Though climate change continues to be argued as a political issue, the idea that human activity is drastically affecting our environment is not necessarily up for debate. Every single thing we consume has an impact on our planet—this is just common sense! Knowing this, it’s important to be aware of how our every-day choices affect the earth’s delicate ecosystem. Here, 11 simple things you can do to decrease your personal carbon footprint.
How To Be An Earth Goddess
According to Parisian stylist David Mallett, most French girls only wash their hair every five to seven days. So, while we're not suggesting you stop showering altogether, we do think it's worth cutting down on the number of days per week you rinse your locks, as trying to have "French-girl hair" is a strategy unlikely to fail you. Here, our guide to all the best dry shampoos.
Meat requires significantly more water to produce than veggies. Agriculture also accounts for one-third of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, with over half of those emissions due to livestock production. Replace at least one, if not more, meat-centric meals per week with veggie or even vegan options to make your diet more environmentally friendly. Here are some easy recipes to get you started.
We don't mean to get intimate, but trading your traditional tampons for the organic variety (or the kind without applicators) will have a huge impact on the environment over the course of your lifetime.
Somewhere between 25% and 40% of the food we buy in the US ends up in the trash—we know we contribute to this problem every time we get ambitious in the produce aisle of the grocery store. It takes effort to avoid throwing away spoiled food, but you have options if you want to do your part to save these resources. Read up on which foods can be frozen, and for how long, before you buy. Or, befriend a neighbor with whom you can share produce, and if you know you're not going to use something, knock next door to see if they can.
Driving at 50 mph uses 25% less fuel than driving at 75 mph.
Apparently, food packaging makes up almost two-thirds of the US's total packaging waste. We know the bins of nuts, for example, at Whole Foods are a lot pricier than the little packages you might buy at Trader Joe's, but those aren't your only two options. Shopping at your local farmer's market can help reduce your carbon footprint, as can buying certain non-perishable foods in bulk.
You may think you're buying "clean" beauty products for selfish reasons, but think about this—if companies aren't putting the chemicals into the products, they're also not putting the chemicals into the environment. Here are a list of Zoe-approved cosmetics brands that won't contaminate you or the earth.
We may have all been scarred for life by Carrie's and Samantha's cross-country trip by train on that classic episode of Sex and the City, but traveling this way is much, much more environmentally friendly than traveling by air. At least try it out when you're in Europe, where train travel is very common and practical.
Snake plants make for great gifts, as they're hard to kill even for those lacking a green thumb. Bonus: They serve as natural air filters.
We don't need nearly as much as we think we do. Before you go shopping anywhere, write a list of what you need so you don't end up making a bunch of impulse purchases that'll end up in the trash. Be mindful when buying for others, too—that trinket might be a cute and easy birthday gift, but if it's not something she'll actually use, it's a waste of resources.
When you do want to treat yourself to a gift, it can't hurt to invest in brands and labels that make an effort to be environmentally friendly. Here are a few of our favorites.