What is a sustainable environment and what can YOU do to help? Ten environmental tips you likely haven’t thought of and a CLEAR definition of “sustainability”!
What is sustainability?
The word “sustainable” has become pretty trendy in the last few years, especially with regard to the environment. A quick search shows that it’s also one of the least understood terms on the Internet. Meaning, we all use the term because it sounds cool … but few of us know what it actually means.
So, what is it? Environmental sustainability can be defined as responsible interaction with the environment to avoid depletion or degradation of natural resources and allow for long-term environmental quality. Sustainability on its own has to do with the ability to continue any such actions indefinitely.
Anyone remember that long-lost saying, “Lessen, repurpose, reprocess?” Wasn’t it something along those lines? Yes. It’s basically that.
World Environment Day is June 5. Many of us think back on fourth or fifth grade and remember learning about the saving the rainforest, keeping our oceans clean, and freeing the orcas. (#ferngully) But at some point, life gets busy, priorities change, and we often forget how important it is to care for the world around us.
World Environment Day is celebrated every year with a different theme. This year, here’s what the United Nations Environmental Program has to say: “In 2020, the theme is biodiversity—a concern that is both urgent and existential. Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa—and now, a global disease pandemic—demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life in which they exist. Nature is sending us a message.”
Celebrate World Environment Day Your Own Way
You can help! Here are 10 ways you can change the world for the better—and really make a difference.
1. Go Paperless
Many of us are already paying our monthly bills online, but have you stopped your paper statements coming to your mailbox yet? It’s usually just a setting on your online account! Additionally, plane tickets (or any other paper tickets) can generally be emailed to you so you don’t have to print them!
2. Get kids involved!
It’s never a bad time to teach kids about why it’s important to take care of the world around them. rootsandshoots.com is a website designed to get kids involved at any age, using ways that are accessible to them.
Check out rootsandshoots.com! Started by the Jane Goodall Institute, this website creates excitement for kids by looking into what interests them.
3. Double Up
Every trip to the grocery store uses gas, and the shorter the trip, the harder it is on the environment. Each time your car gets restarted, your cold engine needs time to warm up. Doubling up and getting it all done at once not only saves gas, but it saves you time and cuts back on emissions.
4. Go Veg (Once a Week)
You don’t have to give up meat for life, but even committing to one meat-free day a week can make a difference. It takes a LOT of water to produce even the smallest amount of meat (especially beef!). Need recipe ideas? Here’s a list of easy and quick meals!
5. Taking notes? Don’t waste that paper!
When you take notes in a meeting, or at home, you’re likely not using the entire page, right? Save it and use it later! American businesses waste up to 21 million tons of paper per year! Recycle those used papers, or better yet … switch to taking your notes digitally!
6. Brushing your teeth? TURN OFF THE TAP!
The average 1–2 minutes of brushing your teeth twice a day can waste around 5 gallons of water per day. Multiply that by the entire country and you’re talking about billions of gallons of water each day!
7. Banish your junk mail
Do you even look at the junk mail coming into your mailbox? Most of us tear it up without even reading it! Use companies like Catalog Choice and PaperKarma to decrease the pounds and pounds of wasted paper going straight to your trash each year (or hopefully at LEAST your recycling bin!)
8. Skip the silverware
Ordering takeout? Why get plastic forks and knives when you’ve got them at home already? Ask the restaurant to skip the napkins and utensils and use your own!
9. Go naked (not you … your fruits and veggies!)
Are you spending half your trip to the grocery store trying to open the little plastic produce bags for each and every vegetable you buy? These bags are not only a hassle, they can take hundreds of years (or more!) to break down, and they can be dangerous for unsuspecting animals. Leave your produce bagless or bring a reusable bag from home.
10. BYOC (bring your own cup)
Think of just how many cups each and every coffee stand (big or small) is going through every minute across the country. Make a simple change and bring your own—often you’ll get a discount for doing so!
Tell your friends! Share this post. You never know, someone else might incorporate these sustainability tips into their routine, too. The more people helping out, the better our world can be!
Looking for even more ways to make every day a bit more environmentally friendly? Check out this great post! https://www.amwayconnections.com/healthy-living/7-sustainable-ways-to-make-every-day-earth-day/
What are some ways you choose to keep the environment around you clean and healthy? Let us know in the comments below!