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Becoming More Eco-friendly

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Since the Industrial Revolution, environmental advocates have been promoting eco-friendly living. But, what does it really mean to be environmentally-friendly? And why is this important? In 2021, we all know we should recycle and reduce our single use plastics consumption, most people don’t understand the value of doing these things as one individual in a much larger context. While it is important to live eco-friendly lives, it is equally as important is understanding why. Did you know:

  • According to NASA, the world’s rainforests will be gone by 2100 if the current rate of destruction continues.
  • If current patterns continue, we will have emptied the world’s oceans for seafood by 2050.
  • If all life on Earth was put on a scale, the human population would only make up about one ten-thousandth of the total weight of life on Earth.
  • Landfills are composed of 35% packaging materials.
  • Rainforests are cut down at a rate of 100 acres per minute.

(Environmental Facts Source: The World Counts)

The ‘Why’ of transitioning to an eco-friendly lifestyle can be as broad as combatting global warming as a whole or as small as reducing waste in your local waterways – but, every action counts. Whatever your personal reasoning may be, we are all working together towards a common goal: improving the world for ourselves and future generations.


How To Become More Eco-Friendly

We created this guide for easy eco-friendly living that include small, everyday changes you can implement to lesson your carbon footprint:

Switch To LED Lighting

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and are now readily available at most hardware stores. Although they can be initially more expensive, they are more efficient and last 25x longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. 90% of the energy used by incandescent light bulbs is waste in the form of heat. LEDs use 1/4 of the energy without any waste.

Limit or Eliminate Single-Use Plastics

Things like disposable cutlery,  excess plastic packaging, and soft plastic-storage bags are all examples of single use plastic. Single-use plastics and packaging make up 35% of current landfill content. Opting for products with little to no packaging or recyclable packaging are great ways to make your daily shopping better for the environment. You can also consider sourcing a local refill store where you are able to bring your own containers to refill on things like soap, laundry detergent, or bulk foods.

Eat Locally Sourced Foods

The food with the smallest carbon footprint is locally grown, or even better – you grow it yourself! This allows you to eat seasonally delicious foods grown by people in your community. Transporting food from abroad, whether by truck, ship, or plane, uses fossil fuels for fuel and for cooling to keep foods in transit from going bad.

Wash Your Clothes In Cold Water

If you have ever wondered, ‘what’s the difference between regular laundry detergent and cold water laundry detergent?’ – it’s fairly simple! The enzymes typically used in cold water detergent are designed to perform better at lower temperatures. Doing two loads of laundry weekly in cold water instead of hot water can save up to 450+ pounds of CO2 each year.

Buy Less “Things”

Less items being frivolously purchased or less items of lower quality being purchased, only to be thrown away shortly after, reduces a great deal of unnecessary waste each year. Purchasing more expensive, high-quality items or second hand items is a great way to keep items out of landfills.

Resources

https://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/amazing_environmental_facts

https://www.google.com/search?q=ways+to+reduce+carbon+footprint&oq=ways+to+reduce+carbon+footprint&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i512l6j69i60.4746j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

25+ Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

https://davidsuzuki.org/action/zero-waste-pledge/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAzfuNBhCGARIsAD1nu-8ewdyyZMlOinW3hRAdAqRl04xMG7ncYj_bFj59a0JMJtGbomSTou4aArL7EALw_wcB

The 35 Easiest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

 

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How To Start Living Sustainably

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Getting started on a journey to living a more sustainable, eco-friendly life can feel incredibly complex. The idea of changing your entire way of life can seem like a huge task with an unclear way to start! It can seem impossible to live sustainably when you consider all the things that are a part of our everyday life that are NOT sustainable. Take a look around, count the number of plastic items that you find, single-use items, products made in environmentally unethical ways. Plastic is everywhere and has become more difficult to avoid.

Originally, the invention and mass dispersal of consumer plastic products were to make modern lives easier. In 2018 the EPA reported that single use and packaging plastic made up 14.5 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW). Overall, the amount of MSW has been increasing at a rapid pace, climbing 42 million tons between 1990 and 1995 alone. Plastic waste is not only harmful to the environment, it is also extremely damaging to our health. According to the Geneva Environment Network:

Humans are exposed to a large variety of toxic chemicals and microplastics through inhalation, ingestion, and direct skin contact, all along the plastic lifecycle. According to WWF on average people could be ingesting approximately 5 grams of plastic every week, which is the equivalent weight of a credit card.

So, where do we start?

WHAT DOES ‘LIVING SUSTAINABLY’ MEAN?

It’s important to understand what it means to “live sustainably”. Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and personal resources. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet.

