How To Help the Environment: 15 Easy and Unexpected Ways
The unfortunate truth is that now more than ever we are seeing the devastating impacts of human consumption on the environment. Natural disasters, extinction of animal species, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and melting ice caps all point to a dismal future for the planet’s health — but we can make changes today for a greener tomorrow.
There are plenty of unexpected (and easy) ways that we can positively contribute to the environment — and Bite is here to help you build a more sustainable lifestyle. Shall we?
Why Is It Important To Support the Environment?
We only have one earth. Not only will continuing to damage the environment decrease our overall quality of life, but that damage is also quite literally deteriorating the planet we live on. There will be grave consequences if we don’t start making more eco-conscious choices.
We know it can be frightening to consider what our world will look like if we don’t make a change — but the good news is that sustainability doesn’t have to be complicated.
Reducing our environmental footprint by working to lessen our energy consumption, use fewer natural resources, and reuse or recycle items to keep them out of landfills is critical to protecting our planet, and there are plenty of simple ways to prioritize sustainability.
What Can I Do To Help the Environment?
Though a large portion of carbon emissions and environmental damage comes from corporations, the simple products we use and the daily actions we take can also impact the environment.
Here at Bite, we understand the impact and responsibility companies have regarding large-scale sustainability. That’s why we are devoted to making eco-conscious choices when it comes to our packaging, envelopes and boxes, shipping methods, and product refills. We have proven that sustainable personal care is possible without having to sacrifice quality.
Below are some simple and achievable steps that each of us can take to help take care of our planet.
1. Bike or Walk Instead of Driving
If your destination is within a reasonable distance to walk or bike, try your best to choose one of these options.
Some cities and towns are more pedestrian and biker friendly than others, so make sure it is safe enough to walk or bike in your area. Not only does this benefit the environment, there is nothing quite as relaxing as a walk outside.
If you do need to drive, carpooling is a great option for reducing your carbon footprint, which refers to the carbon emission your everyday activities release.
Using cars that are not powered by electricity requires copious amounts of gasoline that, when burned, create toxic chemicals that contribute to air pollution.
Switching to a more energy-efficient car, if possible, is a significant means of reducing this pollution, but carpooling still helps reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
3. Try Public Transportation
If you have access, using public transportation, like buses and trains, is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment. You can think of public transportation as a larger-scale carpool.
Public transportation in the US helps save six billion gallons of gasoline each year. Cities that provide an efficient public transportation system can help reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 63 million metric tons annually.
Now that is something to celebrate.
4. Work Remotely When Possible
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work opportunities have exploded. If your job allows, working from home is a great way to help the environment because you eliminate the need to drive or otherwise travel to your workplace.
If you do enjoy working on-site, dedicating some days to working at home (if you can) can also make a big difference in the long run. Additionally, making sure your home office is full of energy efficient lightbulbs is a great way to help the environment.
5. Try Meal Planning and Prepping
Many of us are guilty of buying a package of spinach, only for it to get pushed further and further to the back of the fridge.
Up to 40 percent of food in the US is never eaten, and this statistic is alarming considering the amount of water and energy required to grow and produce the food we eat.
Meal prepping and planning can help you make the most out of your food while also allowing you to walk into the grocery store knowing exactly what ingredients you need for the week.
6. Be Mindful of Expiration Dates
Expiration dates can get the best of us, especially when it comes to produce.
Learning how to store produce and other foods properly can help expand their shelf life and reduce your food waste.
For example, storing those stubborn avocados in water in the refrigerator can expand their shelf life by preventing browning and spoiling.
7. Enjoy Leftovers Before They Spoil
Some people love leftovers, and some people hate them (how?!). If you are a fan of day-old curry or soup, be sure to consume it within 4-5 days of storage. Label your containers with the date to stay mindful of how long the food has been in your fridge.
You can also incorporate your leftovers into new meals that will not create more leftover food. If you know you will not eat your leftovers, aim to make smaller portion meals that will not create any leftover food.
