What if saving the planet was easier than we think? « The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. » once said Robert Swan, the first guy who walked to both Poles!
I know we can sometimes feel guilty and powerless when we face the terrible consequences of human decisions on the planet. But we do have the power to make a change, the exact same way that led us here: small decisions after small decisions.
Here are 5 simple things you can do now, to make a big difference, with its personal benefits, because living green shouldn’t be a burden.
Eating ingredients that are locally sourced have a very significant impact on the environment:
Eating locally helps preserve local farmland, and therefore the rural areas wins over the urban areas. The shorter distribution chains for local foods, enables less waste, because less food is wasted in distribution, warehousing and merchandising. Less food miles means less fossil fuel consumption, generating less greenhouse gas emissions, less air pollution due to the travel of the goods but also the ones associated to its storage. Local food encourages diversification of local agriculture, over the monoculture that detriment the soils. Farmers who engage in direct marketing are more likely to use environmentally friendly production practices (Martinez et al., 2010).
Local food tastes better and is healthier because it spends less time from farm to plate! Seasonal and local food also cost less as it doesn’t require a lot of storage nor transportation. And cherry on top, you’ll discover new foods and new recipes and the excitement and appreciation to rediscover your favorite food each season!
Eat plant based food
Following a plant based diet has a huge positive impact on our environment, most of people have no idea how big! Here are a few verified and scientifically proven facts to help you realize.
Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 13 % for all transportation ( road, rail, air & marine) ! Livestock is responsable for 65% of Nitrous oxide emissions (296x more destructive than CO2)
If you were thinking that taking shorter showers helped, be sure to know that 1 Hamburger = 3000 liters of water = 2 months showering
5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.The meat and dairy industry use ⅓ of earths fresh water
1 to 2 acres (4000 to 8000m2)rainforest are cleared every second. Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of Amazon destruction. 105 billion m2 for palm oil, 550 billion m2 for animal agriculture.
110 animal and insects species are lost everyday from rainforest destruction. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction.
⅓ of land is decertified due to livestock. Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land. 1,5 acres (+-6000m2) = 16 783 kg of planted based food or 170kg of meat. For 1 year, 1 vegan needs 674 m2 of land to be fed and a meat eater needs 18x more ! What can we do about it?
If you follow a vegan diet you produce
- 50% less co2
- 1/11th oil
- 1/13th water & 1/18th land compared to a meat eater
- We can make a difference by eating less animal products and replacing them by plants!
Becoming a one-day a week vegan could actually help your body and the environment at the same time. Adopting a vegan diet, even just one day a week can help you to detox and can be very healthy. It can help to reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It can also help you to lose weight and reduce the risk of heart disease and other illnesses: 1,5 hour longer life per day of following a plant based diet!
Use beeswax wraps
Looking for sustainable alternatives to plastic is a great way to reduce waste and the potential for plastic to cause problems in the local environment.
Beeswax wraps are a natural, waste-free, plastic-free alternative to traditional disposable plastic film. It is made of beeswax, and a type of fabric, usually cotton or hemp. This little change has quite a big impact:
- The average family uses 24 rolls of plastic cling wrap per year, and a beeswax wrap can last a lifetime if you revive it when it gets old.
- Beeswax wraps are biodegradable.
- Switching from plastic to beeswax is one less plastic pollutant in the environment.
- Beeswax has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and because it is water tight, locks in moisture – but does not let it build up – while letting the food naturally breathe, like a fruit skin, something that plastic film, being airtight, will not do.
- It helps conserve the food longer, less food waste!
You will save money and your kitchen will look prettier as beeswax wraps are very decorative!
According to researchers, the global warming impact of ready made meals is up to 35% higher than the homemade equivalent. Here is why:
- Less packaging in between each process.
- Lower waste rate. When you cook home you reuse vegetable waste into other recipe and waste less food.
- Less energy used into the storage and refrigeration of the ingredients. It spends less time stored before you eat it.
- Less transportation in between each step of the preparation of the meal, from the field, to the fork.
- More environment friendly ingredient because you get to choose each one of them.
Homemade food tastes better, and is much healthier as it contains less highly processed food. On top of that, cooking is an amazing activity to reduce stress and to give you the great satisfaction of having done it yourself!
Quit fast fashion
Fast fashion is cheaper, but at a high environment cost. The fashion industry has got a bigger carbon print than plains and boats combined. Here is how:
It pollutes the ocean with micro-plastics: washing some types of clothes (containing polyester) sends 500 0000 tons of bits of plastic into the ocean each year. 85% of all textiles go to waste: Storing unsold clothes is more expensive than getting rid of them, so every second, a truck full of clothes is burned of dumped in a landfill.
Fast fashion offers up to 24 collections/year compared to 2 collections 20 years ago. 1 pair of jeans = 7600 liters of water to produce it, or what a person drinks in average during 10 years.
Fast fashion, by definition, produces fast a high quantity of clothes in detriment of the quality. Sustainable high quality clothes last longer, so we buy less and better quality clothes.
When you buy more expensive clothes, you think twice before buying it, which means you truly love it and will take better care of it. You will end up with a higher quality wardrobe, full of fashion pieces that you love!