In the new world that is the United States of America today, I thought it would be a great opportunity to write this post and show others how to be eco-friendly. While our government is currently being filled with money hungry officials who truly have no regard for the environment, the wide variety of species that inhabit this Earth, or the future of our food, climate, and livelihood, I think this is the perfect time to reflect on what YOU can do to create a better world for yourself and future generations.
I have compiled a list on how to be eco-friendly, both conventional and not so conventional ways. Personally, I do not do every single item on this list, but I do some and I plan on participating in more soon. Also, I am not saying you need to do everything on this list. Please find what speaks to you the most and GO FOR IT! If we sit around and wait for the government to make changes, nothing will happen. Start with one thing and once you’re comfortable, start another!
The people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world… are the ones that do. So please, if you care about this Earth, make a change and choose one of these methods on how to be eco-friendly!
- Limit meat consumption, even if it’s just once a week or only cutting red meat. Anything helps! (Red meat tends to have a bigger impact on the environment.)
- Limit seafood consumption. Most seafood is harvested unsustainably and is filled with plastic. Also, most seafood is labeled as something else that may be high in mercury.
- Eat meat/seafood you’ve harvested or know the person who did! Ask questions about their methods.
- If you do eat meat/seafood, buy from a local! Again, ask questions about their methods. Visit the farm, see what kind of environment the animals live in, what they eat, etc.
- Refuse single use plastic. Buy a refillable water bottle, carry utensils, cloth napkin, stainless steel straw, container, and ask restaurants to use that instead!
- Avoid plastic altogether and go plastic free. Purchase glass/stainless steel everything! This lasts longer, doesn’t leach nasty chemicals into your food/body, and is better for the environment.
- Recycle, Reuse, Reduce! Buying items that are meant to be used once or that will break easy are a waste. Think about the oil, gas, chemicals, labor, etc. that was needed to create it before purchasing.
- Carry a cloth bag at all times to avoid single use plastic bags. Think plastic = OIL!
- Go zero waste!
- Clean up any trash you find.
- Bring your own coffee mug to the coffee shop instead of getting a to-go cup.
- Do research on ecotourism (zoo, aquarium, farm, etc.) before visiting. Not everyone has the best interests! Many of the attractions that seem to care about animals or the environment, really DON’T. Do your research! Remember, wild is always best but if the animal cannot be released back into the wild, ASK WHY BEFORE VISITING. Many are taken from the wild, drugged, etc.
- Visit national parks, national forests, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, wildlife management areas, and LEARN ABOUT IT!
- Leave animals WILD, don’t hand feed any animal, and let nature BE. Admire from a safe distance.
- Turn off all electronics when not using.
- Refuse fast fashion and buy thrifted items or buy from a local and/or eco-friendly brand! Fast fashion not only harms the environment but exploits people and places. Ask where your shirts are made and BY WHO!
- Walk somewhere!
- Bike somewhere!
- Donate to an environmental organization.
- Compost. Don’t just throw away paper, cardboard, produce, make soil out it!
- Grow your own produce. Even if it’s a small herb garden on your window sill, you’re limiting the carbon dioxide emitted from transported food by growing our own!
- Buy local in season produce. Again, limiting carbon dioxide emitted from transporting food. Believe it or not, most of our food is grown overseas!
- Refuse palm oil! This is found is literally EVERYTHING, and is being grown unsustainable in Indonesia. What are they using to grow palm fruits to make the oil? AN ENDANGERED RAINFOREST. This rainforest is the last place on Earth that has orangutans, rhinos, tigers, and elephants. Download the Palm Oil app which will tell you if the product you’re about to buy features sustainable palm oil!
- Buy rainforest alliance coffee. Find more info. here.
- Buy bird friendly coffee. Find more info. here.
- Go birding! (yep, I went there.)
- Learn about your local ecosystems.
- Volunteer to clean up a park, beach, etc.
- Volunteer at a national park, wildlife refuge, rehab center, etc.
- Contact government officials about environmental concerns. While many think this won’t do much, the more people who voice their opinions, the more likely we will see change. I have contacted my state senator more times than I am proud to say and I don’t plan on stopping.
I hope this list inspires some type of change! If you have any methods to be eco-friendly, please share with me in a comment below!