Earth Day is around the corner and each year my family tries to incorporate a new practice to do our part in protecting Mother Earth.
In recent years, we have made a lot of easy changes around the house and with new technology and findings there are plenty more we can do! If you’re just starting out or have a goal to lessen your carbon footprint – here’s some ideas to help you out along the way.
Curb the addiction
So many of us have becoming addicted to stuff. Do we really need all those shoes, clothes, collectables, toys – the list could go on for ever…..
As a female who loves fashion, I love to buy clothes. But, I also love trends which means once the trend is over all those clothes I spent a fortune on end up in bags for donation. Did you know that the average American throws away 85% of their clothes each year? That is 65 lbs of textiles/person heading to landfills and a total of 14.3 million tons of textile waste in landfills each and every year. YIKES! We can do better than this.
I know how important and great it feels to stay trendy and fashionable, but we also know the huge impact we can make as consumers by supporting companies that offer a green alternative. A few trendy pieces are fine, but try to buy classic pieces you can pair with many other items to keep them feeling new.
When you do shop, you can also take advantage of websites like, Swap.com, the largest online thrift and consignment shop, which has all your favorite brands (such as ZARA, American Apparel, J.Crew, NIKE, DKNY, BCBG and many more) that are available at up to 95% off retail prices on Swap.com. Sounds like a win-win to me! They also carry toys and games. Parents, what a dream is this?! Kids play with toys for like a mili-second and are over them.
Because I am participating in their Earth Day campaign, they’ve graciously given me some swap credit AND have offered a discount code to all of you! I bought my toddler and my 6 year old an entire summer wardrobe for under $100! Use discount code 25SPRING at Swap.com for up to 25%, some exclusions apply. Discount applied to purchases at check-out. Expires 5/31/2017.
Shopping secondhand not only saves you money, but helps sustain our earth and keep clothes of landfills. So, let’s swap instead of shop!
Go Meat Free
I know, I know, people love their meat.
BUT, the meteoric rise of meat consumption globally over the last 50 years is no coincidence. As the socioeconomic status of communities has risen and the transportation of meat has become easier, more and more people have started eating large quantities of meat. In fact, over the last 10 years alone, total global meat consumption has grown by 20%.
All this extra meat comes at an extreme cost to our planet. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide – more than the entire transportation sector.
To make matters worse, producing meat also requires a huge amount of water. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. By comparison, soy tofu produced in California requires only 220 gallons of water per pound.
Imagine how much carbon and resources we could save if we ate less meat. Even just eating meat one less day a year would make a difference.
For instance, if over the course of a year you:
- Ate one less burger a week, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles.
- Skip meat and cheese one day a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for five weeks – or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes.
- Skip steak once a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for nearly three months.
- And if the entire U.S. did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
As you can see, the impact of not eating meat can really add up. Join us in pledging to not eat meat once a week. If you already don’t eat meat once a week, why not try two days a week or three! You could even begin a full vegetarian diet if you’re up for it. Every little bit helps.
At Home Action
There are small changes at home you can make that make a big impact.
First, make sure you’re turning out the lights when not needed. We only use the light of the room we are in and whenever we leave the house we make sure all are turned off. You can also switch out your light bulbs for more energy efficient ones.
Turn off the water when brushing your teeth and take quicker showers. If I can take a 5 minute shower where I have to shave and wash my long hair – anyone can do it!
Make sure you’re recycling. In today’s world, it’s easy to do with all the services and special bins. Once you get in the habit it’s not trouble at all.
Eliminate plastics. Use a refillable water pitcher for filtered water or attach one to your sink. Use glass or stainless steel containers for food storage – they arehealthier for you anyway!
Be The Example
Teach your children the importance of taking care of our planet and being mindful of waste. Share your best practices with friends and family. Donate to environmental groups, they need our help!If we all take even a little bit of action – it makes a huge impact!
What will you do to participate in #EarthDay 2017?