It’s no secret that our beautiful planet is hurting. Scientists have been sounding the alarm for years, telling us that we need to change our ways—and fast! No, we don’t have surefire solutions for global warming, but our tips will help you minimize your ecological footprint. Every one of us can affect change, and change starts with several small actions we can all take every day.
1. Stop using disposable products
Say goodbye to cotton pads, tissues, plastic straws and single-use cutlery! Say hello to products that are better for the environment and overall less expensive long-term.
You can find eco-friendly replacements for disposable cups or paper towels, for example, at most organic, eco or décor shops. Reusable paper towels made by the Quebec-based company Kliin, will quickly become your new household essentials. They’re machine washable, super absorbent, compostable and made with natural fibres.
2. Reduce your meat consumption
Does a BBQ seem impossible without meat? We’re here to tell you that it’s possible. There are many tasty vegetarian alternatives.
But don’t get us wrong, you don’t have to commit to a vegan or vegetarian diet to reduce your impact on the environment. Why not start by simply reducing your animal product intake. It’s a flexitarian diet—semi-vegetarian! By avoiding meat, fish, processed foods and refined flour, and opting for vegetables, grains and legumes more often, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and the planet will thank you.
Did you know that—according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations—85% of the world’s fish reserves are exploited or depleted? That nearly 60 billion animals are slaughtered each year? It requires 15,500 L of water and 323 m² of farmland to produce 1 kg of beef. And, livestock is actually responsible for 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Conserve water
Here are a few basic principles: don’t run water unnecessarily, take short showers instead of baths, drink tap water (skip the plastic) and only water your garden when needed (try collecting rain water instead).
You can also wash your clothing at low temperatures. For one, it maintains the quality of your clothing. Secondly, by switching to cold water, you can save up to one third of the energy consumption of your washing machine. During a cycle at 60°C, heating the water represents 80% of the energy used by the machine. Are you not convinced?
4. Save electricity
Let’s start with something simple. As soon as you leave a room, turn off the light. Next, try unplugging anything that isn’t in use—you’ll even save on your electricity bill. Appliances in standby mode consume 150 to 500 KWh per year per household.
Another tip: opt for LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer than conventional lightbulbs and consume less energy. And the best part is, they have a trendy look that adds to your décor.
5. Go for public transportation
One bus carrying 30 people potentially means there are 30 less cars on the road. Sure, constraining yourself to a bus schedule can be a challenge, but you will save money on gas and time otherwise wasted in traffic.
You can also consider:
Let others enjoy the comfort of your car while you travel or commute. You can also opt to be a carpooling passenger yourself.
- Ride Sharing
Car sharing services like Car2Go or Communauto offer the advantages of travelling by car without the inconveniences related to owning a vehicle (insurance, buying tires, maintenance). You only pay for what you use. It’s convenient and eco-friendly.
What are you doing to take care of the planet? Let us know in the comments section below.
Adapted from French by Kylee Ross