Although we do our bit for the environment, let’s be honest – the thought of tackling global warming is a bit of a daunting task. But what if we told you, you can save the planet without changing your daily routine much at all?
Hooray! To celebrate Earth Day (Tues, 22nd), we’ve compiled 15 simple ways you can tweak your daily routine to eventually make a BIG difference for our lovely planet (and also the people around us).
1. Take a shorter shower
Every two minutes you save on your shower time, you can conserve more than 40 litres (10 gallons) of water. Wowzers. If everyone in the country saved just one minute from their daily shower, we would save millions of litres a year. The best method? Stick to your shower routine and jump out as soon as you’re done.
2. Plant something
It has been reported we are losing 2000 trees per minute in rainforests around the world. When you consider that one tree has the power to provide enough oxygen for the lifetime of 2 people, this is a pretty horrifying statistic. If we could all make an effort to plant just one tree, we could actually end up saving our future generations to come.
3. Unplug the Glow
Anything that glows after you turn it off (LED lights) continues to draw power that you pay for. Your TV, printer or phone chargers are likely culprits. Unplugging them from the wall sockets will ensure you completely cut the flow of electricity. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.
4. Recycle your old clothes
What’s the point in leaving your closet filled to the brim with clothes you haven’t worn for years? We hold onto so many things thinking, ‘I might wear this one day’ or things we bought on sale because, well, it was on sale. Make someone else’s day by donating your preloved goodies to your local op shop. You’ll feel good and make someone else look great – plus you’ll be recycling perfectly good items.
5. Use your car as the last option
Be kind to yourself while you’re making time to save the planet. Leave your house half an hour earlier and walk or ride to work. Imagine the endorphin high you will have to start your day with a bang! If this isn’t possible, catch the bus but get off 2 stops earlier or park a couple of streets away for an active park. While you’re on an eco friendly roll, make use of the bikes provided by the government to either get to work or meet a friend for coffee on the weekend.
6. Turn off computers and laptops
Sure, it’s easier to leave your laptop on sleep mode so you can simply take off where you left it in the morning without waiting for it to boot up. But by turning off your computer you can save 40-watt hours per day. If you hate waiting for your computer to start – turn it on while you pour your morning cup of joe.
7. Hang dry
Dryers can be a quick option when you have a busy schedule and your bed sheets are still wet in the washing machine (we’ve all been in a similar situation). But if you pop your laundry load on first thing in the morning and invest in a clothes rack – you can dry your clothes in the air outside all day. Your wardrobe will maintain its colour, won’t shrink and will save on power use. Hanging washing doesn’t have to be a chore, it’s actually quite therapeutic taking in the fresh air and appreciating the sunshine for a few moments.
8. Recycle glass and cardboard
It’s interesting to note that if you don’t recycle glass, aluminium or cardboard it can take up to one million years to decompose. Eeek. Recycled glass reduces air pollution by 20% and every ton of glass recycled saves approximately 35 litres of fuel oil (9 gallons). To put it into perspective even more, twenty recycled aluminium cans can be made with the energy it takes to manufacture a brand new one. Do your bit and get a recycling bin for all those itty bitty tuna cans and almond milk cartons.
9. Try meatless Monday
Having one less meat-based meal per week helps the planet and your wellbeing too. Think of all the greens and plant based protein you can pack in next Monday! There is a giant amount of energy that goes into food production and it takes around 25 times more energy to produce meat products than it does plant based. Try this Mediterranean Frittata as food for thought.
10. Local is lovely
If you consider the amount of energy and pollution that is created to get your food from the paddock to your plate, you will probably start to look at your food much more mindfully. Supporting your local economy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases is a great start to minimise your green footprint. Check out our Australian Farmer’s Market guide to get started.
11. Use a glass drink bottle
90% of plastic bottles are not recycled. Instead, they take thousands of years to decompose. Buying a reusable glass bottle for your water, juice or smoothie will help the environment out in so many ways. It won’t make its way to our ocean friends, nor will it clog up a storm water drain. It will be with you each day and when you don’t require it anymore, recycle it.
12. Invest in your own coffee cup
If you can’t get through your day without a caffeine fix (it happens to the best of us) then a quick yearly calculation will show you that the coffee cup wastage can pile up. If you invest in a reusable cup, you can completely cut down on waste and keep your beverage hot for much longer too. Some coffee places might even offer you a small discount in exchange for one less paper cup!
13. Lights out
Chances are we are all guilty of not turning lights off when we leave the room. But how much do our bad energy habits really cost us? A regular incandescent bulb costs about 75 cents per hour and LEDs only cost about one sixth of that so leaving those lights on won’t exactly break the bank. But think about that light switch you forgot to turn off in the lounge room actually runs 5 lights – that habit can amount to more than one hundred dollars a year.
14. Wash your clothes in cold water
About 90% of the energy associated with washing your dirty laundry involves just heating up the water! The solution? Turn that wash to cold. It’s the perfect way to care for your Lorna Jane activewear too.
15. Swap plastic bags for a re-usable tote
This one’s pretty simple, but it’s nice to be reminded to take care of the earth in small ways. It takes 500 years for a plastic bag to totally decompose in landfill and they are making their way into our oceans. So, even if you have that awkward moment when you forget your reusable bag, try and go without the plastic option by carrying your groceries in your handbag or backpack.
Our tip: Always keep a few green bags (or LJ shopping bags) in the car or close to the front door so you’ll never be caught out again.
Fun Green Fact:
Check out your local supermarket to see if they have a soft plastic recycling program. Coles supermarket in Australia offers anyone to drop soft packaging plastic into their bins and you can also mail it in to their recycling centre.
WE’VE GONE GREEN
It’s official. In a bid to live a little greener, LJHQ Australia has installed a solar panelled roof consisting of 400 panels, capable of generating 100kW of power — about two-thirds of our building’s electricity needs.
The aim? We have more than 100 employees working at head office, so to be able to offset our energy usage makes a big difference. Solar energy is simply energy provided by the sun. It’s sustainable and renewable – which means that we will never run out of it. It’s the most natural source of power to generate electricity and totally embodies our Move Nourish Believe philosophy.
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day today?