6 Ways To Be a Little Less Wasteful

6 Ways To Be a Little Less Wasteful

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I know that being environmentally conscious, as important as it is to the health and well-being of us all, can sometimes be overwhelming. To be sure, saving our planet from extinction, as an individual, is a daunting enough task to make anyone want to give up altogether on creating a healthier Earth. But what if we began to take just a few steps in the right direction together? No need to immediately ban tupperware from your kitchen, never buy items that come from a factory, or pledge yourself to use only solar-powered or wind-powered energy. The fact of the matter is that not everyone has the economic and social resources available to them to be able to make huge changes like these. But, almost everyone can simply choose to make a few small changes in their lives that, if carried out by enough people, will in fact make an impact on the state of our environment. Here are 10 small ways that you can be a little less wasteful.

1. Carry a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water.

Yes, high-quality water bottles, such as the Tervis brand water bottles pictured above, can be upwards of $20. But if you already buy cases of water, which can run anywhere between 3 and 7 dollars each, at least twice a month, you will have exceeded the amount paid for the original water bottle within 3 months. If you buy more cases than that in one month, then buying a reusable water bottle is even more of a deal! And if you are concerned about the quality of water which you are drinking, you can also invest in a Brita water filtering system. Again, the cost of this filter would be worth it after only a few months of forgoing buying bottled water.

2. If you do use plastic bottles, recycle them along with other items such as aluminum and paper products!

Not every neighborhood collects recyclables, but if yours does, make sure to separate them from your trash accordingly! And if your area does not collect recyclables, visit iwanttoberecycled.org to find out more information about possible drop-off sites for all sorts of materials from used-up batteries to tires!

3. Use reusable grocery bags instead of plastic or paper ones.

Many stores are starting to sell these bags up front by te cash register, but honestly any reusable bag will do. I'm sure you could find plain bags like these at a Walmart or Dollar Tree near you!

4. Stop using non-recyclable K-cups.

I know, the Keurig is totally the best invention ever. A quick, single cup of coffee? YES PLEASE! But you know what? The original design of the K-cup is actually not recyclable as a whole! So, we should try to stop using them. An alternative would be to put coffee grinds into the reusable K-cup in the picture above or you could buy the new recyclable model of K-cups online! Now that's something I could get behind!

5. Enact Meatless Mondays!

The methane in cows' waste supposedly contributes a substantial percent to greenhouse gasses! So why not enact Meatless Mondays? It may seem insignificant, but if we all spent a day without eating meat, maybe overall meat production would decrease and help to slow the production of greenhouse gasses. Try a new healthier recipe without meat or venture to try something new, like tofu!

6. Go digital.

While some may decry the onset of an increasingly digital age, we have to admit that it could help to save more of our world's trees. When you can, try to read articles for class online. Keep your schedule in a program like Google calendars. And write reminders on the note app of your phone!


Now, I won't lie to you; sometimes I don't even follow some of these simple rules that could help to save our environment. But the fact of the matter is that at least being conscious of the ways you can help, and actively trying to carry out those small tasks, can make a huge difference, even if we slip up sometimes.

Do the best you can with the resources you have. You'll be surprised at the difference it'll make.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.google.com/search?q=digital+media&rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS689US689&espv=2&biw=1396&bih=690&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKg4mZge3QAhVEWRoKHcmIBY4Q_AUIBygC#tbm=isch&q=be+less+wasteful+image+600+x+600&imgrc=uyz7RprKUYGKIM%3A

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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