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Tips To Be Kinder to the Earth


Say No to Single Use Plastic bags.

The Overarching theme here: Plastic.Is.Bad.


Did you know…

- Americans use 100 billion plastic bags each year?
- Those bags require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture.
- It can take 500 years or more for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill; and even then they are still polluting the soil.

I will be the first to admit, it took me a while before I remembered to grab my reusable bags when I went shopping. After a few times of forcing myself to carry those 7 items bag-free; I now find it hard to forget them.


Now I am high fiving myself each and every time I say, “No Bag, thank you.” Each time I say it, I’m saving a bag that takes 500 years to break down but I’m also spreading awareness. Each cashier, fellow shopper, friend, that hears me say, “No Bag, thank you” is suddenly a part of the conversation. I’m planting a seed, or opening up a form of communication. At least that is my hope. After all, it was seeing others bring their reusable bags to the store that first inspired me!


Tips to Help You Remember: Always stash some reusable bags in your car. Place a couple at home near your keys. Always take those bags back out to your car after putting your groceries away.


Buy Bar Soap, Not Body Wash!

Bar soap is low waste and better for the planet

Buy bar soap, it’s cheaper… and you will drastically cut down on the amount of plastic used. We love these soaps from Body Goodies as they come in an amazing bar with compostable packaging.


Zero waste soap vs. a plastic bottle with a lid, and sometimes even a pump. Not needed and saves you money! :)


Cut Back on the Amount of Meat You Eat!

Meatless Mondays is good for the planet - 4 The Greater Good

Join in Meatless Monday’s or expand to 2 days per week meat-free.


How can Meatless Monday’s help the planet? By reducing our carbon footprint in ways like;

  • Minimizing water usage (water needs of livestock are significantly greater than those of our plant food sources)
  • Reducing Greenhouse Gases
  • Reduction in Fuel Dependency

Here’s the thing though, cutting back on the amount of meat you consume will save you money and is better for your health!

You can see more awesome stats here.


Use a Stainless Steel or Glass Water Bottle,
Take it Everywhere!

Reusable water bottles are good for the planet - 4 The Greater Good

When you stay hydrated amazing things happen for your wellness; when you bring your own reusable water bottle (plastic free of course) you can refill whenever you need to. Most places will let you do this for free. Not sure of the quality of the tap water where you will be? Consider purchasing a plastic-free activated charcoal stick to place in your water bottle to remove impurities while on the go. This 30 oz. Tumbler goes with me, everywhere! 


Carrying your own water bottle will also save you money too. If you are someone who is still buying single-use bottled water; think about how much money you are spending. This one is an easy switch, enjoy!


Say NO to Plastic Straws.

Straws-suck-no-single-use-plastic-4-the-greater-good

Straws suck, and they are everywhere. Here in the U.S. most restaurants will provide straws for every glass at a table, and just think about how many tables that is…. It’s over 500 million straws per day. That’s PER DAY! If you are a visual person, that means enough to fill 127 school buses with straws each and every day.


Straws are bad for several reasons; the first being they cannot be recycled. So whatever straws are used and created are going to the landfill, or you guessed it, polluting our waterways and oceans. The other reason straws suck is the number of chemicals they contain; just… yuck.


Easy solution here guys….


Reusable straws!!!! Simple glass, stainless steel, bamboo, and environmentally friendly. No need for single-use and/ or chemicals. Or an even better solution; skip the straw. See, told you it was an easy solution ;)


Clean up Litter, Anywhere you go.

Clean up litter - 4 The Greater Good

Every piece counts and litter that is blowing around in the wind has a chance to blow into our oceans and waterways polluting our beautiful planet. So let’s aim to clean it when we see it and the world will be all the better for it.



Say NO to any Products Containing Microbeads (i.e. polyethylene)


Having no clue what these were, or even knowing if I had used these - they are not helpful for anything. These tiny plastic beads have been used in face wash, types of toothpaste, etc. The issue? They are showing up in the bellies of our sea life, and they are much too small to be filtered out of our waterways. They are a huge mistake and we can all be a part of no longer using materials that contain these tiny plastic beads. This topic can get a bit overwhelming but if you want to learn more; here is a great video from 5Gyres. 

Here at 4 The Greater Good; we like to focus on the positive. This is a big problem; but...

"When We know Better, We Do Better." - Maya Angelou

The good news here is now that we know better we can begin making a difference and fixing this issue.

 

Start Buying Things Second Hand.
(Thrift stores, Garage Sales, Flea Markets, etc.)

Buy Second Hand - 4 The Greater Good

Another easy one here! When you need something new, why not buy something that has already been loved? Think of the amount of waste we would be removing from Earth if we wore second-hand clothing. No one would have to create anything new for you? Brilliant!


Do I even need to mention the savings on the wallet here? Huge savings and a reason to feel good about what you are doing! Win-Win! Don’t forget to bring your reusable bags!


Donate Items to Second Hand.


Once you are no longer able to wear something, or you are no longer loving it; donate it. You never know who may come across it and fall in love with it, or just really need it! Don’t throw it out, give someone else a chance to make use of it first!


Realize What Types of Items You Are Throwing Away Each Day.


The real change stems when you become aware of what it is you are throwing away. For me, I realized that my lunch at my office desk was takeout; and filled up my wastepaper basket almost daily! This is so sad! There are some amazingly dedicated people in this beautiful land who are experts on living a zero-waste lifestyle (Lauren Singer, Ted Talk is a great place to start finding some inspiration!)


So when you are taking out the trash, start to see what you are throwing away. This will help you to drastically lower your waste consumption by making small changes to your daily habits.


Side note: I have stopped ordering sushi for lunch and I am currently aiming to take my own containers next time I want to order out! #sustainabilitygoals

Stop Buying Bottled Water.


Pretty please. The bottles last for a ridiculously long time (hundreds of years) and they are only made for single use. Leave them in cold or hot conditions and the chemicals from the plastic can leach into the water you drink. It’s bad for you, it’s expensive, and it’s really awful for the earth. Save money and filter your water and drink from the tap!

 

Bring Your Own Cup to the Coffee Shop.

Bring Your Own Cup - 4 The Greater Good

Pretty please. The disposable cardboard and plastic cups are full of chemicals and full of awful stuff that you could ingest! On top of that, many cannot be recycled due to the chemicals. So save the planet, and focus on your own wellness, and bring your reusable cup! Side note: Some coffee shops offer a discount when you bring your own reusable mug! 

 


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