5 Little Ways You Can Help The Environment Right Now
Here are some little changes you can make to your life that will give the ol’ environment a helping hand.
Brought to you by Boost Mobile Refurbished Phones
Sitting around and waiting for our politicians to make humankind-altering decisions about the climate is frustrating and slow. Sometimes, you just want to take things into your own hands, and making tiny (but significant) changes to your routine and mindset is a great place to start.
When I think of my own – by no means perfect – everyday sustainability practices, I realise that the bulk of it comes down to gratitude. Having a genuine appreciation for the things you have will not only make them harder to part with, but dull that impulse to want something new.
With that in mind, here are some little changes you can make to your life that will give the ol’ environment a helping hand.
#1 Buy A Refurbished Phone
Our phones are a non-negotiable in modern life, but their impact on the environment has decidedly not caught up with the times. Manufacturing makes up 77 per cent of your phone’s carbon footprint so, by the time you’ve forked out cash for a brand new one, the damage has already been done.
If your phone has broken down, consider buying refurbished instead of brand new. It doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality! Boost Mobile, for example, partners with Alegre to assess recycled phones and ensure the camera, buttons, plugs, fingerprint ID, vibration, network and Wi-Fi are all up to snuff.
And be smart about how you dispose of your old one. Phones are the biggest contributor to our rapidly growing e-waste, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics finding that only eight per cent of Aussies recycle their phones.
But according to Planet Ark, 99 per cent of your old phone’s parts are reusable. Plug your postcode into Mobile Muster to see where your nearest phone-recycling drop-off point is.
#2 Get Smart About Food Waste
According to OzHarvest, we waste 9000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of food each year. And that’s just in Australia.
If you can’t be arsed to get into composting or worm-farming, it helps to be mindful about eliminating waste in the kitchen. Make shopping lists (and stick to them), purchase seasonal fruit and vegetables, and buy less, more frequently. If possible, consider the carbon footprint of the meal you’re buying, too – a home-cooked minestrone emits way fewer omissions than a pre-made, plastic-sealed one. That goes for take-away, too.
Save leftovers smartly (invest in some good quality containers) and don’t forget to take advantage of your freezer.
#3 Switch All Your Mail To Email (And Unsubscribe From Junk)
If you still get physical bills from your phone company or electricity provider, call up and ask them to switch all correspondence to email. Slap a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on your letterbox to stop those pesky flyers and brochures, and add your name to the ‘Do Not Mail’ register.
It’s not just letters you have to worry about, either. The average spam email emits 0.3 grams of carbon! Imagine how many lists you’re subscribed to, how many emails you get per day, and how much carbon that’s creating. Spend a few minutes in your junk-mail folder unsubscribing from lists to have a simple but effective impact on the environment.
#4 Use Planet-Friendly Cleaning Products
Reach for the green-certified sprays and washing powders next time you’re at the shops. Or go one step further and make your own with natural products. Vinegar cleaning solutions are cheap, effective and very gentle on our waterways.
#5 Always Carry A Spare Container
Just like you carry around your KeepCup, having a spare container on hand will save any unnecessary packaging when you get food on the go.
And, at the end of a green-inspired day, remember to thank your lucky stars for all the junk and stuff you already have. It’ll prepare you nicely for tomorrow.
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(Lead image: Biel Morro / Unsplash)