Do one’s personal choices matter?I sure hope so…
Can one’s actions create change?
These are questions that you may have asked yourself at one point or another if you have ever thought about your impact on the planet. I know that I have. After years of pondering this, I have learned to answer that question with actions. I have put a lot of energy into educating myself on lowering my overall impact on this little blue marble we call home. Remember, the road to zero waste is a journey, not a destination. I believe that it is up to us as consumers to make choices that benefit not just ourselves but the future generations that will inherit this rock floating through the cosmos.
Right now, we only have one planet to live on, though Elon Musk is hoping to fix this at some point, maybe:)
Below are a few choices and brands that I support and that I feel are doing it right with their business models, practices, and services.
ON THE ROAD
These decisions are simple and effective and take just a little bit of effort to build into lasting habits that go along way.FYI it takes about 30 days to build a lasting habit:)
I have all but eliminated single-use plastic in my life by deciding to make a few simple decisions. I carry a water bottle, use a personal coffee mug, make my coffee at home, and when on the road and on business trips (I have a great travel set up; ask me about it I love to share), I take a wooden fork or chopsticks with me everywhere I go and bring my lunch to work. My wife and I meal prep every Sunday for the week. We keep a rotating menu of recipes that we love to eat and mix it up weekly. I use a stainless steel tiffin to carry my lunch to the office or on the road. These decisions are simple and effective and take just a little bit of effort to build into lasting habits that go along way. Plus home cooked meals are on average more nutritious and cheaper that eating out. It’s easy to succumb to convenience, and sometimes it is necessary. I have needed to buy that bottle of water at the gas station because I ran out. I have forgotten my lunch and needed to stop at Chipotle for a burrito. If you do not know their App is legit for ease of use, contactless ordering, payment, and pick up, by the way:) These things happen, but having a little bit of forethought and always asking yourself, “What is the impact of this decision?” will go a long way to building lasting habits that are good for you and the planet.
ON THE HOME FRONT
For the most part, these choices cost about the same price as their traditional plastic laden counterparts and make a huge difference in what ends up in the landfill.Even if you pay a little more, the planet will thank you in the long run:)
We conducted an audit of the items in our home, donated all non-recyclable items, and made a solid effort to replace them with non-plastic counterparts. Trading nylon dental floss in plastic for bamboo floss in glass, plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones, plastic toothpaste tubes for powdered toothpaste in a flip-top glass container. We replaced the plastic container of dish soap and shampoo with old school Dr. Bronner’s bar soap. We are big fans of the tea tree. We found this fantastic company Drops with dishwashing machine and clothes washing detergent in individual cellulose pods that dissolve when you apply water to release the soap. It comes in a very cool cardboard container that eliminates that large plastic jug; you can never quite get the last drop of soup out of and doubles as the shipping container. Very cool! We use a subscription service for our toilet paper needs through Who Gives A Crap. They deliver a three month supply right to the door using plastic-free shipping materials. The rolls come warped in paper, are made from recycled materials, they never use inks, dyes, or cents, and 50% of their profits go to building toilets in the third world.
Now that is something to give a crap about!
For the most part, these choices cost about the same price as their traditional plastic laden counterparts and make a huge difference in what ends up in the landfill.
AS A LIFESTYLE
When you understand that the choices you make today reverberate into the future, you realize that the generations that come after you will have to carry the burden of your decisions.I hope this doesn’t come off too cynical or woo woo.
I eat a mostly plant-based diet consuming meat, primarily fish, sparingly, about once a week. I have been full-on vegan in the past and will go back to that practice at some point in the not to distant future. I know full well the environmental footprint of eating meat three times a day is not a sustainable proposition for the planet’s health and longevity or the human race for that matter.
When you understand that the choices you make today reverberate into the future, you realize that the generations that come after you will have to carry the burden of your decisions. This might make eating less meat more palatable. I’m not saying to stop eating meat, but if you are a three times a day household, think about starting by removing it from one meal a day. Start with breakfast; I am a big fan of fresh sourdough, avocado, with some hemp seeds sprinkled in there with a handful of blueberries. Once you have built the breakfast habit move on to lunch and so on.
Here are some not so fun facts that may or may not provide some motivation for you.
- Meat production at its current levels is unsustainable, according to new research from IDTechEx. Feeding the world’s population in 2050, which is expected to hit 10 billion, will require a 70% increase in global food production that will be detrimental to the environment.
- The report notes that although meat production is growing by a rate of 2% to 3% per year, it is an inefficient way to produce calories. Animals account for 17% of global caloric consumption, while plant-based foods supply was 83% of global caloric intake. Just 33% of global protein intake comes from meat and dairy.
- Meat production contributes heavily to the increases in greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, soil degradation, water stress, and coastal “dead” zones, the report said.
ARE YOU READY?
Remember, we only have one Home Planet. What are you going to do to make a difference?Challenge accepted?
All of this is not to plastic or meat shame you but to show that simple choices and a little research can go a long way to empower you to make real change for the planet.
For the most part, convenience is just a convenient way of saying you do not care about the future cost of your choices.
Think about the fact that plastic toothbrushes are not recyclable, and think about how many of them are still sitting in landfills piling up over the last six+ decades! Think about drinking a cup of coffee with that plastic lid or using a plastic fork every day and how it adds up, none of which are recyclable. That is your waste, and you can decide to make that change.
Have you ever thought that it is hopeless? That one person can not make a difference. It is always better to walk the walk and be an example for your friends, family, and the stranger walking down the street.
When you choose to buy sustainable products, you are likely supporting small businesses created by entrepreneurs who care about the planet. I can say that this was true when I decided to make the above changes in my household and in my life.
Remember, we only have one Home Planet. What are you going to do to make a difference?
Here is a list of the companies that I support and links to their sites. If you are looking to remove plastic from your life and join the Zero Waste Movement, these organizations are an excellent place to start.
Package Free shop – All things Zero Waste
Drops – Plastic-free dishwashing detergent
Who Gives A Crap – The best toilet paper on the Planet!!!
Simply Sooney – Organic vegan tooth powder
Lucky Teeth – Bamboo dental floss in a plastic free dispenser
Dr. Bronner – Only the best soap EVA!!!
Hydro Flask – Double walled stainless steel cups a bottles
Do you want to learn more? Talk about what you can do to make a bigger impact on your footprint?
Reach out and drop an email from the contact page.
I would be happy to continue the conversation.