Everytime you consume, you use energy. What are some tips to reduce your energy usage?
carpooling, public transportation, biking, or walking
unplug everything when you're not using it
optimize daylight...turn off the lights
rewear items in your closet
buy in bulk
buy local, no shipping (if you must...use ground shipping, it is 3x less the emissions of air)
"If you’re an average American, you produce 4.4. pounds of trash every single day. In a nation of nearly 324 million people, that amounts to more than 700,000 tons of garbage produced every day—enough to fill around 60,000 garbage trucks. That is a shocking amount of waste" - Dawn Gifford
This is an overwhelming amount of garbage. Read the list below to reduce the amount of garbage in your home!
Global Carbon Emissions
"Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes appear to have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent." - Brady Dennis & Chris Mooney
The amount of money individuals spend on gas is a cost that can be significantly reduced with proper planning. More importantly, carbon dioxide emissions can also be reduced. While doing errands or taking your car out for a drive, realize that there is probably a bus taking the same route as you. Why drive to a store to grab a grocery item, drive back home, and then drive again later that day to run another errand? By becoming more aware of the carbon dioxide emissions you produce, you can also gauge how much money you are saving!
Even if you recycle, the only real way to stop our plastic problem is to avoid it completely. As a consumer, you are constantly buying and using plastic. Three everyday items you could replace plastic with are a reusable bag, a metal straw, and a stainless steel water bottle. Bring a reusable bag with you everywhere you go, you never know when you might need it! You could be out buying groceries, you could be at the mall, or you could be picking up your child from school and they have too much to carry in their backpack. Refuse to use a single use plastic bag! When going to a restaurant, bar, or fast food establishment bring your metal straw with you. The Final Straw sells collapsible straws. There is no excuse why you cannot carry this everywhere you go. Get in the habit of saying "no straw please" every time you go out! The straws are sold for $24-$29 each. It is MUCH cheaper than paying for a vacation to look at an ocean full of plastic.
Plastic water bottles can easily be replaced by a stainless steel water bottle. It is quite easy to find a water fountain while you are out of the house. Fast food establishments can also refill your water bottle with tap water!
Alternative Household Items
There are many daily household items that you could use to reduce your waste footprint. Bamboo utensils and kitchen tools are becoming preferable over plastic. Bamboo is renewable and biodegradable. Every time you toss a plastic item, its lifespan can exceed 200 years before is even begins to degrade! That's over 2x the average Canadian lifespan.
Metal straws can EASILY replace plastic straws...get in the mind frame of bringing them everywhere and saying "no straw" whenever you go out. It is a great habit to get into! Some restaurants require a straw right away as part of their presentation/service (hopefully we can change this).
Love Beauty and Planet creates beauty products from ethically sourced ingredients (which are vegan) and they use a bottle that is completely made from recycled plastic. They have also created a 'less is more' concept, where the shampoos and conditioners are lightweight and easy to rinse out - minimizing shower time. The most ethical thing they can do is...release their carbon emissions data. There are so many companies that are not willing to admit and change their wrongdoings. Start supporting a company who does. Click below to see the products they sell, you can find them in most department stores.
Green Works cleaning products are 98% composed of naturally derived ingredients! This could be a huge factor if you have kids, wouldn't you want a cleaning product with less harming chemicals?! Their cleaning wipes are even compostable because they are made from wood fibres. Other cleaning wipes are not only stuffed with chemicals but also end up in our landfill.
Pampered Chef has created a cleaning cloth that is made from cellulose and cotton, strong enough to be reused multiple times. Although, not completely avoiding the landfill, it is a step in the right direction to avoid ever buying paper towel again!
Gain has created a laundry detergent made from 65% plant-based ingredients. The bottle itself is made from 25% + post-consumer recycled plastic. This is a laundry detergent with no phosphate as well. Why by any other detergent?! The obviously reason would be the assumption that it is ineffective when it comes to cleaning your clothes thoroughly. At Earthub, this is the only detergent we use and it has done nothing less than an amazing job! Remember: NEVER BUY DETERGENT WITH PHOSPHORUS (more on this in the Chemistry section).