Make these changes to become ecologically friendly
By Alexis Zygan, Staff Writer
To avoid impulse purchases I implement this tip: keep an item in the cart for a week before inputting your credit card information.
The threat of climate disaster has transformed from an abstract concept to an acknowledged reality to some—and this is primarily due to heatwaves and intense forest fires destroying rural towns. Yet, as individuals, some tend to feel powerless in preventing climate disasters. We doubt how much our carbon footprint impacts the ecosystem, a zero-waste lifestyle seems too expensive for the average earner, and eco-friendly products are priced higher due to environmentalism as a marketing trend. However, there are actionable steps we as consumers can take in trying to help the planet that are either free or inexpensive. The idea that a sustainable lifestyle is more expensive is a myth as long as you are willing to put in the work. Continue reading for a list of five changes you can make for a greener lifestyle.
1. As a result of consumer culture many of us buy products without thinking about their environmental impact. But, whether you’re a hyper consumer or a casual spender, buying less leads to more money in the bank, fewer items in the landfill, and fewer greenhouse gases. Online shopping increases your carbon footprint particularly when choosing same-day delivery. In addition, many consumer goods are packaged in plastic: a material that takes over 400 years to decompose. To avoid impulse purchases I implement this tip: keep an item in the cart for a week before inputting your credit card information. If you forget about the item after a week, then it isn’t worth your money or the environmental impact. Or ask yourself: “is this a future goodwill donation?”
2. What happens after we donate a clothing item or appliance at the thrift store? Does it end up being resold or shipped to a landfill? The answer is inconclusive. However, when you give away your things on a Buy Nothing List you fill a need for someone else and feel good knowing your item won’t end up in a landfill. Buy Nothing groups are also great for finding things you need so you don’t have to go out to a store to make a purchase. BUNZ is a platform that allows you to trade items with others. Each trade is free and will enable you to declutter while exchanging for what you need.
3. Avoid purchasing Tupperware from a store, and instead reuse old takeout containers to store leftovers and pack lunch. Glass pasta jars work great as cups for drinking water. Before recycling a container consider how else it could be helpful. Alternatively, you can keep a box in your home with containers and return them to NADA: a zero-waste store where they will gladly take them as long as they are clean.
4. Learning how to sew is a sustainable hack to save money. For example, when your t-shirt requires mending watch a YouTube video to learn how to use a needle and thread to sew a hole. Instead of taking it to a sewist. There are many tutorials online to help you out. Once you learn the technique, then you can even try making your clothes.
5. Mulch tends to cost between $15 and $60 per yard. In addition to saving money on mulch, composting creates healthier soil for growing organic produce. If you don’t know where to start with composting, then here are some easy steps to get you going. First, start with a plastic bin (you can also build one out of scrap wood) that is 18 gallons. Next, drill breathing holes into the container. Ensure the compost bin is wet but not too moist. Compostable items include food waste, yard debris, paper products, and compostable plastics.