Simple lifestyle swaps to help protect our planet
Emma Bianco, founder of Pure Earth Collection, has spent the last four years researching the materials used to make conventional baby products. She regularly shares her findings in her natural parent forum, and also does guest posting for other websites and blogs. Here, she talks about simple swaps we can make to limit our environmental impact.
Earth Day is a worldwide event, celebrated on 22 April, to promote clean living and a healthy, sustainable habitat for people and wildlife. Getting involved in Earth Day demonstrates your commitment to helping to protect our fragile planet.
Eco kids brand Pure Earth Collection have put together 12 easy ways you can get involved this year:
Reduce single use plastic
I’m sure you’ve all heard this so many times, but it really is one of the easiest ways we as individuals can make a positive change for the planet. Start by having a look around your bathroom and see how many products you can swap out for something with more sustainable packaging. Shower gels can be replaced with soap bars, toothpaste is now available in glass jars, moisturisers can be found in recycled plastic bottles or glass containers. Boycott fruit and vegetables wrapped in unnecessary plastics or mesh netting, carry your reusable water bottle and travel coffee cup when you’re out and about, and choose takeaway lunches which come in biodegradable boxes rather than plastic trays. And the short term gains – less trips to the bins taking the rubbish out!
Avoid polyester fabrics
Polyester fabrics are one of the major contributors to microplastic pollution in our waterways and oceans. Synthetic clothing constantly sheds thousands of microplastics through wear and washing, and these tiny plastic particles (many of them invisible to the naked eye) are causing havoc for insects and sea life around the world. Unfortunately, recycled polyester is no better, and many environmentalists believe that recycling plastics into fabrics is just adding to the crisis as it fast tracks the microplastic process. Choose cotton, bamboo, Tencel, modal, jute, wool and other natural alternatives wherever possible. Pure Earth Collection is great for organic kids clothing and sensory toys free from polyester and synthetics.
Eat with the seasons
Eating with the seasons is not only great for the planet, it’s much better for your health too as you’ll be eating produce which has a lot less air-miles, is naturally packed with season specific nutrients and which maintains more goodness because it will be more fresh. Aim to eat the bulk of your diet from locally sourced, fresh food, and you’ll be doing a lot to reduce your carbon footprint.
Eat plant based two days a week
Most of us have heard about the environmental benefits of eating more plant based foods. Demand for meat and animal produce globally has increased significantly over recent decades, and the resulting intensive farming is putting a huge strain on our planet, as well as animal welfare. Try to eat plant based meals at least two days a week, and if you can do more than this then great! If you do choose to go fully vegan though make sure you keep an eye on your iron and omega intake as these are super important for our health and immunity.
Minimise food waste
Around 30-40% of all food produced in the United States alone is estimated to go to waste. This is a huge an unnecessary waste of our global resources, not to mention our money, and an easy change for individuals to make a difference. The good news however, is that some countries have been making lots of positive progress in the last three years, with total food waste in the UK falling by around 7% per person. Great work everyone, keep it up!
Turn off lights and electrics not in use
Such a simple one, we can literally all make a massive positive impact at the flick of a switch! It’s estimated that 58% of US energy supply is wasted due to inefficient and unnecessary use. Wow, that’s a huge stat! Turning off appliances which aren’t in use, keeping the fridge and freezer doors shut as much as possible and doing our washing on lower temperature settings are hopefully achievable changes we can all take part in.
Pick up plastic whenever you see it
Take 3 For The Sea is a global movement to encourage individuals to be part of the plastic pollution solution. It’s easy to do and can also be a fun activity for kids – think treasure hunts which have a positive impact on our planet! If you see plastic when you’re out and about, take a few seconds to pick it up and put it in the nearest bin. The wildlife will thank you!
Support sustainable businesses
Big corporate who take no environmental responsibility are one of the major contributors to environmental issues around the world. Vote with your money for a better world. There are so many amazing brands on a mission to help protect our planet, so choosing to buy from these companies is an easy way to make a positive environmental change while sending a strong message to the world that consumers want greener solutions.
Fix, reuse and re-home items
Many people have become so used to the disposable culture which has been created over the last few decades, which is having a detrimental impact on our planet. Instead of throwing things away, think about how it can be fixed, reused for different purposes and, if it’s still not right for you, re-homed. Take unwanted items to charity shops and use Freecycle to find homes for old furniture, toys and even pallets and empty jam jars. There are often people who will make use of things which you see as rubbish.
Wear ocen safe suncream
14,000 tonnes of sunscream are washed into the ocean every year, and scientists have now discovered that the chemicals used in suncream and other personal care products are harming coral reefs and other sea life. Chemicals like oxybenzone seep into the corals and disrupt their reproduction and growth cells. Organic and mineral suncreams are becoming a lot more mainstream now, and they’re much better for human health as well as the planet.
Switch to a renewable energy supplier
In the US and the UK, it’s now super easy to switch to a renewable energy supplier, with some companies offering up to 100% green energy for households who request it. Have a look around online for what will suit you best, there are so many options now available.
Plant flowers and shrubs to help wildlife
The bees need you! And we need the bees. 700 species of bee in America are currently considered endangered, largely due to pesticides. Bees are basically tiny little flying farmers, helping to feed the world. Bees pollinate crops which subsequently feed 90% of the world’s populations, so they play a vital role in the world’s food supply. Plant flowers and plants which are bee and insect friendly – my kids are loving the wildflower seed bombs which can be found online and spring is the perfect time to scatter them. Choosing organic food and organic cotton will also have a hugely positive knock on effect for the been populations because it will in turn reduce the pesticides used around the world. If you see a bee looking tired and sad, help save its life by offering it some sugar water to give it the energy to fly back to the hive. Every small effort we make to help bees will be repaid to us in spades.
To support a brand making positive changes to our environment, check out Pure Earth Collection for sustainable product alternatives for kids and family life.
You can also share the image below to your socials to help spread awareness of Earth Day and help people make some simple swaps to protect our planet.