A few small changes can be literally life-changing! Here are 10 simple, easy, and useful ways to protect the environment in our everyday lives!

1. Limit Non-Essential Car Use

As set out in the Paris Agreement, non-essential car use plays a key role in mitigation plans to keep global warming far below 2°C or 1.5°C. Choosing a transportation alternative, such as walking, cycling, or even taking the public bus can make a big difference! Choosing to walk or cycle instead of driving when the distance isn’t that far can be much better for your holistic health, especially physically and mentally.

2. Use Stainless Steel Bottles And Thermoses 

When we use reusable and environmentally friendly stainless steel water bottles, we’re avoiding potential interference with our hormones, according to recent findings stating that there are 25,000 chemicals in bottled water. Using a thermos for hot drinks is a terrific way to avoid contributing to the massive amount of coffee cups and lids that are thrown away each year, and to help the environment and protect yourself against an abundant number of chemicals. Many cafés are more than happy to make a drink in your reusable cup!

3. Choose More Eco-Friendly Clothing

According to the World Wildlife Fund, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) used on certain types of clothing to keep fabrics from wrinkling, can pollute the environment and cause a number of other health problems, including cancer. Not only that, but just because a material is “natural” in origin does not mean it’s environmentally friendly. Cotton plants, for example, use a lot of hazardous chemicals in the process of formation and development.

Many fashion brands and fabric production companies have, accordingly, developed and created more sustainable fabrics as a response, such as fabrics manufactured from environmentally friendly materials including coffee cloth, hemp, linen, and lyocell.

4. Choose Organic or Homegrown Food

Fruits and vegetables are often transported long distances to reach the most convenient market or supermarket. This means that these vegetables have been harvested perhaps days, or weeks in advance, possibly treated with chemicals to prevent them from going bad during transport. 

Organic foods (cultivated naturally, and without the use of chemical pesticides) have recently gained popularity among consumers . You can use organic food recommendations or ask the vendor if the food was grown organically. Some food certification labels to look out for are USDA Organic, Demeter Biodynamic, Certified Humane, Animal Welfare Approved, and Fair Trade Certified. Note that these labels are not all strictly related to the environment.  

5. Clean Your Water 

There’s a 10% chance that your drinking water contains contaminants or foreign substances that shouldn’t be there. However, you can ensure that you get clean water by installing a faucet filter or investing in a UV treatment system for your home. UV filters kill up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, as well as remove toxic substances and heavy metals that may be present in water.

Using recyclable filters will help to conserve the environment. Some manufacturers can upgrade the old filter, lowering the amount of filter that is discarded each year.

6. Take Advantage of Natural Detergents

When you clean with strong detergents, there will certainly be some harmful chemicals released into the environment. These chemicals have been linked to many health problems, including rashes and asthma flare-ups. You can eliminate mold and leftover soap scum with natural cleaners such as white vinegar or castile soap mixed with salt and baking soda. Cleaning floors or eliminating grease stains will be easier with natural materials like washing soda (sodium carbonate) or borax. Simply mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle, spray it on the glass, shower, floor, or toilet, and clean!

7. Make Your Living Space Greener

On a personal level, consider adding a couple of additional trees to your yard. The Arbor Day Foundation claims that keeping trees around the house provides numerous environmental health benefits. These include providing shade to help cool the air, boosting the value of your home, absorbing more carbon dioxide, producing more oxygen, enhancing water quality, and making your home more peaceful!

8. Cut Down On Meat

Meat production has a huge impact on the environment. The livestock industry is currently responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, people who eat a lot of meat have a higher risk of obesity, high cholesterol, and heart disease from clogged arteries than vegetarians. A more plant-based diet improves insulin resistance and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as the severity of these diseases. Limiting meat intake can also aid weight loss and weight maintenance.

But if you want to follow a vegetarian diet, or just reduce your meat consumption to help the environment while also improving your health, make sure to obtain enough protein from other sources as well, such as peanut butter, eggs, beans, and soy foods.

9. Choose Environmentally Friendly Washing Methods

There are many ways to clean your clothes. However, if you often opt for dry cleaning, it’s time for a change. 

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, dry cleaners contain perchloroethylene (perc), a proven human carcinogen. After dry cleaning, this substance can be left on clothes and then come into direct contact with your skin and spread into the air, harming both your health and the environment. By choosing a more environmentally friendly washing option, such as washing with normal water and re-washing clothes that have been dry cleaned, you can help save the environment and yourself.

10. Grow Organic Food for the Family

Growing and maintaining an organic vegetable garden in your backyard has numerous advantages. You can select and consume fresh veggies and tubers that are safer than those purchased at the shop. You can relax knowing that the vegetables you consume are free of pesticides, and also get some exercise from the actions of soil preparation, planting, and harvesting.

We don’t have to overwhelm ourselves with all the listed recommendations. It’s important that we remind ourselves that sustainable change begins when we’re able to cultivate small habits one at a time; even the simplest adjustments can help expand our role in protecting our planet and mitigating the climate change crisis.

Keep yourself posted on more environmentally friendly tips by continuing on your journey with Holisticly!