“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
The earth’s problems won’t be solved in a week, a month, a year, a decade, or even a generation. Yet together, we have started the long journey towards saving our planet.
Even the smallest individual effort can have a positive effect. You just need to start. Here are three things you can do to make a difference.
#1 Make Mindful Product Selections
Pay attention to the products you and your family consume. With a little research you’ll be able to find ecologically-sound alternatives to many commonly-used items.
Did you know that plastic waste in the ocean kills over a million sea animals yearly? It also contributes to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a 3.5 million-ton mass of floating marine debris made mostly of plastic bottles, caps and bags, caught up in ocean currents from the West Coast of America to Japan.
Stop feeding this sea monster by using recycled or reusable bags whenever possible. Choose Eco Lunchboxes or reusable sandwich wraps for your kids’ lunch, and bring your own produce and shopping bags to the market. To clean up after Fido, use biodegradable dog waste bags, or a compost bin made specifically for doggie waste.
And let’s talk about plastic water bottles for a moment. At this point, there’s no excuse for the 2.5 million plastic bottles that are discarded every hour! Not when an inexpensive home water filtration system can give you all the great-tasting water you can drink. If you must hydrate on the go, pour it in a glass bottle, or check out this amazing new boxed water.
#2 Choose Sustainable And Fair Trade Textiles
There are many textiles used in everyday items that are cultivated and manufactured in ways that are healthy for the environment, for the people who make them, and for you.
The best of the organic lot are manufactured at certified fair trade facilities, and recognized by the Global Organic Textile Standard. Some examples include: baby clothes and toys made with organic cotton, certified with the Gold Seal of Authentic Egyptian Cotton, fair trade organic towels, pillowcases and bedding, and even sneakers made with biodegradable materials.
#3 Watch What – And How – You Throw Out
With a little awareness, creativity and effort, we can reduce the 102 tons of garbage we individually produce as Americans throughout our lifetime.
Start with your kitchen. Composting is a great way to dispose of kitchen waste while making the best fertilizer for your garden or potted plants. Even apartment dwellers can do it.
With an estimated 20,000,000,000 plastic diapers showing up in landfills every year, maybe it’s time to consider switching to cloth diapers. Here are some tips on cleaning, if you don’t want to use a diaper service.
Instead of automatically throwing out broken or unwanted furniture or other things, see if the item can be fixed, donated, or recycled – check out BuyNothing.com and Freecycle.com.
Take The First Step
"Think Globally, Act Locally"
These are just a few easy ways you can begin to reduce your footprint on the road to saving our planet. Don't carry the weight of the world on your shoulders - if we all pitch in and do our part, it will add up to a big difference. With some positivity and action, we'll leave a great world for our future generations (which is really what life is all about, isn't it?).
Still want to do more? Join one of America’s environmental organizations.
What are things you do to help the Earth? Leave a comment below!