5 good-for-the-planet changes you can make without flinching

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

(This is a modified version of the article I wrote for Sarah Buchanan's Wellness Curious blog. http://www.we-indulge.com/wellnesscurious/)



We are living in a unique epoch in which our convenience culture is in full swing and our reliance on single-use and disposable items is at an all-time high, and yet, we know we need to drastically reduce our environmental impact - or else. People are slowly waking up to the realization that we all have to become more 'green' or we, and future generations, are in big trouble. However, considering that life itself is at stake, you'd think we would all move a bit quicker and with more urgency.


'Going green' isn’t a fad or something that will be going away. It is a necessary lifestyle change that staring us right in the face and we really don't have the option of looking away. Our daily consumer habits are destroying the very environment we rely on to survive, so the time for change is yesterday.

It can be overwhelming and confusing to know what to do to begin making better, more conscious decisions, but we all have to start somewhere, and as is the case with most big goals you want to achieve, it’s best to start small and take your transformation day by day. To help you on your way, here are five things you can start doing right now with minimal effort that will leave you feeling triumphant:



SAYONARA, SINGLE USE.


The plastic bag is one of the most Earth-unfriendly conveniences, and frankly, a completely unnecessary one. A plastic bag has an average use-life of 12 minutes but will persist in the environment for over 500 years. Only 1% of plastic bags are returned for recycling, meaning almost 500 trillion plastic bags end up in our landfills, landscapes, and oceans.


Single-use plastic bags are an environmental nightmare because they are so feather-light and balloon-like that they willingly become windswept and end up in trees and tangled in fences, and all too often animals like sea turtles (an endangered species) and birds confuse them for food and suffocate or die of starvation as a result of ingesting them.


Switching from single-use plastic to reusable is the easiest and most rewarding lifestyle change I have made. 160,000 plastic bags are created each second; each person who stops using them helps to slow the churn out of this environmental detriment.