running low on a product, I’ll start a Google search to find a more sustainable replacement. For example, if I’m running low on detergent I’ll type in “sustainable detergent” or “detergent in sustainable packaging”. The key words I use and rotate into my searches are the following:
Be cautious if you’re typing in “eco-friendly” after a product. So many companies like to toss that around but their products and packaging are the opposite. A great way to determine if a product or company is indeed “eco-friendly” is by looking at the materials they use for their products. This is the easiest way to identify if they’re legit or not. If they aren’t eco-friendly, they will be using plastic that isn’t made from recycled materials, they won’t have a sustainability guide online that you could look through, and they may not have a plan to help become XYZ eco-friendly goal. The most important thing to look for when choosing a company to swap with is their longterm and short term goals. While becoming eco-friendly doesn’t happen over night, there are daily steps to be taken in this journey. A company that is truly eco-friendly knows this and provides some indication to the public (i.e. a sustainability guide, mission statement, press releases, publicizing their strategy, etc.) that they are finding the resources and beginning/in the thick of the process for swapping out the stages of their production and business that are negatively impacting the environment.