s a society, we’ve created a way of consuming our daily goods that maximizes convenience and give us access to nearly anything we want, any time we want it.
And while it feels amazing to be able to consume anything we want at any time, this system has one fatal flaw.
Spilling out from every corner of our lives, from our pockets, garbage cans, and tailpipes directly in to landfills, onto beaches and parks and oceans, rivers and the atmosphere, choking the life out of our delicate planet.
If we don’t do something to stop the destruction now, we’re doomed to quickly kill our only home.
Luckily, there are incredible alternatives to the way we’ve been doing things that allow you to have what you want while, creating a more sustainable system for all.
Here are 3 super easy ways to make some of your current every day consumption habits way more sustainable.
Choose organic basics
Clothing production takes a massive toll on the environment.
Non-organic farming techniques for crops like cotton are resource and labor intensive, allowing terrible chemicals to enter the atmosphere, and often times workers aren’t treated or paid fairly.
Additionally, many non-cotton garments are made with virgin nylon or other plastics. If you don’t know how bad the problem of virgin plastic is, consider this fact: in the next minute, 1 million new plastic bottles will be created - and 91% of them are never recycled.
Then, consider that in a world of fast-fashion such as H&M, much of this clothing is being disposed of as fast as it is being created! It has to go somewhere, and it’s often not the recycling bin…
There are alternatives, however. Simply switching to organic cotton for daily basics like t-shirts has massive impact. Companies such as Organic Basics, Alternative Apparel, and Pact are all leading the organic basics movement.
When you consider traditional methods of clothing production from a traditional retailer can put as much as 1/3 of a pound of toxic chemicals into the shirt you’re wearing, organic and recycled starts to sound a lot better for your health - and the planet.
I don’t know about you, but I hate the idea of anything toxic touching my skin every day.
There’s so many incredible companies out there that are leading the movement to produce better, more sustainable clothing for the world.
Here are some of the facts about organic clothing as it relates to health and the environment.
- Organic clothing doesn't use toxic chemicals during production, reducing respiratory issues for sensitive individuals
- Less toxic pesticides put into the water supply and atmosphere - conventional cotton accounts for nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used worldwide!
- Improved well-being of farmers, contributing to a more fair and ethical supply chain
- Organic clothing feels better and last longer
It's easy to switch your next basic white tee or undergarment to an organic alternative. The difference in cost from a conventional piece of clothing is negligible, and the clothing is sure to feel better and last longer.
Plus, this simple change repeated by the actions of many can have a massive impact on the world.
Next, let's take a look at our eating habits - specifically meat.
Switch beef burgers for plant-based burgers
Reducing your meat consumption is one of the most impactful and easy ways you can reduce your impact on the environment while also improving your health - it's a win-win!
However, cutting out meat entirely isn't always the easiest option. The food we eat is wrapped up in our culture and way of life, and has been for centuries.
Trust me - you’re not alone if you’ve found it a challenge to switch to a mostly plant-based diet.
Because reducing your meat consumption can greatly impact the planet in a beneficial way, I offer this alternative:
Since you, like I, probably enjoy (or greatly miss) the occasional cheeseburger, just swap the beef patty out for a plant based patty instead. This action alone immediately saves 660 gallons of water.
The alternative meat market is growing fast, and the innovations are tasting absolutely delicious. Companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible, NUGGS and more are making massive waves in the alternative meat industry, serving delicious plant-based swaps for food we love.
Here are some of the benefits you stand to gain when you switch to plant based meat:
- Reduce the land and water required for animal agriculture, one of the biggest contributors to rapid climate change
- Ingest less cholesterol and add more easy plants in your diet, making your feel much better
- Get as much protein as you would normally get from animal protein sources by cutting out the middle-man (er, middle-cow)
- Save a cute lil' cow's life
Switching to from beef to plant-based burgers is one of the easiest ways to get a feel for the plant-based lifestyle. With an overwhelming majority of experts agreeing that animal agriculture plays a massive role in the changing climate, switching to plant based meats is one of the easiest ways to reduce your impact.
Start with burgers. The planet (and your gut) will thank you.
While overconsumption of meat is one of the more glaring problems staring in the face of climate change, there are other, less noticeable changes we can make in our every day lives that can make a massive impact on the planet.
Switching a few of your daily disposables can help you make a massive impact.
Swap daily disposables for sustainable alternatives
Currently, around 1 million brand-new plastic water bottles are created every minute. It takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce a single year's supply of water bottles - oil which releases long-stored carbon into the atmosphere when it's extracted for making the bottles.
Water bottle production also kills up to 1.1 million marine creatures annually, from the breakdown and ingestion of harmful, chemical-leaching plastics.
Switching to reusable water bottles is one of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and make your life more sustainable.
Bar Soap vs. Liquid Soap
Liquid soap takes roughly five times ore energy to produce than bar soap, can include up to 20 times more packaging than bar soap, and more often than not, include ingredients that are incredibly harmful to fragile ecosystems.
Plus, with liquid soap, you're basically paying more for packaging and extra water in the final product.
It it really that difficult to use a bar instead of liquid?
Companies like Cleancult are leading the charge in helping you make the switch from liquid soap to bar soap. With a low carbon footprint and ingredients that aren't damaging to the environment, it's never been easier for you to switch soaps!
Most deodorant on the market today comes packaged in petroleum-heavy virgin plastic, often containing ingredients that while "deemed safe," are anything but, harming your body and the environment.
Of course, you could always forgo deodorant, but let's be honest. I don't want to smell you, and you don't want to smell me.
So if it's not possible to stop using deodorant entirely, then we must find a better way.
Companies like Myro and by Humankind are trying to change this, with all-natural ingredients and a reusable case that reduces plastic consumption by 50%. Their ingredients are also much better for you - instead of using aluminum and other chemical stabilizers, they opt for plant-based ingredients that are better for your body.
An even better option is Natural Vegan Club's deodorant, which also features plant based ingredient in addition to a 100% compostable package, maximizing your sustainability efforts and producing almost not waste, while smelling wonderful all day long!
What will you choose?
When trying to minimize your impact on the planet, it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough.
And while one individual alone is not capable of making the change our planet requires, the collective action of many can.
Together, we have power.
The more you choose to vote with our dollar, choose consume sustainable products and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, the more help you give to the planet. You have the power to change the way businesses is done, food is consumed, products are packaged.
Start now, and the planet will thank you later.