Committing to become more eco-friendly in 2021 is a great goal for the new year. Unfortunately, global warming has not gone away– which means temperatures keep rising every year. In fact, according to the UN, we need to reduce emissions by 7.6% every year from this year to 2030. In order to do so, each individual can make small changes to help contribute towards a common goal across the world. 

Contrary to popular belief, you can change your habits and build new ones– it just takes time. By making a conscious effort to find the habits you’ve created that harm the environment, and fixing them, you will help our ecosystems thrive. In today’s blog we will go over some common habits that you can improve upon to support the environment. 

Plastic water bottles

We are all guilty of using plastic water bottles at some point. Certainly, they can be easier than finding a source to refill a bottle every time you need water. However, in the last few years, there has been a drive to carry a reusable water bottle. There is a rise in sustainably conscious consumers– meaning companies are keeping up. You can find cute and chic water bottles everywhere you look. With popular brands such as Hydroflask and Yeti, you can purchase a sturdy reusable bottle that will last you for quite some time. 

A great way to make the switch is to stop buying plastic water bottles at the store so you are never tempted to grab and go. Instead, find a reusable bottle that matches your style and is big enough to keep you hydrated. Fortunately, places like work offices, college campuses, and gyms now offer filling stations so you don’t have to worry about becoming dehydrated. 

Display of reusable Yeti brand tumblers. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

Driving a car too often

When gas is burned, hazardous substances are released into the atmosphere. Certainly, it is difficult to cut driving completely so reduce it. However, if you have a local market , park, or gym– consider devoting extra time to walk or bike to the destination over driving. 

Another great way to drive less often, is to carpool. If you live with your significant other or a roommate, it is a great idea to plan time to get groceries or go to the mall together. That way, you can carpool together instead of making two separate trips the same week. Overall, if you can take a moment to plan out your week and find times where you can carpool or walk– you will be making small but significant changes.  

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

Consumer spending

The more consumers spend, the higher the demand. The process uses a lot of energy such as burning fossil fuels. Not only that, but most products come with plastic packaging and more waste once you open it. 

We suggest you read reviews before you decide to spend money buying a product online. For example, there is a great review of Mavala Stop, a thumb-sucking nail polish, that may help you realize you don’t really need it! For clothing, ensure your sizing is correct and you really need the clothes before purchasing. 

Additionally, consider visiting thrift stores or buying second-hand items. There are many good finds that you would be surprised by. Most neighborhoods have a thrift store nearby that could turn into a fun shopping day while also helping the environment!

Plastic bubble wrap. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

Meat consumption

Developing an ethical eating plan is important for our environment. Eating ethically doesn’t mean you have to stop meat consumption entirely. Yet, finding ways you can reduce your meat consumption can have a positive impact on our environment. Unfortunately, the agricultural industry contributes to a high amount of emissions. Methane, which comes from cows, is a powerful greenhouse gas. The amount of water and food sources the animals need also takes its toll on the environment. 

Good news is, consuming plant-based products has little to no harm on the environment. Think about implementing small changes to your eating habits. You can start by switching 1-3 meals a week to being plant-based. From there, you can begin to eat at least one plant-based meal a day. 

Another great environment- saving tip, is to switch to organic meat and dairy products. Overall, organic products seek to use natural sources to feed their livestock and produce less waste than non-organic sources.

Plant-based food. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

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