Its not easy to eliminate all of the ecosystems damaging items from our lives but these tips will certainly have you pointed in the right direction!
1. Problem - Bottled water. An estimated 200ml of oil is used to package, transport, & refrigerate each litre of bottled water. This amounts to the same amount of greenhouse gas being generated as 13000 cars annually. Plastic bottles are the main contributors to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a floating trash vortex in the North Pacific Ocean approximately the size of China. Not to mention that plastic bottles are made from BPA which is very toxic and diversely affects hormones.
Solution - Buy a stainless steel or BPA free drink bottle and fill from your tap or water filter at home.
2. Problem - Disposable nappies. This so called convenience can take 500 years to break down, meaning that any nappies disposed since their invention in 1961 are still intact. One child can use up to 6000 disposable nappies from birth to toilet-training.
Solution - Cloth nappies. With so many great & convenient options available on the market it's an eco-friendly and cost effective solution to the nappy issue. Many have removable inserts that can be easily replaced to reduce washing.
3. Problem - Home appliances left on standby. The most common power suckers are computers, microwaves, TV's, phone chargers & stereos. Appliances account for 20 per cent of the average home electricity bill, of which 75 per cent is consumed during 'stand by' mode.
Solution - Turn appliances off at the switch. Simple. Spend the extra money saved on electricity bills on treating yourself to a facial!
4. Problem - Plastic bags. Are we still here? Really? Even with check-out-style plastic bag usage dropping approximately by 2 billion from 2002 to 2009, we still have a problem. Again, they take a remarkably long time to biodegrade, and generate excessive toxins during their production.
Solution - Re-usable bags. Leave some in your car, your handbag, your office etc so that you've got back up in case you forget. You could also ditch the bin-liners at home, and re-use any plastic packaging for wet or smelly garbage such as bread bags or cereal packaging.
5. Problem - Too much petrol. Sometimes it's hard to forward plan, but where possible, it pays to cut down petrol cost and emissions.
Solution - Car sharing is a great way to not only reduce cost but also emissions. If you live close to where you work why not reduce your impact on the environment and walk to work? Cycling is also a great way of having zero impact and also keeps you fit! If you do have to drive, keep your vehicle serviced to get optimum efficiency. Walk, cycle & take public transport where possible. It's also more stimulating to get out into the world, see a different perspective and mix it up each day - better than being alone in traffic!
Try these sites for lift sharing, also a great way to meet new people!