It's almost time to wrap up 2017 and start a brand New Year! Have you started thinking about your Resolutions for 2018? Some of the best ones you can have will affect yourself AND the planet for the better. With a few small adjustments, you'll be on your way to making the planet a much happier, healthier, and GREENER place.
Did you know that there is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way? An estimated 8300 million metric tons (Mt) of plastics has been produced as of mid-2017. With a plethora of new eco-friendly products on the market, ditching the plastic has never been easier.
Almost all of your plastic products can be replaced by reusable ones that will not only save the planet but will also save you money in the long term. Spend $1 on a sturdy reusable shopping bag rather than $0.05 for each plastic one. Those nickels will add up over the weeks, months, and years to much more than the $1 you'll have invested.
Similarly, you can replace plastic produce bags with reusable mesh ones that are lightweight and easy to clean. Keep them inside your reusable shopping bags so you never forget to take them along. Plastic water bottles, cups, straws, and cutlery can also all be easily replaced with reusable ones. Instead of using plastic to save leftovers, try Beeswax food wrap instead. It's breathable, easy to clean, and can be reused hundreds of times. Both the planet and your wallet will thank you later.
There are many ways to conserve energy in your home and daily life. By saving energy at home you'll both spare the planet AND your paycheque. A few minor adjustments can make all the difference in the world, literally!
One of the easiest places to start is with your lightbulbs. Swap out incandescent ones for compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs which are far more efficient, using less than half the energy traditional bulbs do, and which will also last much longer. Be sure to remember to always turn off lights that aren't in use.
Another great way to conserve energy at home is by unplugging small appliances and electronics when they are not in use. Microwaves, televisions, computers and many other electronics consume energy even while they are not being used. To make your life easier, invest in a power bar so that you can switch off multiple devices at once.
Water is one of our planet's most precious resources and it's our job to protect it. Create new habits that will help you save water throughout your daily routine. With just a few small changes you can help save hundreds of litres of water each year.
To start, keep the water tap turned off while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bed. Take shorter showers and use a water saving or eco-friendly shower head. If your clothes aren't dirty, wear them more than once before washing them and when you do laundry make sure it's a full load.
You can also help save water by eating less meat. It takes nearly 7,000 litres of water to produce a measly 1 lb of beef - 6,991 to be exact! Try instituting a Meatless Monday tradition in your house and perhaps work your way up from there. If you really can't live without it in your daily diet, chicken uses the least amount of water, about 1,960 litres of water per pound, so that would be the best choice.
There's no better way to start the New Year than by cleaning out your closet, house, car, office, and anywhere else "stuff" tends to hide. Donate unwanted items that can still be used to your local second-hand goods store or a non-profit organization.
The next step is to reduce your waste by saving and eating leftover food later, composting, reusing things, and of course recycling as much as possible. Try setting a goal to have only one garbage bag of trash per week. Once you've achieved that, see if you can stretch it to two weeks!
Reuse and recycle anything else that you can think of. If you want to get crafty you can turn old, unwanted objects into new amazing projects!
Whenever possible try to leave the car at home and opt to walk, bike, or use public transportation. You'll save money on gas while also sparing the planet from more dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.
Instead of watching TV, movies, or playing video games, get up off the sofa and go outside to play. To give you some ideas, you can play baseball and soccer in the summer, ski and snowboard in the winter, and zipline through an old-growth rainforest all year long.
Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty - it's good for your body, mind, and soul!
From all of us at Ziptrek we wish you a very Happy New Year and look forward to a Greener 2018 thanks to you!