More people today want to live healthy lifestyles that are also environmentally cautious. However, many people are unsure how to live more sustainable lifestyles—they may not understand exactly how to incorporate eco-friendliness into their daily lives. However, they can easily make small changes in their daily routines to lead lives that are better for the environment.
Use Reusable Grocery Bags
Plastic bags take a long time to decompose—up to 1,000 years, in fact. People use plastic bags every time they leave a store, whether it’s for one item or for multiple. Using a reusable bag will cut down on production of these harmful plastics. Some stores even provide a financial incentive for customers to use reusable bags, such as money off their total purchase. Additionally, many grocery stores encourage patrons to recycle their plastic bags instead of throwing them away by providing recycling bins.
Refill One Reusable Water Bottle
Similarly, it’s important to reuse one plastic water bottle to avoid unnecessary production of more bottles. These plastics usually end up in landfills, and it takes a long time for them to break down. Some travel instead to the oceans, where marine life can ingest them. Humans can, in turn, end up ingesting these plastics if they eat the fish that has consumed it. Therefore, it’s important to use a reusable, durable water bottle so that you can cut down on plastics.
Avoid Products Full of Chemicals
Unbelievably, lots of household products today are full of chemicals that may be harmful to your body. The FDA does not regulate many cosmetics; some of these products contain skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens. Things such as parabens (found in deodorants, facial cleansers, body washes), synthetics colors, fragrances, phthalates (deodorants, perfumes/colognes, hairspray), triclosan (toothpaste, antibacterial soaps), and formaldehyde (makeup, nail polish, body wash, conditioner) are all harmful to the body. Given this, it’s important to use natural products that are chemical-free. Natural soaps, or organic soaps, toothpastes, and cleansers use ingredients that won’t harm your body.
Driving less is another efficient, eco-friendly way to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment. The more you drive, the more carbon emissions you emit into the atmosphere. Most cars use ethanol-based fuel, which is harmful to the ozone layer. This fuel also comes from oil, which is a nonrenewable resource. Electric cars and fuel-alternative cars are gaining popularity, but you can always just drive less to save more fuel. Consider riding a bike if you’re traveling within a reasonable distance, or use public transportation for longer commutes. Drive only when you absolutely must.
Additionally, you should shop fair-trade whenever possible. Fair-trade products such as coffee, chocolate, sugar, tea, and fruit ensure sustainable growing practices and humane treatment. Non-fair-trade practices imply unsustainable growing methods and exploitive labor. While fair-trade items may be pricier, you’re paying for the sustainable practices that go into producing them.