This post is a collaboration and written by my good friend and environmental activist Sarah Lale Bilsel, former Fashion Design student and retail manager turned full-time traveler on a mission to transform people’s attitude towards waste, consumerism and outdated belief-systems.
5 Steps You Can Take Today To Reduce Your Environmental Footprint
By now I’m sure we are well aware of how much damage we are doing to our beautiful planet.
We know its time for a change.
But how do we help?
The best way to tackle making these positive changes in your life is by actively taking steps, day by day to minimise your environmental footprint.
To give you a little help and some tools to get you started, these are the 5 best ways to reduce your environmental footprint on the planet and make a difference right now!
First of all you’ll want to calculate your Eco-logical Footprint, this will show you where your emissions are coming from.
You can do this through the Global Footprint Network:
Currently humans are using the environmental resources of 1.5 Planet Earths to meet the yearly demands for the global populations energy, food, shelter, transport and product consumption.
How many planet earths do you need to support your lifestyle?
You’d be surprised.
Lets get into the top 5 things that you can do today to make a difference:
1. Think re-usable
How many single-use disposable items do you use per day?
Coffee cups, plastic bags, cutlery, straws, bottled water or beauty products?
Ultimately, the overall goal of all of these changes is to minimize resource consumption.
Plastics and Styrofoams will never break down in our lifetime; we need to cut these one-use products out of our lives as much as possible!
- Use a re-usable cup & bottle
- Carry a canvas bag with you to replace plastic bags
- Re-fuse plastic straws & cutlery; carry your own!
- Start making your own beauty & cleaning products at home
2. Plant-Based Diet
If you haven’t already cut meat out of your diet or at least cut back, start today please!
This is the single most important step in doing your part for the planet.
A vegetarian diet is going to cut your environmental footprint in half and a vegan diet will cut this in half again.
When you buy groceries, eat at restaurants and shop at stores you are voting with your wallet. You are voting for the kind of world you want to live in.
Know your consumer power and vote by choosing a plant-based diet over meat.
The meat industry is one of the leading reasons of major deforestation, CO2 emissions and fresh water usage. ¼ of earths fresh water use goes to farming just the grain for livestock.
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has said, ‘making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change’.
One of the best sources for solutions for climate change at the moment has to be Drawdown edited by Paul Hawken.
3. Shop local and become a conscious consumer
When shopping for food buy locally grown, organics where possible.
It is best to find your local farmers market to ensure freshness and quality.
When you shop from markets this usually also means less packaging and plastic, WIN WIN!
Consume less. Simply buying less, saying no to unnecessary products and useless stuff is a good route to lower your footprint.
If you haven’t already binged on Netfix documentaries, an essential recommendation is to watch Minimalism.
This is a great one to get educated about reducing your consumption and simplifying your life.
If you want to educate yourself a little further and in more detail this incredible video by the people at ‘The Story of Stuff’ will make you think twice about your daily purchasing choices.
4. Reduce Food Waste and Start Composting
Food waste is also a key issue in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, this is everyone responsibility to do their part.
It’s estimated that a third of all food produced is never eaten.
Food waste includes food we don’t end up eating and all our food scraps from cooking. To tackle this shop effectively, plan out your meals for the week to ensure you don’t overbuy. Share among friends and family; cook with things that may be perishable first and save your leftovers.
Composting to reduce food waste is the easiest and best way to make a sustainable change in your home.
Start small, make it a weekend project and finally don’t be overwhelmed.
This isn’t aero-space engineering it’s just composting, so just jump into it and give it a try.
You’ll learn about how your food grows and that composting is easy (and don’t be surprised it’s kind of fun, too!).
This is a complete lifestyle change that will save you money, increase your fitness and most importantly reduce your carbon footprint.
We are so immensely connected now with our local communities, there is a new way to share our vehicles without actually owning one, car sharing.
Car Sharing is the new Airbnb, why own a car when you can share with your neighbours?
GoGet, Car2go and Car Next Door are just a few companies making this possible.
These sites are where vehicles can be rented by the minute, by the hour, as well as by the day. This new way sharing rather than owning is providing benefits for transportation, land use, environmental, and social benefits to cities.
Aside from this you can become more active by walking, biking, carpooling or using public transit more.
Hello my friends, it’s Eva.
I hope you liked this little guest post by Sarah.
She has a big, open heart and is such a wealth of knowledge that we decided to collaborate to provide as much value as possible and initiate positive change wherever we can.
I met Sarah 3 years ago when we worked together in David Jones, Sydney and I hadn’t seen her at all since then until we both recently moved back to Australia within two days from each other (Yes, crazy coincidence…).
Both of us have undergone quite the transformation in those years.
We have traveled, lived abroad, studied (both in and out of universities), suffered great loss of close family members, committed to and left relationships.
We share a very special friendship and a mutual desire to awaken people.
To fight for what we believe in, to serve a purpose bigger than us.
To consume less and live more.
To simplify life in order to feel deeper.
To connect to each other, to ourselves and the universal energy around us.
We believe that being free is our birthright and so is living a life that is different from the ‘norm’.
A life that is consider risky, crazy, unconventional.
We believe that together, we can make a change.
Each and every one of us counts.
Good luck and if you need any support, send us a message and we’ll be happy to help.