Earth Day 2018: Simple Things You Can Do
Hola peeps, it's Earth Day this Sunday which means that if you're an inhabitant of mother earth it's time to take inventory of the impact you're making on her and welcome some positive changes. Cool?
If you're a millennial (born between 1980 and 2000), you already have the desire to make positive impact engrained in you, but you also have immediacy cursing through your veins and sometimes that trait takes the drivers' seat.
This isn't about selling your car and buying a donkey; it's about taking little steps - as a collective - that become new habits that drive change in your home and in your community. Here are a few very practical reminders of basic steps we should all be taking to reduce our foot print and our toxic load.
SHORTEN YOUR SHOWER BY 3 MINS | let's be real, 25% of your shower time is functional (washing and stuff) and 75% is downloading thoughts from the day and writing a mental to do list and wondering why you can't be this creative out of the shower. We don't need to spend 20 minutes or even 10 minutes in there and us women do not need to wash our hair each time we shower; in fact it's a lot better for the health of our hair if we don't. Taking 3 minutes off your shower can save around 22 litres of water, which if you're showering twice a day is huge. And shower in pairs; how fun!
Taking 3 minutes off your shower can save around 22 litres of water.
SHOP WITH REUSABLE BAGS | In a recent study, 87% of kiwis said we need less plastic in our lives, yet the usage statistics are astonishing. 673 million plastic bags, 541 million straws, 309 million coffee cups, and 105 million single-use bottles thrown away every year. In 'clean, green New Zealand.' Okay I know, you've probably heard this one a thousand times, but why do I still see so much plastic?! It's nothing more than lack of preparation, so stash a few reusable totes and a KeepCup in your car so you always have them on you. Or, if you've forgotten your bags, take your groceries to the car in a trolley or basket. If you're buying clothing - walk out of the store without the bag. Just say no to the bags even if you have to carry the items on your heads! Many stores now are offering discounts to shoppers who have their own bags, so take advantage as it all adds up.
Kiwis use 673 million supermarket single-use shopping bags every year.
BUY SECONDHAND | remember how fun it was when you were a teenager, rummaging through second-hand shops for your next fashion-forward outfit? Well thrifting is back and you need to get involved. Sure the shops sometimes smell funky and the clothes might too, but they definitely smell better than an illegal sweat shop. Little feels better than finding a killer item that no-one else (except every girl at Coachella) has. The only thing I wouldn't buy secondhand is underwear, swimwear or activewear, because.... hygiene. I also love second-hand shopping for books, furniture, and homewares. It's a love I've injected into my latest project, @thesegreatthings. You don't just have to shop second-hand to make a difference; if you donate your preloved goods to charity stores you are supporting the work that they do in the community too.
Worldwide about 80% of people buy, use, and wear secondhand goods.
GO THE MOON CUP | Far from the weird item at the health shop only used by Greenpeace activists and art teachers from Titirangi, menstrual cups have hit the mainstream. I've owned mine for about a year now and after a bit of a messy (literally) start, we're finally compatible. I was terrified to use a tampon until I was about 18, so I've really come a long way. A small town in Germany was so successful with their menstrual cup and zero waste movement, that a local landfill had to shut down. So, you can buy a menstrual cup now for about $50, and not have to worry about buying tampons or pads ever again - not to mention the reduction in the waste going to landfill or down our drains. I have this one and this one.
EAT PLANT-BASED | The plant based lifestyle is gaining traction following the release of documentaries like What the Health and Forks over Knives which have helped to educate us on the harmful effects of modern farming practices on the environment. The plant-based way of eating includes an abundance of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains - and no animal products. I've been eating primarily plant-based for a few months now and my digestion is ON FIRE, my skin is glowing and I feel way less bloated. Not to mention I'm not spending as much money. Why not try doing it for 2 out of 3 meals per day? Or 6 out of 7 days of the week?
DITCH THE CAR | I don't mean ditch the car completely, but do you really need to drive to work every day or could you catch the train or carpool? Do you need to drive to the supermarket or could you walk? Do you need to pop out and run 6 separate errands over the course of the week, or could you do them all in one trip on one day? Or grab an Uber to your dinner date as Ubers are almost always eco-friendly smart cars. Not only are cars a burden on our roads (seriously, it's peak hour 24 hours a day in Auckland it seems) but the emissions and fossil fuels from cars are only adding to the hole in the ozone layer.
SWITCH TO GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS & SKINCARE | About a year ago I transitioned all of my skincare and makeup to organic and toxic free after learning about the effects that the chemical-laden products I was using had on my hormones and on the environment. It's irresponsible to still be using mainstream products when we know how harmful they are. Ever since beginning my love affair with essential oils, I've been having a wild time making my own face oils and cleaning products - knowing that they are not only bloody cheap, but that they are 100% safe and toxin-free. And, by supporting doTERRA I am in turn supporting communities in developing countries and that is the kind of trifecta I like!
So that's it. There's about 100 more things I could offer but I want you to take some initiative and have a think about what habits you could implement. I'd love to hear some of your ideas so let me know in the comments below!
Ps, don't be an asshole and just do these things on Earth Day. Do them for life. It's a pleasure sharing this planet with you.