As the realities of our collective environmental impact become better understood, many of us are wondering how we can help reduce our carbon footprint and leave the world in a better place than we found it.
Of course, this is easier said than done.
You cannot get through a typical day without coming into contact with single-use plastics, wasteful technology, and harmful artificial ingredients. This is because globalization makes it incredibly difficult for companies and countries to reduce their carbon footprints overnight. As a result, mass-produced products like cars can source their parts from across the globe and make a negative environmental impact before they’ve even reached their first owners. This is especially true for modern electric cars, which, while emitting zero CO2, use huge amounts of natural resources when being built and disposed of.
Against this global reality, it is easy to feel helpless, but you needn’t worry. While these larger-scale changes will take time, there are still a number of smaller everyday changes you can make to your shopping habits to help reduce environmental impact.
People are turning away from harmful habits like smoking
When changing your shopping habits to reduce your environmental impact, it is easy to assume this only applies to products with vast carbon footprints or single-use plastics.
In actuality, one of the best (and simplest) decisions you can make when being eco-friendly is to help make your immediate vicinity a more pleasant place to be.
Harmful habits like smoking don’t just hurt your body; they can negatively affect people’s health. Second-hand smoke is deeply unpleasant for non-smokers around you, and causes a mess when you stub your cigarettes out on the ground.
Shop organically whenever you can
Another simple way to lower your environmental impact is to buy organically whenever you can. Almost all food shops now stock quality, locally sourced organic food, which is especially important if you eat meat – because the animals are better looked after, and they are likely reared nearby farms.
You could also choose organic skincare creams and sun-tan lotions, which help stop harmful chemicals destroying the sea and local water supply.
Buy essentials that are recyclable and last a long time
When you buy essentials like razors and toothbrushes, opt for longer-lasting bamboo alternatives over disposable plastic items. They may cost more to buy upfront, but you will be able to keep them for a long time, which will ultimately save you money. More importantly, you will be able to recycle them and massively reduce your personal plastic waste.
Avoid excessive plastic packaging and use non-plastic bags
Perhaps the easiest single decision you can make is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic you use daily. Buy a non-plastic bag for your shopping, avoid excessively plastic-wrapped products when you order online and buy your own coffee mug when you next pop into a cafe.