TThere are daily habits that are killing the environment and our health. Sending single-use or biodegradable products to landfill, plastic usage, diet and overconsumption of electricity. Fortunately, routine changes like using refillable coffee pods, composting and meal planning make a big impact.
It’s these small lifestyle shifts that reduce ecological footprints. But one person can’t do everything. Nor are they expected to. It takes everyone making one change to see the long-term differences.
Here’s a checklist of healthy habits that benefit you, your household and the environment.
1. Choose to Reuse
You don’t have to reuse everything right away. Start small and work your way up. First, choose a focus. Kitchen products and food storage, bathroom items or zero-waste food shopping and storage are great places to start.
Humans are responsible for the excessive use of plastic. It’s destroying the environment, but the microplastics are threatening our health too. Consumption has consequences. Landfills are flooded with waste and there’s an ugly side to recycling.
Action Point: Love coffee? Pick refillable pods over single-use or recyclable. Want to cut out plastic? Try a plastic-free care package or start a wasteless pantry.
2. Make Sustainable Food Choices
Sourcing and consuming food is an energy-hungry process.
Production, processing, packaging and transportation depends on fossil fuels and chemical fertilisers before it hits your plate.
To reduce the damage, consume foods that:
● Are healthy and nutritious
● Minimise environmental impact
● Don’t contain added toxins
● Grow locally
● Support animal rights and farmer’s fair wages
● Preserve communities
Action Point: The more you grow at home, the more you control the process and make your food sustainable.
3. Switch off for 30
Today’s world relies heavily on electricity.
But, excess use contributes to greenhouse gases and air pollution. Limit your personal impact by switching off for 30 minutes a day.
The average household spends over $250 a year on standby power. Save your work, switch off and get outside for a break. Your wallet and the environment will be stronger for it. “Rest, you’ll feel better tomorrow” is the human version of “did you try to turn it back off and on again?”
Action Point: Use smart powerboards and take breaks from power useage.
4. Meal Plan
Meal plans aren’t just for healthier and easier eating, they’re also a great way to reduce waste and cut costs.
Plan for portions, eat what’s in season and build your cupboard essentials around your main meals. Use meal planning as a way to introduce new foods. Make sure you cook enough for leftovers to avoid having to prep every night.
Action Point: Swap salt for herbs and add plant-based meals to your diet. Australia’s love for meat is declining, but eating plant-based foods is more nourishing for our bodies and the planet. Try meat-free Monday’s or limit meat to two nights a week.
5. Watch What You Recycle
Recycling in Australia is more important now than ever.
If we can’t adopt good recycling habits, recyclables become a waste contaminant and end up in landfill. Size and mixed materials also cause problems. Smaller items like coffee pods are too petite for sorting systems and plastics can only be recycled twice before their quality is lost.
Action Point: The best way to reduce recycling is to refuse certain products, reuse or repurpose. You can also limit recycling waste by composting. Make your own and add toilet rolls, paper and cardboard boxes with food scraps.
6. Shop Locally
Support your local businesses to minimise food kilometres and energy usage. You’ll acess fresher produce, whilst ensuring a safer process and consumption.
Shopping local also:
● Uses less packaging (no need for recycling!)
● Gives you a clear understanding on where your food is coming from
● Supports the local economy
● Creates healthier air quality
● Is better for the plant
Action Point: Support green, local shopping by paying attention to labels, a company’s ethics and how your products are produced.
What ideas will you try? Leave your comments below!