I must admit I’m a bit of a joiner.
I’ll join sports teams, books clubs, Instagram challenges, cooking competitions, even a really long line at a public toilet but most of all I’m a sucker to join a good cause.
I recently let my Greenpeace membership lapse and we’ve been a supporter of UNHCR’s Refugee Emergency Relief Aid for a long time but Earth Hour is one of my favourite good causes. Not only is it an altruistic way to help reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on something as simple as electricity in your home for an hour+, but it gives me an excuse to turn all the appliances & lights off and indulge in a romantic candlelight night!
So why don’t you join the Earth Hour revolution which hits this weekend on Saturday 23rd March at 8.30pm? And in preparation I’ve thought of a few things we can do as individuals to help minimise our impact on mother nature and her glorious blue planet…
- take your own shopping bags when buying groceries; in Australian over 4 billion (yes BILLION) plastic bags are used per year and the majority end up in landfill or worse, in the ocean. If you think of those numbers as 10 million new plastic bags per day or each of us using 200 plastic bags each per year it puts it in perspective that we aren’t thinking of our impact on the limited landfill area or poor little sea turtles that could suffocate from eating plastic bags which they mistake as jellyfish. There are so many cute & fashionable alternatives to the plastic bag that why wouldn’t you do this simple swap? [via]
- use fans instead of aircons or turn your aircon up 1°c; Living in Australia in summer is akin to visiting hell on baking day. It’s hot. We need our aircon but all it takes is to put it up a degree or so just to take the load off.
- don’t buy bottled water. for goodness sake, we’re a lazy & unsustainable bunch! water costs less than 1c per litre from the tap and we go and pay 3000% increase & create tonnes of plastic landfill by buying bottled water. There are so many cool reusable bottles to carry around with you. This is why initiatives such as Tap™ are so wonderful. [that's mine in the middle!]
- swap out your lightbulbs; with energy saving bulbs. Not only are you helping the environment and saving on your electricity bill, you also get to watch your partner up on a ladder doing sexy handyman (or handywoman) tasks! Score!
- keep it clean with environmentally friendly detergents; to say I’m a clean freak would be an understatement. My house is well kept (even Harley is the cleanest doggy you’ll ever meet) and up until about 6 months ago bleach was my favourite cleaner of choice, until my BFF Gracie told me of the wonders of vinegar & baking soda! It’s bathroom chemistry you never experienced in high school science class! Super cheap, effective and friendly to our waterways!
- ditch the junkmail; I.hate.junk.mail. It’s 2013 and we have something called the internet. Get one of those little stickers you put on your letter box to stop those pesky wastes of paper and ridiculous & unnecessary destruction of trees. [via]
- Meatfree Mondays; as my friend Tam likes to remind anyone who’ll listen, that meat is murder. Although she’ll be occassionaly persuaded to eat a juicy steak, like, once a year! For those of us who aren’t generally vegetarians/vegans/et al, Meat free Monday is all we can handle! See her comments below for stats on exessive carbon monoxide from farting animals! But on a more serious note, people on our planet eat way to much meat that isn’t sustainably farmed. I’m more for cutting down on the quantity and eating quality – meat farmed from animals raised in as natural state as possible (get rid of grain feed beef, it is terrible for their well being and only stick to grass farmed animals) including chicken & their eggs that are certified free-range, pigs that can be ‘piggy’ in mud baths and fish that are sustainably caught in the wild. You pay a bit extra but if you cut down on the portion size and frequency then it’s better for everyone; you, the animals & the earth. [via]
- It’s a matter of integrity; buying local produce from farmers markets and farmers co-ops. Unless we want our future to resemble Demolition Man (remember the only restaurant they had was Taco Bell?!) with widespread globalisation taking over our availability & personal choice of produce & products if we let multinationals drive/bully small business out. Buying from growers markets & co-ops also means the food is fresher and in season. It’s good to know where it comes from!
I hope these tips remind you that any act of environmentalism, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, really helps.
After all small acts can create big change!
Now go forth and procure candles for your romantic Saturday night in!