The latest trend: Going Eco-Friendly. Everyone makes it look so easy, but if you're practically clueless as to which product goes into the recycling bin and which does not, saving the environment is not one of the top priorities on your checklist. I'm not asking you to do something too drastic, like going Vegan, but I have thought of some pretty simple but helpful ways to save the environment. Feel free to use what works for you and share to help a brotha out!
1. Say "no" to plastic straws.
You've heard the latest debate about banning straws. If you don't need it, don't use it -simple as that. If you do need it, but are still eager to save the environment, there is a new straw that is reusable, unfolds itself, and attaches like a key chain.
2. Bring your own reusable cup, water bottle, and containers.
Ok, so you may have to carry one of everything like a camel, but think about how much plastic you're not using! Starbucks addict? Buy a travel tumbler -if you're there enough, you'll use it. If you eat takeout three times a week through work, now you don't have any Styrofoam take-out containers clogging your trashcan. All the while the little fishies in the ocean are thanking you, too.
3. Eat at a cafeteria.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fruit-bar-pic-Web_-_Flickr_-_USDAgov.jpg
I know cafeteria food can be gross, but if it's not (or if you're feeling like treating yourself by going out to lunch,) then eat in there every now and then. By using washable, reusable plates and silverware, you are saving the environment. Small, simple, and not that difficult to accomplish.
4. Stop releasing balloons into the sky.
Everyone sees the sad Facebook posts with a turtle tangled in a rubber balloon. We all share it, saying how sad it is, but then doing nothing about it! Save yourself the guilt by not releasing balloons, or even better -don't buy them! They are literally just a waste of space and materials, and deflate after three days anyway. It's neat to wonder where it'll end up when you let go, but is it truly worth it?
5. Throw away one piece of trash a day.Giphy
Outdoor parks, neighborhoods, and open areas for wild animals to roam are constantly littered from trash, which they ingest and it all goes down hill from there. If you're a germaphobe, I'm sorry; but if you're willing to help the environment by doing this one small thing, then good for you!
6. B.Y.O.B -Bring your own bags.
Each retail store sells their own reusable bag, at this point. By bringing your own, you're saving countless animals the hassle of digesting plastic bags.
7. Organize your trash.
One thing I learned from going to Europe -don't be an idiot about your garbage. Americans just pile everything into one place, saying "eh, someone else will organize it." The truth: no one organizes it. Divide your trash into three common categories: scraps, plastics/paper, bottles/containers -however you'd like. This makes life easier for the municipal county workers, but also for recycling purposes. Curious about what to do with those table scraps? Check out the next tip.
8. Try composting.
Composting is using old food scraps, leaves, grass, and hay to build soil for your garden next year. It's not for everyone, but if you enjoy gardening or would like to begin, this is a great way to kill two birds with one stone, while also saving millions of other birds.
9. Make a challenge out of it.Giphy
Challenge yourself and your coworkers to produce as little waste as possible. For example, pack a container lunch with as little cling wrap/foil/wrappers as possible. Don't print copies of things you won't use. Reuse every scrap paper you have. At the end of the week, compare trashcans to see who has the least/lightest amount of trash. The person with the least amount of trash is the winner!
10. Know where your garbage goes.
As I mentioned in the beginning, it's embarrassing how many people walk up to three trashcans labelled for different things, and people look at each other like "where are you going to put your leftover tuna?" To prevent this terrible moment, read the labels of your salad containers and whatnot, so you can confidently throw away your trash without hesitation.
I urge you to stay motivated! Going green isn't easy as people say it is. If we get enough people to do even these simplest of tasks, we can make a difference in how we affect the ecosystems around us. We've only got one Earth (and don't get me started on the whole living on Mars crap), so let's slow down and be mindful of our footprints.