As I said in the earlier version of this series, I think most people care about saving the Earth, but more pressing concerns – such as budget and convenience -can often interfere. And who can blame them? However I firmly believe that these same people would also be willing to make some changes, if it only slightly altered their budget and was easy to do. Here are five more suggestions:
Reduce the use of disposable snack and storage bags (like ziplocks). Invest in reusable snack bags, metal tins, and steel storage containers instead. (You don’t have to buy $50 planet boxes. There are much cheaper options like Lunch Bots.) Stop buying disposable “snack-packs” of your kid’s favorite snack (creates a lot of trash) and pack their cute new sacks or tins instead.
There are also many reusable options for the kitchen. Silpats (vs parchment paper), beeswax wrap (vs plastic clingwrap), fabric bowl covers (vs aluminum foil), silicon cupcakes cups. Choose one and give it a try!
For women, look into reusable sanitary products. There are many different options available, depending on comfort and preferences.
A few items to consider while buying food. Buy locally grown products whenever possible. Shipping food across the world costs a lot in fossil fuels, and the food usually isn’t as fresh or tasty. Hannah talks more about that issue here. Avoid plastic packaging and refuse disposable veggie bags. Now that the reusable bag ban is over, bring your own! including your own produce bags
Lastly, attempt to eat less meat! Factory farming has a huge environmental impact. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing – even cutting back a few times a week will help. Adopt meatless Mondays or eat vegetarian lunches. Maybe try Mark Bittman’s “Vegan till Dinner” approach. (His impetus was health but no reason why it can’t also work for the planet.) For more information on this topic, you can read We Are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer or One Meal a Day by Suzy Amis Cameron.
Maybe all of these suggestions work for you; maybe just a few will. Pick something and get started. Once you make the swap, you’ll be surprised by how easy it was. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. – Rachel