Considering the consequences of climate change we already experience and the fact that it’s only going to get worse, sustainability becomes a necessity rather than an option. While some people think that only corporations or countries can make a difference, in reality, each person’s daily habits can contribute to a more sustainable future.
It’s not about significant changes and extensive renovations, though, of course, those would be ideal. It’s about the little things that we do every day without even thinking about it. If we all change our daily habits to be more sustainable, the overall impact would be tremendous.
From quitting smoking or vaping sustainably to using a reusable water bottle or travel mug to carrying a reusable bag when shopping to driving less, here are six ways to make your daily habits more sustainable.
Quit Smoking or Vape Sustainably
Smoking cigarettes not only harms your health, but it’s also terrible for the environment. Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter and are not biodegradable. They’re also full of toxins that can leach into the soil and water.
If you smoke, consider quitting. If you can’t or don’t want to quit, there are still things you can do to be more sustainable.
For example, you can switch to an e-cigarette, use a reusable vape pen and refill it with different e-liquids (the variety!) rather than disposing of them. It’s not only more eco-friendly, but it’s usually cheaper as well, not to mention the health benefits.
E-cigarettes are considered safer for both active and second-hand smokers as they don’t produce tar or other harmful chemicals. Moreover, if you vape, you can control your nicotine intake, slowly reducing it until you quit altogether.
Reduce Your Meat Consumption
Meat production is a major contributor to climate change. It takes a lot of energy and resources to raise livestock, and the animals produce methane, a greenhouse gas (in fact, meat accounts for 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production!).
You don’t have to go vegan or vegetarian overnight. Start by having one or two meatless meals per week and gradually increase the number of meatless meals. Not only will this be better for the environment, but it’s also better for your health.
There are many delicious meatless recipes out there, so you’re sure to find something you like. And, if you’re worried about getting enough protein, there are plenty of plant-based proteins, such as beans, lentils, and quinoa.
Use a Reusable Water Bottle or Travel Mug
If you’re still using disposable plastic water bottles and buy your coffee or tea in disposable cups, it’s time to make the switch to a reusable water bottle or travel mug. It will save you money in the long run, and it’s better for the environment.
Disposable water bottles are made of petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Plus, they often end up in landfills or as litter. And, if they’re not recycled, it takes hundreds of years for them to decompose.
Reusable water bottles and travel mugs are made of materials such as stainless steel, glass, or bamboo. They’re durable, eco-friendly, and can be used over and over again.
There are many different styles and sizes of reusable water bottles and travel mugs to choose from. Some even come with filters, so you can fill them up with tap water and be sure you’re drinking clean water.
Carry a Reusable Bag When Shopping
This one is so easy, and yet, so many people still don’t do it. Carrying a reusable bag when shopping—whether it’s for groceries, clothes, or anything else—is one of the simplest ways to reduce your environmental impact.
Plastic bags are one of the most common types of litter. They’re made from fossil fuels, are non-biodegradable, and often end up in the ocean, where they’re mistaken for food by marine animals.
So, next time you go shopping, bring your own reusable bags. They are made from a variety of materials, such as cloth, canvas, or even recycled plastic bottles. Many stores also sell reusable bags, so there’s really no excuse not to use one.
This one is a little bit more difficult, but it’s definitely doable, especially if you live in a city or town with good public transportation.
Driving is one of the most polluting activities an individual can do. Cars emit greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change, and they also produce air pollution, which can cause respiratory problems.
Walking or riding a bike are great alternative transportation methods that are not only better for the environment but also for your health. And, if you must drive, carpooling is a great way to reduce your emissions. You can also look into alternative fuel cars, such as electric or hybrid vehicles. They’re more expensive up front, but they’ll save you money in the long run and have a much smaller environmental impact.
Last but not least, consider using public transportation. It’s often more convenient than driving and definitely more sustainable.
Use Reusable Menstrual Products
If you or someone you know menstruates, consider switching to reusable menstrual products. Pads and tampons are made from a variety of materials, including plastic, which is not biodegradable. Since they’re not reusable, they end up in landfills, where they take years to decompose.
Reusable menstrual products, such as cups and cloth pads, are made from eco-friendly materials, such as silicone or cotton. They’re also more comfortable and can be used over and over again.
Making the switch to reusable menstrual products is a more eco-friendly option, but it’s also better for your health. Pads and tampons can contain harmful chemicals, such as dioxins and pesticides, which can leach into your body.
The Bottom Line
Making your daily habits more sustainable doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many small things you can do that will make a big difference. From quitting smoking or vaping sustainably to using a reusable water bottle or travel mug to carrying a reusable bag when shopping to driving less, there are many ways to make your daily habits more sustainable.
Start with one or two of the suggestions above and gradually make more changes. Soon, it will become second nature, and you’ll be doing your part to help save the planet. Every little bit helps, and, over time, the impact will be significant.
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.
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