Although it might seem at first glance that nature, the environment and ecology hardly concern us, the opposite is true. The environment in which we live affects our health by up to 20%. If we do not treat him responsibly, we can be sure that he will not give us much good.
Are there any easy steps to behave better for the environment? We have 10 of them for you.
1. Do not waste food
Every year, about a third of total production is “lost” or discarded during food production, harvesting or processing.
In the countries of the European Union, it is around 88 million tonnes of food every year, which corresponds to financial losses of approximately 143 billion euros.
The solution to this problem is very simple and elegant.
Shop only for what you need and what you can eat. Instead of throwing it away, try freezing the remaining food or donating it to food banks.
2. Do not waste water
We all need water for life, there is no doubt about that. Nevertheless, we use only 44% of it and the remaining 56% goes unused in the form of wastewater to the environment.
In addition, in EU countries, about 5,000 liters of water are used per person per day to produce food. If we waste food, we also waste water.
In the future, water demand is expected to increase by up to 50% by 2030, suggesting that we will have a relatively large problem with water availability in the future.
How can we simply reduce water waste?
- Turn off the water when brushing teeth
- Switch off the water when washing dishes
- Limit shower time
Even these little things can save a huge amount of water. After 3 minutes of showering, you will be as clean and fragrant as after 20 minutes. And a bath in a full bath is not needed every day either, is it?
3. Get reusable bottles, cups, bags and boxes
In 2017, an incredible 348 million tonnes of plastic were produced worldwide, with around 8 million tonnes ending up in the oceans each year.
There they kill aquatic animals and birds and, in the form of microplastics, further accumulate in fish, thus entering our food chain.
In addition, we can also find them in the air and drinking water.
Worldwide, the amount of microplastics swallowed in this way per week is as high as 5 g, which corresponds to a credit card. What with this?
Each of us can reduce plastic waste with our own reusable containers and bags:
Water bottle – Instead of buying PETs every day and creating new waste, you’d better get one good bottle, with which you will not only produce less plastic waste, but you will also get a great fashion accessory.
Coffee cup – Instead of throwing away coffee cups on a daily basis, you should buy your own thermo mug. That will do a lot of show off for little money.
Reusable bags for fruit, vegetables or pastries – Try to remember how many microtene bags from the supermarket you used only to transport food home and then throw it away. Reusable bags will help us solve this huge environmental burden, thanks to which we will save a lot and a lot of plastic ones.
Food box – We also receive a nasty bonus in the form of a one-time package with each meal. But even here there is a better option. In the restaurants, bistros and cafes you can have the food packed in a reusable box, and use again and again.
Stainless steel and bamboo straws – In the USA alone, about 500 million plastic straws are thrown away every day, which, like other plastic waste, often ends up in the oceans. So little is enough. Classic plastic straws can be perfectly replace by reusable stainless steel or bamboo alternatives. If you visit cafes where you do not have the type of material used so completely in your power, try to ask the staff for a lemonade without a straw.
4. Get rid of the capsule coffee machine and replace it with a mocha pot
Making a cup of coffee is incredibly easy today – you insert a capsule, press a button and it’s done in 30 seconds.
However, our convenience takes its cruel toll on the environment, as these capsules are mostly made of plastic and aluminum and as a whole it is actually impossible to recycle them.
If we treat ourselves like 2 cups a day, we have 14 capsules a week, 60 a month and 720 capsules a year.
Therefore, you should rather get a mocha pot, french press, aeropress or dripper.
If you would like to enhance your coffee experience, add a grinder and grind your coffee just before preparation.
5. Try plastic free shopping
In almost every major city today, you will find unpackaged shops, where you weigh your own food and take it home in your own containers.
And how does it actually work? First, you weight an empty container so that you really only pay for your purchase.
Then you put what you want into the container and pay for everything at the cash register, where the weight of the empty container will be deducted.
Instead of containers, you can also carry paper bags with you, from which you can pour the purchased food at home.
Likewise, solid soaps, showers and shampoos have one undeniable advantage over conventional cosmetics – they do not have to be in plastic containers, which end up in the trash after a few weeks.
You can buy these products in almost every unpackaging store, and in addition to the various scents and versatility of use, you will be pleasantly surprised by their long life.
6. Limit meat consumption
The population of the planet is increasing, many countries are getting richer, and global meat consumption is constantly rising.
In response to higher demand, the trend of large farms is also growing, but there is no room to ensure the welfare of animals, and they often live in unsatisfactory conditions, which is also reflected in the quality of meat.
This reality is a tax for overfilled supermarket shelves that reflect the demands of today’s consumer – large quantities of meat at a low price.
7. Sort waste
Thanks to sorting, we can recycle some of the waste produced and reuse it.
Although the recycling process is as energy or water intensive as any other production, it reduces the need for further extraction and use of primary resources, thus converting waste material into secondary raw materials.
But it is still true that the best waste is one that we do not create.
8. Save energy
We all know that energy (whether thermal, electric or whatever) doesn’t just grow on trees, but has to be produced somehow.
And often from those trees. By wasting it, we destroy not only natural resources, the quality of the environment, but also our wallet.
9. Discover the beauty of ecological cleaners and detergents
Cleaning with the “sweep everything with a damp cloth” type is not exactly right from the point of view of hygiene, so it is no wonder that it is difficult to imagine cleaning, washing or washing dishes today without chemicals.
But it’s even better. Ecological cleaners are just as effective as the classic ones, and they also bring us a number of other benefits.
10. Make the most of your clothes
The textile industry is also one of the leading polluters of the environment.
Textile production is water and energy intensive, long-distance transport also takes its toll, and the people behind its production often work in unsatisfactory conditions and for a minimum wage.
What with this? Prefer clothes that were not made thousands of kilometers away, modify old clothes, sew them, sell them or donate them.
When looking for new pieces, also visit a second hand from time to time, which will help you to use the already made clothes and thus reduce the amount of textile waste.
The so-called slow fashion, which emphasizes the quality of clothing, tradition, respect for human rights, the environment and local production, also opposes fast, cheap fashion that does not take human rights or the environment into account.
Like it or not, we only have one planet to live on. In recent years, we have become accustomed to luxury, which unfortunately is not sustainable in the long run, and if we want to be well in a few years, we will need to start behaving accordingly.