Have you ever wondered the ways to reduce your carbon footprint, to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle? Imagine living in a world without rainforests, where trees, wildlife, and animals didn’t roam free. It would be a pretty sad place don’t you think?
Our planet is precious, we only have one. On a grand scale, it may feel like one person doesn’t make a huge difference to the bigger picture, but it does. See, rather than an act, it should be a reflection on life. It is about being connected to our environment and letting our everyday decisions reflect our appreciation for the planet.
As consumers, we can make a difference by encouraging larger production companies to refresh their environmental policies. Say tomorrow we stopped purchasing palm oil products; what kind of impact would it have on businesses? On a grand scale, would it help slow down the deforestation of rainforests that regrow palm oil?
Would they be forced to use substitute product ingredients to appeal to consumers? As consumers, we drive goods. The more we purchase, the more demand it creates. Big corporations participate in this mass production act to keep up with the demand. Ultimately, we are all responsible for what is happening.
OUR PAST DOESN’T NEED TO BE THE FUTURE
When I visited a whaling station on Western Australia’s south coast, I was very reluctant. I was not fond of the reality of what had taken place in history to destroy these beautiful creatures. But it is this kind of attitude that we have all adapted to that is just the same as turning a blind eye. It is like saying it is not part of my doing or is too painful to see. But education is key to the way of the future.
I love whales, so knowing I about to watch and learning about our human race participating in such cruel acts left me with a heavy heart. These majestic animals are a vital part of our eco-system and the health of our marine life.
As I walked around watching paraded images of whale carcasses, I couldn’t help feel raged and teary at the same time. The centre educated me about our past indeed. Whales had been hunted and killed for years since the 1800s.
The station in Albany operated from the 1950s to 1978 until the industry banned whaling. I discovered that over this period, the whaling station hunted and destroyed a staggering 14,000 whales.
The whales supplied whale oil across Europe, which came from the whale blubber. Whale oil lit the street lamps, while the meat and animal parts were for other purposes.
Gaining this knowledge educated me about our past and encouraged my passion for this beautiful mammal even more. Although these events occurred before my time, these actions affect the generations to come. We need to be aware and learn to live in harmony with our surroundings.
Our future generation deserves to live surrounded by a healthy planet.
“Every action has a reaction”
LEARN TO THINK MORE ECO-FRIENDLY
One of the simplest things you can do is train yourself to be more mindful of what you are buying? Yes, this takes a bit of research and energy at first, but imagine the amount of waste reduction by making a conscious decision you could contribute to in a year?
Our environment has assisted us in so many ways, and unfortunately, the truth is, we are the only species that takes and consumes continuously. Sometimes when I see the impact humans have had on earth, it makes me sad to be part of it. Just like most of you all reading this, I am sure you have felt the same.
So, what can we do right now to lift our game? Plenty!
“If each individual makes changes within their own home, it will make changes within the world.”
SIMPLE WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Our team has come together to brainstorm the various ways we can live more eco-friendly. By changing a few simple habits and making ourselves aware, we can learn to make a difference before it is cause for drastic change.
Some of the ways to reduce your carbon footprint include;
- Be mindful of the packaging you are purchasing in stores. Do you need a plastic bag for your individual fruit if you have cloth bags to carry them? Are your fruit and veggies packed in excess plastic materials?
- Reduce your commute to work, car share, or catch public transport. Walk when distances are short.
- Support local petitions and environmental groups pushing for change.
- Avoid soft plastics that are not recycled. These go into landfills and can take up to a shocking 100 years for some materials to decompose. This is a repetitive cycle of leaving the next generation to clean up our waste.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO LEAD A MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY LIFESTYLE
- Think less is more. Adopt an approach to buying less is better. It can relate to household goods, packaging, clothing, and excess material goods that are not needed. Living clutter-free can enrich your lifestyle and environment and affect your mental health too.
- Embrace businesses that are helping and encouraging eco-living, from alternative products to the materials used and packaging. When you buy a product, you are buying into the brand and what they stand for. These days every company should be mindful of the environment.
- Use bin liners that decompose. It is simple and something I have been doing for years. The technology is available to reduce our waste furthermore. As consumers, we can drive up the demand for change.
- Sort rubbish mindfully. How much do you bag weekly? When I first began to reduce my carbon footprint, I was surprised by the amount of waste two people produced. Even though we had a compost bin for scraps, the fine-plastics were overwhelmingly the highest. By shopping more mindfully, getting individual unpacked items we managed to reduce our waste furthermore.
- Use recyclable containers, eco-coffee cups, eco-drink bottles, BHA-free plastic containers. Remove cling wrap from your trolley and use these or wax cloths, bread bags, and other eco-alternative products to cover leftover food.
- Try not to use more than you need, which can apply to pretty much anything. Quicker showers, washing up with less water, switching off the light, using less air-conditioning, that kind of thing.
- Say no to palm oil products. You may need to read the fine print here. Palm oil is in many of our products at home, from Soap and beauty products to foods. You will quickly understand the damage our eco-system is facing watching David Attenborough’s Life on our Planet. Here is a short sample of Life on our Planet. Everyone should watch this!
WHAT CAN I DO?
However, people and small companies are trying to make a difference. We must cherish and support these businesses. Dupa Australia is one of these businesses that donate 20% of their proceeds to marine conservation each time you purchase a product.
Our past does not have to be our future. By coming together to show our support and actively changing our own lifestyle, we can all learn to make a larger contribution to our waste.
For more recommended reading on this topic, check out Zero Waste.