Earth day is just around the corner and it’s a perfect opportunity to reflect on the environmental impact of your daily habits. Sometimes it can feel like an uphill battle doing all the things we think we should in order to reduce our carbon footprint. But the truth is, you don’t have to go to any extremes to make a meaningful change! Check out our guide to learn about some small ways you can help out the planet this Earth Day!
Commit to the Canteen
If you haven’t’ already, rather than habitually buying plastic or glass water bottles, treat yourself to a nice reusable canteen. You can get fancy with an insulated bottle like Hydro Flask that keeps your water cold all day, or you can keep it simple with a Klean Kanteen. There’s no need to sacrifice your hydration in the name of the environment!
Along the same lines, if your coffee habit is anything like ours, you should also invest in a good tumbler and commit to bringing it with you every time you visit your favorite coffee shop. Many coffee shops will give you a small discount for bringing in your own cup, plus you’ll cut down on your waste significantly.
Since Los Angeles and many other cities have officially banned the plastic bag, it’s good to keep a few reusable grocery bags in your car or on hand. Save the $0.10 fee per bag and reduce your consumption of those paper or thicker plastic bags. Plus, you can avoid the sideways glances from the cashiers at Lassen’s. Or maybe that’s just in our heads?
In 2006, the United Nations found that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. And a study published in Nature found that we could avoid an 80% increase in global greenhouse gas emissions from food production if the global diet became an equal-parts mixture of the Mediterranean, pescetarian and vegetarian diets.
What’s more, about 80% of all Amazon deforestation is due to cattle-raising and giving up beef can do more for the environment than giving up your car! We know that going vegan or vegetarian isn’t always manageable, but consider doing Meatless Mondays or Vegan Wednesdays! To be honest, there are so many amazing vegan restaurants in LA, it doesn’t feel like much of a sacrifice!
Buying secondhand is way bigger than scouring your local Goodwill for ugly sweaters to wear to your friend’s holiday party. With apps like LetGo, OfferUp, PoshMark and more, you can find high-quality barely-used items for a fraction of the original price. Not only is buying secondhand easy on your wallet, it’s also way better for the environment. Additionally, you can try services like Rent the Runway for special occasion wear!
Keeping your indoor air quality tip top is important for your health and well-being. There are a lot of different plants you can keep inside that will remove common pollutants from your air and replace them with delicious, wholesome oxygen. Check out this chart that uses information gathered by NASA to see which plants are best for your home or office. Personally, we love a good rubber plant, peace lily, and golden pothos. Also, consider naming your plants to help you remember to water them! Pleased to meet you Robert “Rubber” Plant.
Trash = Treasure
We know that between figuring out which papers, bottle caps, and plastics belong in the bin and deciding whether or not you have to wash out that super old jar of marinara sauce, recycling can get a little confusing. The good news is most cities with recycling programs have a website dedicated to telling you what belongs in your blue bin and what doesn’t. Familiarize yourself with LA’s guidelines here.
Donate your old electronics if they still work and recycle them properly if they’re broken. Rechargeable batteries and old electronics are considered hazardous waste and they shouldn’t go in the garbage or the recycling bin! Check out this interactive map to find out what to do with them.
Compost your green waste! In city landfills, oxygen is a scarce commodity. As organic waste breaks down, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas. So reduce that methane production by throwing all your organic waste into the yard trimmings bin. That includes old flowers and all your produce!
Park with Pavemint
It isn’t hard to understand how much pollution is caused by driving, but it’s a little harder to imagine how big a role parking plays in the whole thing. The average U.S. driver in a congested city spends about 100 hours per year looking for parking. All that circling the block, waiting for someone to parallel park in front of you, and idling accounts for around 15 tons of CO2 every year! We recommend skipping all that and instead using Pavemint to reserve parking! Live greener and Arrive Happier!