8. Go Plastic-Free
An estimated 19 to 23 million tons of plastic ends up in aquatic ecosystems annually, contributing to water pollution and the destruction of crucial ecosystems.
Actions like switching from plastic to bamboo toothbrushes and using refillable deodorants can greatly reduce your plastic use and keep plastic out of our oceans.
At Bite, we are devoted to creating sustainable products like toothpaste bits encased in glass, refillable deodorant, and bamboo toothbrushes to give you the tools you need to take care of your health as well as the earth’s.
9. Use a Reusable Water Bottle
Disposable plastic water bottles require fossil fuels to be made and massively contribute to pollution. An alarming 86 percent of disposable plastic water bottles become garbage or litter.
Using a reusable water bottle can help cut down on single-use plastic and give you a fun incentive to stay hydrated.
10. Compost, Compost, Compost
Composting involves repurposing broken-down food scraps and appropriate materials like wood or cardboard to use as fertilizer and soil for plants.
You can keep a container in your kitchen to hold your compost, and it will naturally break down your scraps into fertilizer that can provide nutrients to plants. Composting is a great way to fully use your produce while also creating nutrient-dense soil for strong and healthy plants.
11. Grow Your Own Produce
Growing your own produce has a plethora of benefits for your health and the environment.
You can grow fruits and vegetables that are in season and make homemade pesticides that are not harmful to your health or the environment. Growing your own food is a great alternative to purchasing produce from the store because of carbon emissions put out by the industrial farming industry. In 2018 alone, global agriculture yielded 9.3 billion tons of carbon emissions.
Growing produce means you have easy access to fresh fruits and veggies without having to drive to the grocery store — and it benefits the planet. There is also nothing quite like feeding yourself with produce grown right in your backyard.
12. Eat Less Meat
The meat industry in the US requires copious amounts of water, land, and energy.
Raising animals for consumption causes water pollution due to excess excrement that ends up in rivers and lakes.
The meat industry also requires vast amounts of land to raise animals, and deforestation results from trying to create enough space for those animals.
Reducing your meat intake (and consumption of dairy products) and making meat purchases directly from local farmers can help lessen the demand for meat and, in turn, reduce environmental harm. You don’t need to give up meat outright, however incorporating Meatless Mondays or Tofu Tuesdays into your routine is a great place to start.
13. Do Laundry in Cold Water
Some articles of clothing require warm or hot water to wash, but using cold water to wash your clothes helps reduce energy use and carbon emissions.
More energy is required to heat water, and that heating process also releases carbon dioxide. Opting for cooler showers instead of hot baths will help you save water and reduce the demand for filtered and treated water.
Not to mention, baths call for huge amounts of tap water, and taking a shower instead could save thousands of gallons of water each year.
14. Try Reusable Bags
With most people going grocery shopping at least once a week, lots of plastic bags are used to hold those groceries and usually end up in the trash. Using reusable bags made from canvas or recycled materials can help you significantly cut down on your plastic use. Not only that — reusable totes are much more stylish than plastic grocery bags.
15. Repurpose Old Items
Repurposing your old items is a great way to utilize what you already own while challenging your creative side — and doing good for the environment.
For example, glass food jars can be repurposed as cups or storage containers instead of using plastic products. You can also reupholster or paint your old furniture instead of throwing it away or replacing it.
Repurposing your old items can save you money while also reducing waste.
The Bottom Line
Everyone has different lifestyles, incomes, and life rhythms, so it is important to make realistic changes for you and your lifestyle.
Bite makes it easy for you to make small (but meaningful) changes in your oral care routine by sending sustainable, eco-friendly products straight to your door. Taking small steps like walking rather than driving and repurposing old items will help you make a lasting, positive impact on the health of our earth.
Public Transportation Facts | APTA
Reasons to Avoid Bottled Water | Sustainability at Harvard
Gasoline and the environment - US Energy Information | EIA
MARINE LITTER AND PLASTIC WASTE VITAL GRAPHICS | UNEP
Meat and the Environment | PETA
What is your carbon footprint? | Carbon Footprint Calculator