End Plastic Pollution
Four Steps to Living a More Sustainable Life
February 9, 2023
Starting your sustainability journey can feel like a daunting task. It may seem that everywhere you turn there is another plastic wrapped item or single-use product, but being an environmentalist isn’t about being perfect. There are many ways for you to make a difference and not drastically change your life. Here are 4 steps you can take to make the journey a little less daunting while still providing a safer and cleaner earth.
Recycling is a great place to start when thinking of ways to become sustainable, but unfortunately about 30% of what goes into recycling does not belong in the bin. A great way to repurpose things that cannot be recycled is to Ecobrick. According to ecobricks.org an Ecobrick is a PET bottle packed solid with clean and dry used plastic. They are made manually with plastics that by themselves could not be recycled but when densely packed together can be used as reusable building blocks.
you want to collect clean and dry plastics. Be sure to wash off any food, oil or dirt from your plastics. This is a very important factor in making an ecobrick because dirty plastic will lead to microbiological growth and methane forming inside the ecobrick, making it unusable. While making an Ecobrick it is important to remember not to put in metal, glass, paper or biodegradable items — these items have other eco-friendly solutions such as recycling or composting. Here is a 10 step guide provided by the Global Ecobrick Alliance for the best practices in making your eco bricks at home.
- Reduce your water usage
Going green at home is more than just recycling. There are many small changes that you can make at home to not only lower your ecological footprint but also decrease your cost of living. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, on average every American uses 82 gallons of water a day just at home. The average American family wastes around 180 gallons of water per week or 9,400 gallons every year.
Some of the main tips for reducing the amount of water you use every day are things like running the dishwasher only when it is full, turning off the tap while you brush your teeth or shaving, and filling the sink to wash your dishes instead of letting it run. By making these small lifestyle changes to your everyday tasks, you could cut your water consumption in half.
- Sustainable Food Choices
Food is a vital part of everyone’s everyday lives. It is important when you think about going greener in your life to start with the things you do and use the most, and one of those is eating. When you go to the grocery store one of the main things that you can do to reduce your ecological impact is to shop locally. Shopping at places like farmer markets helps reduce the amount of time your food has to travel and also provides fresher food options.
- Buying Second Hand Clothes
When you buy second hand items instead of brand new items, the environment thanks you and so will your wallet. Along with saving money when you buy used, you are also promoting sustainable fashion and taking a stance against the fast fashion industry which contributes to climate change more than international aviation and shipping combined. When you consider buying used items, think of more than just clothes. Almost anything you want could be purchased second hand —such as plates, glasses, furniture, kitchen utensils, appliances, and so much more.
When starting your sustainability journey it’s a great reminder that you do not have to be perfect and there is no reason to feel guilty if you forget to recycle or take a longer shower. When you are just beginning to take a moment to evaluate what plastic and single use items are around you and what are ways to reduce your consumption, always remember that the most sustainable option is using what you already have.
When we all make an effort to live more sustainably we are taking important steps to improving the health of our planet. We hope you can join us. For more ideas on ways to live sustainably, check out EARTHDAY.ORG’s Susitnable Fashion Campaign and the End Plastic Pollution Campaign.