Disrupted weather patterns, melting ice caps, EPA jeopardy — it might seem like it’s all too late for you to do anything. It’s not! We know you can and do make a difference.
You’ve already started the day by brightening your face with certified organic magic, crafted with the lowest-impact ingredients and materials possible. (Feels good, right?) The average woman uses 15 personal care products per day — that’s 15 chances to do better for yourself and the environment. Here are some ways to make change elsewhere:
The USA makes up 4% of the world’s population and 14% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. One-third of that personal transportation. At an average of 21.4 mpg, we emit 2,400,000,000,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s a lot of zeros.
We’re not going to car-shame you. We can, however, all commit to driving more efficient vehicles. This doesn’t have to mean swapping out an SUV for a plug-in hybrid — although that would be a pretty badass move. If every household drove a vehicle with 56 mpg, US emissions would fall 10%.
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW:: Cut down on unnecessary trips. Keep tires properly inflated. Ease up on hard acceleration and stops. Stay under 70 mph whenever possible.
We’re not going to tell you to go vegan. Yet, if we all did, global greenhouse emissions would drop by an estimated 70%. (What!?) Global vegetarianism would drop global emissions by about 63%.
But why? In 2009, animal-based food in US diets made up roughly 85% of food-related greenhouse gas emissions and about 90% of all agricultural land use. Beef uses more land and water to produce, and generates more greenhouse gas emissions than any other food through methane and transportation/production. We’re not saying “stop eating meat,” but being smarter about sourcing our food can only help.
With that in mind — moderation is key. One or two meatless meals will benefit the planet and your health. Win-win.
Go LED. LED bulbs are now affordable enough to swap out your entire house. And they generally pay for themselves in energy savings — so why not, really?
Change the temperature. Invest in a smarter thermostat to spend less energy (and money) when nobody is home. When you are home, try keeping it a few degrees cooler in winter & warmer in summer — you can even turn down your water heater. Arctic polar bears don’t have a choice in climate control — but your choice is easy.
Reduce, recycle and reuse plastics. Once plastics are created, they never decompose. Recycled plastic actually takes 2/3 less energy to produce to than new, virgin plastic. Of course, using sustainable alternatives whenever possible is better to cut out the greenhouse emission altogether. And stop with the plastic bags, already.
Invest in clean energy. Many utility companies offer renewable energy offsets from wind, hydroelectric, solar, etc. When it only costs a few extra bucks per month, the benefits are easy to see. Plus, who doesn’t feel cool when they can say their electricity carbon-neutral? #BraggingRights