In the previous tip, I talked about carrying a reusable coffee cup and water bottle. For this tip, it is about reusable containers. Bring your own take-out containers (preferably glass) to restaurants for the times when you are not able to finish your meal. You save the waste of a to-go box and can reheat the leftovers directly in the container you brought home. Bonus tip - This is also excellent if you are going to a potluck and want to bring something home with you. It will save the host from finding a container for you to use.
Try meatless Monday or fully transition away from eating meat and dairy. According to an article in the July 2018 Natural Awakenings magazine, “A pound of beef requires 13 percent more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy.” They also note, “There is no such thing as sustainable meat, and plant-based alternative to meat, dairy, and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts” ("Meat Menace," 2018, p. 7). Treehuger.com also notes that “Cutting out meat and dairy is the best thing you can do for the planet” (Martinko, 2018). Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, by reducing or eliminating the use of animal products in your diet, but you are also decreasing the suffering animals undergo in the agriculture system and reducing the horrors that animal farm workers experience in their line of work. Give this recipe a try for a South Carolina Pulled BBQ, using jackfruit!
Compost what you can either through your local waste service or in a home composting bin. According to Global Green, “95% of food scraps are sent to the landfills each year in the US alone. This food waste emits about the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as 7 coal-fired power plants” (Edell, 2016).
29. Learn about your carbon footprint
Everything has a carbon footprint. Per Dictionary.com, a carbon footprint "is the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person" ("Carbon Footprint," n.d.). I calculated my carbon footprint to be 16. 76 tons annually and found it takes around 239 trees to offset my footprint on an annual basis ("Calculate Your," n.d.). I figured my footprint through Conservation.org. What is your carbon footprint? Are there ways to reduce it? The book HOW BAD ARE BANANAS is a useful guide to looking at the carbon footprint of many different things and figuring out ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
30. Demand a better environment
Write to your favorite companies to request more environmentally-friendly products and packaging. Express your concerns to them. Companies know that consumers have many options for most items and can take their business elsewhere. Plus, remember that you can vote with your money and what/where you choose to spend your money. Vote on scientific matters in elections. Vote for bills in your area or support candidates that are trying to better the environment. Contact elected officials who don’t support environment bills and encourage them to do so- become an informed voter and consumer.