I had a look at my Facebook profile the other week and realised that 4 of
my last posts were in relation to animals and/or planet earth. At first I thought the inevitable had happened and I had turned in to a crazy animal activist that was saving the planet one plastic bag at a time. Although this is true, I realised I’ve always been cautious of pollution, global warming and the welfare of the worlds environment and the wildlife that inhabit it. But in recent times I had been paying more attention to these issues and it got me thinking of all the simple things you can do everyday to help look after our environment.
I’ve developed 10 tips that I try to do. It’s what I like to call the ‘lazy persons guide to saving the earth’ and if everyone was to follow these little things, hey! It might just help out the earth?
1. You don’t need a receipt once you’ve used an ATM. I might be speaking for myself here but I don’t need a little piece of paper reminding me of how little money I have remaining in my bank account that inevitably ends up in the bin. Plus, we are in the age of internet banking. If you want to see how much you do or don’t have, go online.
2. Confession. I carry fold-able shopping bags in my handbag. Yep, that’s right, I’m one of those people that pack my own groceries in my own shopping bags and take a million hours to do so. Say no to plastic bags and you’ll help save a whale (true story).
3. Use a KeepCup. They’re so trendy right now and perfect for coffee lovers! If you have two take away coffees a day, that’s two paper cups a day or 730 in a year that end up in the bin. You can choose heaps of cool colours and in general be a better person by having one on you at all times. You never know when you’ll need an emergency coffee.
4. Like number 3, buying a good drink bottle is a really cool* thing to do. My personal favourite drink bottle is the Frida Kahlo one I bought from Ishka. I feel slightly more superior drinking from a bottle with a strong feminist icon printed on it. Two other things also, 1) drinking from reused plastic bottles isn’t that good for you and 2) plastic bottles are incredibly bad for the environment.
5. Remove bottle caps and jar lids before putting them in the recycling. Although technology has improved over recent years and able to sort through large lids (bigger than a business card), you are still required to undo those lids so they can be sorted. Bottle caps from beer and wine are too small to sort so keep them separate.
6. Throw your gum away responsibly, e.g. put it in a bin. A little bird may think it’s some kind of delicious, gooey worm and try to eat it and instead choke to death (in the most serious cases). Could you really live with that?
7. I have often been guilty of this, but for those of you that take public transport, ‘accidentally’ leaving your newspaper on the seat next to you or your empty drink bottle between the seats isn’t fooling anyone but yourself. If you used it, pick it up and throw it away properly.
8. Really easy one here folks, actually follow the instructions on the bins that tell you what does and doesn’t go in recycling. I have often been caught standing by bins trying to figure out if fruit scraps go in recycling or regular rubbish. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
9. Have you ever purchased 4 pairs of shoes at once? I have and it does not hide the fact you have a shopping addiction because you walk out of a shop with 4 plastic bags with a box of shoes in each. When I splurge on shoes, I now ask if I can take the shoes without the boxes so they fit in one (reusable) bag. This is of course hoping that the nice environmentally aware shopping assistants reuse the boxes or dispose of them correctly.
10. It’s summer time here in Australia and that of course means a lot of of time spent on the beach. Similar to number 7, burying your rubbish in the sand doesn’t mean it has disappeared. It will eventually be swept up in the sea and some poor sea turtle will try to eat your leftover Twisties which will not end well (for both the Twisties and turtle; no one likes soggy Twisties).
So there’s 10 tips that you easily adopt. They may be obvious and you may already do them, but it’s always nice to have a reminder. As Captain Planet once said, “the power is yours!”
*my version of ‘cool’ will most likely differ from yours.