Some of you might be concerned about how wasteful our modern life is and I admit, I am one of them! Sometimes the recommended habits such as recycling and beach clean-ups might require extra effort and take our time, and it's just overwhelming! But we don’t have to worry; our feelings of guilt can easily be reduced by making these simple habits a part of our lives!
5. Using Skin Products That Do Not Contain Plastic Scrub
How many of us are aware that our face wash is hurting the lives of wildlife and nature? Unfortunately, it is true! Our face wash, body scrubs, and even toothpaste for whitening our teeth contain tiny pieces of plastic that are called microbeads. These beads are created by scientists for the sole purpose of meeting our needs and convenience, without considering the environment. But how do those microbeads end up wrecking nature, they seem so insignificant? The reason is that they are just too small to stay in the strainer to be filtered out in the sewage on their way to the oceans. Like tiny infamous microplastics, microbeads always float at the surface of the sea and are eaten by sea creatures. Like almost all conventional plastics, they will take hundreds of years to biodegrade and pose a serious threat to the seabirds, fish, and other mammals. What is worse, those sea animals do not recognize what they are eating; they easily mistake plastics as their food. What we can do however is to replace these products with products that use sugar or sand as a replacement for microbeads; how easy!
Photo Courtesy: NewsMinute.com
4. Using Reef-Safe Lotions and Sunscreens
Using environmentally-friendly and reef-safe lotions and sunscreens is the best way to protect your skin as well as reducing negative impacts on the planet. While this may seem like a relatively small thing to change, the threat is so big that, in 2018, Hawaii became the first state to ban the sales of sunscreens that are harmful to aquatic life. The new law will be effective from January 1, 2021, and markets and consumers are ready to swap their old sunscreens that are non-reef-safe. Two common chemicals, oxybenzone, and octinoxate are found in most sunblocks worldwide and are known to damage marine life. With applying reef-safe lotions and sunscreens that do not contain those chemicals, you keep your skin away from sunburn, crackling, ashing, and getting skin cancer without putting the environment at risk. An easy solution to a big problem!
3. Keep the Temperature in Your Home at the Same Level
Cooling is one of the largest household contributors to emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. Cooling down yourself in front of your air conditioning is always refreshing, but the energy bills at the end of the month can be daunting, depending on how long we operate our AC afterwards. However, if we set our thermostat to the recommended temperature, we can maintain our home comfortably and save money. In the US, the US Department of Energy recommends setting our thermostats to 78F(26C) when we are at home. This recommended temperature might vary from place to place, so we should check the recommended setting in our specific region. Thanks to technological advancement, we can purchase ACs with a built-in programmable thermostat. Some are even smart enough to set different temperatures based on factors such as humidity and the number of people in the room. Also, we can supplement our AC with fans and ceiling fans, which bring a better air circulation on site. Not only this, but fans will definitely make us feel cooler since it takes away humidity in the area. What easy way to protect the environment and save money in the process, don’t you think?
2. Only Buying Seafood Certified as MSC
When we see the blue fish label on the package of any seafood in the grocery store, you are buying a certified sustainable source. MSC, which stands for Marine Stewardship Council, made the first global certification system with specific criteria for sustainable fishing. It meets the best requirements set by both the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and ISEAL. So-called “overshooting” in the fishing industry is commonly seen worldwide due to the destructive impact stemming from market demands. With those concerns becoming larger every day, the concept of sustainable fishing was created and understood as a way to leave enough fish in the ocean to reproduce, while also ensuring fishermen that are heavily dependent on fishing as a livelihood can feed their families. MSC is a globally known sustainable certificate as ocean ecolabeling on over 30,000 seafood products in more than 100 countries. By simply choosing ocean products with this label on it, we can help to save the oceans and marine ecosystems!
1. Replacing Disposables with Reusables at The Coffee Shop
Single-use cups are overwhelming our landfills, especially due to the guidelines during the pandemic. In addition to this, Americans' coffee culture is very commonly known as a pollutive habit. Moreover, the research of the National Coffee Association found that annual coffee consumption in the US has been rising since 2015. In total, Americans use an estimated 25 billion takeaway cups daily. Disposables such as coffee cups and straws are commonly found in the food industry and to-go culture, generating trash in the landfill. By replacing single-use items with reusables, you can easily minimize your waste, and possibly even the impact on your wallet! If you want to see other reasons why we recommend you to replace the ocean-clogging single-use straw with reusable straws, check out our Top 5 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Tools!