Whenever you’re reading this, I hope you’re having a wonderful day! So, today I’m bringing you another 5 ways to be more eco-friendly. I published the first part ages ago, and you can read it, here, if you’re interested.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time now. I’ve just never really gotten around to it, until now. The fact that it’s Plastic Free July, has probably helped me get into the mood of writing this post/series.
So, let’s get straight into it.
5 ways to be more eco-friendly
1. Switch to shampoo and conditioner bars
I mentioned these swaps in my 10 Swaps For A Zero-Waste Bathroom, but they’re definitely worth mentioning again. There is so much variety you’ll be bound to find one for your hair type.
Currently, about nine million tons of plastic gets thrown into the ocean annually, which breaks down to one garbage truck full of plastic being dumped into the sea every minute. Shampoo bars cut out the need for plastic bottles, and most come wrapped in recycled paper or in paper boxes.Amanda Ogle, National Geographic
Switching also makes travelling easier. You don’t have to worry about liquid limits. They last longer too. On average one bar will outlast two to three bottles of shampoo or conditioner. So, switching will also save you money. Not to mention, that many of them are natural and cruelty-free too.
2. Switch to recycled or cloth toilet paper or a bidet
Let’s talk toilet paper. There are a few environmentally friendlier options out there, such as recycled toilet paper, bidet, and cloth toilet paper.
Recycled toilet paper is made from 100% post-consumer waste, such as textbooks and office paper. Using recycled paper means fewer trees are cut down, leaving them in the ground to keep our air clean, provide homes for animals and protect soil from erosion.
Choosing recycled toilet paper also saves energy, since the production of paper and cardboard products made from recycled paper uses 50% less energy and 90% less water than making them from raw materials. There are now many improved recycled toilet paper products on the market.Victorian Government
Shop Ethical has a rated some toilet paper found in Australia if you’re interested in learning a little bit about your tp. You can find it HERE.
However, a study found that recycled toilet paper has been found to contain BPA. Although, the concentrations of BPA in recycled toilet paper is small. In short, BPA is a chemical found in plastic that isn’t very good for you.
If you’re wanting to be even more low-waste, or are concerned about BPA, cloth toilet paper and bidets are the options for you. Once you use them, you’ll have to give them a good clean before you use them again. Etsy has a range of options for cloth tp.
My family uses Who Gives A Crap and we haven’t had a problem with them. Here’s some TMI: our toilet used to get blocked a fair bit, but with WGAC it now hardly blocks.
Now, this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, nor is easy for everyone. It’s seen as one of the more environmentally friendly things we can do. There also different options for different living situations.
Composting is a great way to prevent organic matter from going into landfill while improving your soil quality. Using compost can help your plants health too.
It’s been found that 3% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions are made up of compostable organics from the landfill. Because they don’t receive enough oxygen being buried other under trash, the anaerobe microorganisms decompose it in a way that ends up releasing methane gas. So, by not composting you’re essentially contributing towards global warming in a huge way that you probably didn’t even realise.Alpha Environmental
My family doesn’t compost. We give our food scraps to our chickens and the leaves and sticks from trees and plants sit on the ground, where they fell. When I move out, it’s something I definitely want to start doing.
4. Eat less meat
This is one that I’m actively working on at the moment. If going vegan or vegetarian is a step that is too big for you, eating less meat is still an option that you should consider.
There are plenty of health benefits to eating less meat and there are also environmental benefits.
By eating less meat you can reduce your carbon footprint. The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has said livestock emissions account for roughly 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gases. With methane and nitrous oxide being two of these gases.
There’s not that much methane in the atmosphere—about 1,800 parts per billion, about as much as two cups of water inside a swimming pool. That’s about 200 times less concentrated in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, the most abundant and dangerous of the greenhouse gases. But methane’s chemical shape is remarkably effective at trapping heat, which means that adding just a little more methane to the atmosphere can have big impacts on how much, and how quickly, the planet warms.Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic
Deforestation is also another issue of the meat industry. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that roughly 26% of the earth’s land surface is used for farming livestock, while 33% of croplands are used for livestock feed production. As the demand for meat products increase, more land will be needed.
Remember the Amazon rainforest fire in 2019?
An article by Danilo Ignacio de Urzedo stated that fires in Brazil increased by 85%. The increase was likely down to land degradation as land clearing and farming reduces the availability of water, warms the soil and intensifies drought, combining to make fires more frequent and more fierce. Many of the fires were deliberately and illegally lit.
Not too mention, The Conversation estimates that to produce one kilo of beef, 25kg of grain and roughly 15,000 litres of water is needed.
So, reducing your meat intake is more important than you may realise.
5. Have shorter showers
Having shorter showers is not only better for our wallets but also the environment. Reducing your shower time will help you save money on your water and energy bills as well as conserving water.
I found this article that is definitely worth the read when it comes to shorter showers and water conservation. It looks into the average American shower and the amount of water that can be saved when shortening it by three minutes.
Conserving water is important for our eco-systems – without water there is no life.
And there you have it! Another 5 ways to be more eco-friendly. Don’t forget to check out my first post in this little series, here.
Have you made any of these swaps? Or are you wanting to make some of these?