There’s a lot of talk of reducing your plastic usage, carpooling, and other options for doing your part to protect the planet. However, a lot of these things require a major commitment, and it’s difficult to do all of them all at once. If you’re looking for things you can do right now that will help the environment, you’ve come to the right place. These ideas might be a bit unexpected, but they’re real – and they will really help, too!
Go Thrifting Instead of Shopping
Thrifting is an excellent alternative to buying new, especially when it comes to things like clothing and home decor. Rather than purchasing something brand-new, which then signals manufacturers to make more of whatever you are buying, try to find it gently used first and foremost. You might be surprised at the treasures you can find in thrift stores. There are entire Facebook groups and websites dedicated to thrifting, too, so if you want to learn some tips and tricks, just search for them. They’ll be happy to welcome you into the thrifting fold.
Stop Buying Plastic Toothbrushes
Your plastic toothbrush might not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but when 350 million Americans go through an average of four toothbrushes a year, that’s over a billion toothbrushes. Most of them are plastic and they all have to go somewhere – and since they don’t biodegrade, there’s a very good chance that toothbrush you buy tomorrow will be microplastic in the ocean within the next five years. Bamboo toothbrushes are amazing because they are biodegradable and you can even toss them into the compost bin when it’s time for a new one.
Swap Your Light Bulbs
We know that it seems like light bulb recommendations have changed umpteen times in the last decade or so, but if there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that LED bulbs are your best bet. They last longer, they are much more energy-efficient to operate, and there’s even a chance that once you install LED bulbs, you may never have to change them again! LEDs don’t burn out like other bulbs; rather, they simply get dimmer with time. The lifespan of an LED is about 50,000 hours, and the bulb is considered “dead” when it produces 30% less light than it did when it was new.
Start Thinking Big Purchases Through
When you buy a new 55” 4K UHD TV, you aren’t just buying a TV. You’re buying a whole mess of parts that were shipped to a manufacturing center from various places all around the world. You’re buying the plastic that goes into creating the housing for that television and all the greenhouse gasses that plastic manufacturing produces. You’re buying all the pollution from all the vehicles that carried those parts to the manufacturer. You’re buying the pollution from the vehicle that carried the finished product from the manufacturer to the store shelf. It goes on and on. When you think of your purchases like this, things may become a whole lot clearer, and it may just cause you to try to repair your existing TV.
If we want a better environment for our children and their children and all the generations to come, it’s up to us to start making small changes in our lives today. Thrift shopping, skipping over plastic toothbrushes, switching to LED light bulbs, and thinking your bigger purchases can all help the environment more than you think – especially when millions of people are doing the same.