2017 is over – we laughed + we cried. We met out yearly goals (or we merely tried).
Good news is, 2018 is around the corner and this past year introduced us to a thousand more goals and missions to work towards.
Lucky for you, we put together our list of environmentally friendly habits to take action on in the New Year below.
In 2017, we saw some of the extremities of climate change, with hurricanes like Harvey or the intense wildfires in California.
We saw coal-powered plant operations across the U.S. shine a glimmer of hope at Donald Trump’s irrational promises to keep the dirty, non-renewable energy business alive. He also denounced the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency, as well as pulled out involvement with the Paris climate agreement.
We saw the Dakota Access pipeline take away Native American lands, and soil them with unnecessary amounts of oil (which, c'mon, we all saw coming). We heard potential changes that may allow the ivory trade to exist again.
And although we experienced some events & decisions that reverse our progress, we also saw some changes that push us further in the right direction:
We saw a plethora of documentaries arise about the animal agricultural industry. We saw Tesla come out with electric semi-trucks & saw multiple car companies’ work towards an all-electric fleet.
We saw McDonald’s introduce vegan options in European countries & plant protein profits surge. We saw plastic bags become banned in certain countries & states. We saw more big companies ban the use of micro beads in consumer products, which pollute our oceans and adopt more renewable energy sources.
We still have a lot of work to do, but we are ready to take on this challenge and especially excited to change the world with all of you.
So lone behold – our 2018 list of resolutions that will help our beautiful planet:
- Reduce your dependency on single-use plastics!
When you think about it, single-use plastics are an irrational nature-spoiler and an extreme waste. Not only does plastic itself pollutes our oceans, but also it kills many different land and sea animals by choking them, suffocating them by posing as food. It ends up on the sides of our beautiful roads & gobbles up our beautiful views of our planet.
So, say no to plastic water bottles. Forgo that plastic straw or lid with your coffee… is it really necessary? Better yet, bring your own mug or travel cup – typically coffee shops will charge you less for your drink when they know you are contributing to the health of our planet! And guess what – if you forget your traveler mug and are falling asleep at work, re-use your plastic cup at a later date! For me, I always get iced beverages if I forget my traveler mug because they are way easier to clean out & re-use in the future.
This can go for every plastic, single-use product.
2. Reduce your dependency on all other plastics, too!
Look into bamboo toothbrushes. Purchase cosmetics in glass bottles, or tins. Use essential oils & create your own blends for household products. (baking soda is an excellent option for most household cleaning).
Shampoo bars are a thing (& they're awesome). Honestly, just use Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap for everything.
3. Eat less Meat
And we hate to tell you… but you should try to eat less cheese too!
A lot of the land we use to grow grain, corn & soybeans is used to feed livestock, which in turn goes to feed us. 70% of grain grown in the U.S. goes to feed to livestock. For every 16 pounds of grain we are growing, it only provides us with 1 pound of meat, and on average 4 human mouths fed. When, realistically, that original 16 pounds of grain could produce grain food for about 16 people.
In other words, we are wasting tremendous amounts of land to feed humans a meaty diet, when that land could quite literally reverse climate change with the carbon dioxide that grass emits.
Beyond the impact it has on the environment, your gut, mind and physical health will thank you! Trust us - your body does not want it or need it.
4. Try to limit your shopping within the Fast Fashion industry
America has an insatiable appetite for the newest clothes, for the newest season – all to throw it away after three months.
The fast fashion industry are stores like Forever 21, H&M, Zara – with social status associated advertisements that make you want the next “look” in fashion.
What they aren’t sharing with you is that with all of this clothing turnover is usually not ethically made, shipped long-distance from third-world countries who are busting their a** to use their land for closing rather than food for their people, all to be thrown away in three months, ending up in massive, landfills.
5. Hang your laundry to dry sometimes!
If every single American used a clothing rack ONCE a week, the savings would raise enough money to close several nuclear or coal power plants down.
One load of laundry, washed & dried at a hot temperature, releases up to 7 pounds of CO2! Multiply that by a frequency of 52 weeks, or one load a week, and you have personally emitted 364 pounds of carbon dioxide in the air. Alone.
6. Walk, Bike or Take Public Transportation when you can!
This is an obvious one, and we’ll admit, it is difficult to get out of the habit of hopping into your car at free will!
But if you make these actions a little more conscious in your daily life, and batch all of your errands you need to do to one day, rather than multiple, you could be positively impacting the planet.
Then, in the future, create better decisions when choosing living locations. Some environmentalist's & money-saving, millionaire gurus proclaim that you should live within walking or biking distance to everywhere you ever need to go for a better quality of life & planet!
7. Limit your Food Waste
Plan your meals to reduce food waste, compost your organic waste, and even influence or implement composting at your friends home, or even your office!
If you cant eat it all at the restaurant, take it home. If you have tons of leftovers at home, utilize your freezer!
Over 2 billion people could be fed in the UK with the amount of food they waste on a yearly average. Just imagine how many more could be fed with the amount of waste from the entire world?
8. Shop from ethical pioneers
It MATTERS where you spend your money, of course. That is how markets are formed, that’s why market research is constructed. Everybody is trying to figure out what people want, so they can create jobs, jumpstart economic growth and (inevitably) make money.
It becomes loads easier for huge companies to follow the ethical brands once the market is formed and shaped, and supply chain developed. If people are pouring their money into what is right rather than what is cheap or easy, the larger market will follow.
9. Detox your home & cosmetics
Everything that touches your skin, goes into your body.
Chemicals in your household cleaning products are strong, toxic, and sometimes not regulated or tested safe for your environment, especially chemical bleaches, drain cleaners & ammonia.
Not only are some of these chemicals carcinogens, but they are toxic to the earths soil! So, keep an eye out of what is in your home and what makeup you are using to ensure your health, and the health of the planet
10. SPREAD THE KNOWLEDGE. EDUCATE YOUR FRIENDS. EMPOWER THEM TO CREATE CHANGE.
To be honest, we listen to tons of podcasts and read a multitude of articles by conservationists, and their viewpoints of what is going on in the world.
One of the main pieces of advice each of them has given thus far is to educate everyone you know about all of the issues our planet is facing.
M. Sanjayan, a global conservation scientist, and the CEO for Conservation International, who specializes in how nature preserves and enhances human life. In a recent podcast with him (on the Tim Ferriss Show), he explained that he gets questioned all the time about what is ONE THING someone can do to change the planet:
His main piece of advice was to learn about alternatives, get involved in the political system & get more people involved in environmental conservation.
Friends – there you have it. Educated Earthling’s 10 Environmentally Friendly resolutions for the near year.
We hope to see you (& your friends) there!