It is 2019 and time to get with the times!
Recently, social media has been flooded with reports that the world has a decade to reverse climate change. This is paired with a call to action by people all over the world to change their ways. Let’s be honest for a second, it is inconvenient! Many environmentally friendly campaigns and lifestyles are expensive.They cost you your time and money- two things most people do not have to spare. Have no fear, I have options for you.
Here are 5 practical ways to do your part without breaking the bank or your sanity.
Morning coffee, plastic water bottles, and to-go cups litter our streets, parks, and everywhere else that humans inhabit. Straws are killing our sea turtles. How do we fix this problem? If you’ve been on vacation recently you might’ve noticed that many of the islands are changing their straws from plastic to paper. You can go one step further by continuing this lifestyle in your daily lives, no matter where you are. Using reusable straws is another choice. Many beverage chains will allow you to bring and use your own reusable cup for your drink, this way you are not wasting more paper and plastic by drinking from disposable cups. Some places like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts will even give you a discount for using your own cup. This is also applicable to water bottles. Instead of using those plastic water bottles that get dangerous when left in hot cars, carry around your own reusable water bottle. This way you get to express yourself, stay hydrated, save the planet, AND save your money! A good tip to ensure you’re always prepared is to leave your cup in the car in case of random coffee runs.
Plastic bags, we all have them! Whether they are all stuffed in a cute container or stuffed into one another and thrown in a cabinet, we are all huge users of plastic bags. They can be reused for trash bags among other things but there will always be too much! These leftover plastic bags end up in landfills taking millions of years to degrade. The process of producing these bags is not much better for us or the environment. Don’t worry though, I have a solution for you- REUSABLE BAGS! Some stores, like Target, will even give you a ten cent discount for bringing your own bags. If you have a busy lifestyle and cannot always plan every trip to the store, leave your totes in your car so you’re always prepared. This also helps prevent those embarrassing moments when your bag breaks and groceries disperse all over the parking lot. Reusable totes make transporting your groceries way easier by saving you trips. They are bigger and more durable to make your grocery trip that much easier. Who said it wasn’t easy to be eco friendly?
Nike Shoe Recycle
Nike has made steps towards becoming a more sustainable company by aiming for a “closed loop” manufacturing process. In an attempt to eliminate all waste products, they have placed recycling bins for their shoes in their stores. The recycled shoes can then be used to create NIKE GRIND .Nike Grind Fiber is used in products like cushioning, insulation of courts, playground surfaces, and the foam in the shoe’s midsole. This program has led to 71% of their footwear containing recycled materials from their own manufacturing, according to NIKE.
There are a couple retailers provide outlets for disposing of unwanted clothing. H&M’s clothing recycling program also allows consumers to be eco friendly in how they dispose of their outdated or torn up clothing. Stop by your local store and bring your bag of unwanted clothing up to the cashier. They will take your garments and sort them into three categories: Rewear, Reuse, and Recycle. If they can be reworn, they will be marketed worldwide as secondhand goods. Textiles that cannot be worn will be transformed into other goods such as clothes. Finally, items that do not fit in those categories will be put into textile fibers and can be used in insulation. The best part about this program is that YOU get more than just satisfaction out of it. H&M throws in a coupon for 15% off your next purchase every time you bring in a bag.
Aerie is another retailer that provides a program to recycle clothing. They partner with Free The Girls, an organization devoted to helping girls rescued from sex trafficking, to collect unwanted bras. They donate and recycle these bras while compensating you with a 15% off coupon. Furthermore, if you donate during the month of April, they will also plant one tree per bra donated with One Tree Planted. You get to save the environment and your money!
Reusable Sandwich Bags
Most people are already using tupperware to pack lunches. However, sandwich baggies are still a very popular apparatus for packing meals. Some people go as far as to rinsing out their disposable baggies but I can do you one better. Amazon has some great reusable sandwich bags for as low as three for five dollars! You can get them in all different colors and are dishwasher safe. This way you can keep the convenience of baggies without putting out endless waste into our landfills.
Being eco friendly does not have to be a chore and it does not have to drastically throw off your current lifestyle. These five steps are small and easy changes that can create endless benefits if we all implement them into our daily lives. It will benefit the world, our peace of mind, and our future generations. We all have to live here, the least we can do is our part to keep it green.
Lewontin, M. (2016, May 11). Why Nike is making most shoes from manufacturing waste. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0511/Why-Nike-is-making-most-shoes-from-manufacturing-waste
NIKE GRIND. A Premium Materials Palette. Recycle Your Shoes. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/innovation/grind
Garment Collecting. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www2.hm.com/en_us/women/campaigns/16r-garment-collecting.html