HOW CAN YOU START LIVING SUSTAINABLY?

A great place to start is to do a sustainable audit of your home and the processes that keep your home functioning. Here are 4 easy ways to improve your environmental impact on a daily basis:

1. MAKE YOUR KITCHEN MORE SUSTAINABLE

The kitchen is a great place to begin, since most single use plastic is used in the kitchen. Plastic utensils are often used to protect Teflon-coated pans. Metal or wood are better choices for the environment. Many brands are also introducing bamboo dishware and storage options. Bamboo is extremely eco friendly, it is readily biodegradable and easy to grow without pesticides of chemicals.

Recycle your Tupperware and opt for glass or metal: These include reusable metal or glass water bottles, glass storage containers and reusable stainless-steel items like cups, plates and bowls. These alternatives are easy to clean and pack to go, making living sustainably easy even with a busy lifestyle! Get rid of Tupperware and all disposable packaging. Disposable plastics are often mixed with harmful chemicals which can potentially leech into their contents when heated or when worn down.

One of these chemicals is known as Bisphenol S has been found in 81% of blood tested, due to it’s inclusion in plastic consumer products, and that it can lead to ailments such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, birth defects, and cancer.

Try using reusable produce bags or go bag-less: If you often buy fresh produce, you have a significant change of ending up with a lot of single use produce bags which often end up in the garbage. There are fantastic reusable options available, many which can be sourced locally.

Keep your cleaning routine green: a large source of waterway and ecosystem contamination comes from the chemicals that are washed down drains. Things like liquid bleach, drain cleaner, and ammonia all contribute to toxic chemicals in local ecosystems and compromising waste water systems in local communities.

2. START USING REUSABLE BAGS

Did you know that between five billion to one trillion plastic bags are being used every year in the world? Plastic shopping bags are the most harmful to the environment. Shopping with your own bag can help reduce plastic waste. You can also avoid food packaging by shopping in bulk and bringing your own containers! Many cities are seeing the emergence of bulk stores. These stores offer a huge amount of products, from shampoos to spices, without any individual plastic packaging.

Remember, if you have to use plastic bags, you should reuse them as often as possible and then recycle them when you are done. Many grocery stores have bins that allow you to return plastic bags and film.

3. WHEN POSSIBLE, MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD

After a long day at the office, cooking is not something you would want to do. We get it. However, take-out often involves a lot more plastic and single use waste than eating at home. Remember that processed or premade foods and lots of disposable packaging go hand in hand. Natural, local ingredients are healthier for your health and the environment.

4. LOOK INTO PLASTIC FREE CLOTHING

Recent studies have shown that tiny fibers made from synthetic fabrics are being emitted into the water supply of aquatic animals. It is possible to reduce the amount of tiny fibers entering our water streams by choosing clothes made from natural fibers like cotton, hemp, linen and wool. Polyester, for example, is made from synthetic material.

5. GET A GREEN CLEANING ROUTINE

You will likely find a lot of cleaning products in your cabinets that you don’t use or chemical heavy products that you’re not wanting to continue using. There are only a few products that you really need to clean your entire home which makes living sustainably simple. Keeping a citric acid based multipurpose cleaner will cover all your cleaning needs across many different rooms and situations.

The Homebiotic Surface Cleaner, which is citric acid based, allows you to clean surfaces naturally without harsh chemicals that damage your home biome. Keeping a natural, safe balance of microbes in the home helps protect against exposure to toxins that could negatively impact your health.

As an eco-bonus, Homebiotic Surface Cleaner arrives at your house as concentrated tabs that you mix using a reusable bottle, which saves plastic from ending up in landfills.

Find mold under your sink? Don’t reach for the bleach! Use the Homebiotic Surface Cleaner, which is powerful enough to kill mold, but not harmful to water systems. Wipe away mold, dirt, & grime with the Homebiotic Nano Sponge, which doesn’t cultivate harmful bacteria the way conventional sponges do.

A natural cleaning routine paired with the powerful probiotic protection of Homebiotic Probiotic spray, your home will stay happy and healthy, protected from the sources of grime and musty odors.

Annie Leonard, a notable American proponent for sustainable living, said:

There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw something away it must go somewhere.

The idea that everything we consumer MUST take up space before, during, and after we use it is a great foundation for making more sustainable decisions. Living sustainably is as easy as remembering that EVERYTHING has to end up SOMEWHERE.

We don’t recommend that you start over and discard everything. Instead, we suggest that you work with what is available and, as they run out, make a list of eco-friendly, plastic-free options. Even the biggest waves, start as small ripples.