I’ve always been a bit of a hippy at heart, coming from Seattle, a town full of bleeding-heart liberals. Many of us Seattleites define ourselves in our progressive pro-green lifestyle.
I have done a fair amount of traveling across the U.S and abroad to get an understanding of how other cultures and societies live their day to day lives. One important value I’ve learned is the importance for humanity to uphold our care of Mother Nature and all of its inhabitants. I’ve also come to realize how much damage we have already done by burning through our resources at rapid speed. Ted Talks had a very eye-opening video regarding this by Paul Gilding on how The Earth is full (view video here). It’s important to educate ourselves on our global impact, not only because it affects our quality of life, but also of those around us.
We must act if we want to take care of our planet. Everything you do makes an impact, from the clothes you choose to wear, to the household cleaning products you buy, to the food you eat. For every action, there is a reaction. As consumers we must be more aware of our products. I want to help you find affordable ways of living an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Take a look in your cleaning cabinet, look at all of the ingredients on your cleaning supplies. Now imagine all those chemicals being dumped into oceans, rivers and lakes. Did you ever stop and wonder what happens after you take out the trash, where it all goes? Do you ever stop and think about how much effort goes into all the food you have in your refrigerator? From the beginning of a seed being planted, to the time it takes to harvest and grow. The work that is put into picking fruits and vegetables, then shipping them to your local grocery stores. We live in a society that has the luxury of everything at our fingertips, we can even have our groceries delivered to our front door and have practically anything shipped to us from Amazon. But how often do we stop and think about what goes on behind the scenes?
There have been many controversies over the years of corporations and household brands we trust, that take advantage of their workers and cut corners on our safety and the safety of our planet. We must fight back to these big businesses and make them responsible for their actions. Thankfully the organic movement is growing and there have already been many changes in the products you see being carried on the shelves in your grocery stores. Organic, cruelty-free makeup products are popping up and farmers’ markets are becoming more than just a trendy idea. We must support local businesses that support fair wages and hold themselves to be socially and environmentally responsible. Supporting local businesses is key to changing our society, for it not only creates jobs, but gives back to your local economy. Making small changes in your life as a consumer will be the first step into saving our planet. Here are five tips to get you started:
1. Reducing the amount of water you use.
– Setting a timer for the amount of time you shower.
– While you wait for hot water to heat up, collect cold water to water plants.
– Turn the water off while lathering up with soap and shampooing your hair.
– Don’t keeping the water running while you brush your teeth.
– Install low flush toilets in your home.
2. Reducing the amount of plastic and paper you use.
– Bring reusable bags when shopping for your groceries.
– Save your paper bags to use as recycling bags at home.
– Buy a reusable coffee cup to bring with you to your local coffee shop.
Many coffee shops will give you a discount if you bring in your own cup!
– Jamba Juice now offers a similar program, if you buy a reusable Jamba Juice cup
they will reward you with 10% off every time you use!
– Ask your local companies to start emailing receipts.
– When printing documents, use both sides of the paper!
3. Research your favorite brands and companies and hold them responsible!
– American Apparel is a great brand that promotes sweatshop free and fair wages.
– Research your favorite brands and see what they stand for and where they put your money.
– Find out what your favorite companies do to give back.
– Are these brands and companies being investigated for unfair treatment to their workers?
What is their global impact?
4. Buy free-range and organic foods.
– Buy free-range meats and eggs.
– Make sure your fish is “wild caught.”
– Pay attention to GMOs and avoid overly processed foods.
5. Go Green with your household products!
– Use vinegar to clean your wood floors.
– Buy shampoos and conditioners that are all natural and cruelty-free.
– Buy cruelty-free makeup brands with the Leaping Bunny logo.
– Buy eco-friendly dishwasher and laundry soap.