Tag Archive zero waste

10 Ways to be an Eco Warrior From Home

Kathryn Kellogg is a Wanderlust Presenter, the author of “101 Ways to go Zero Waste”, and the founder of Going Zero Waste. She’s a self-described climate optimist and National Geographic’s spokesperson for going plastic-free.

1. Switch Your Energy:

Up first, let’s talk about energy. On average, 40% of global CO2 emissions are emitted from electricity generation. So one quick thing you can do whether you live in an apartment or rent is to switch your energy provider which is a lot easier than it sounds!

Companies like Arcadia Power and Clean Choice Energy are energy suppliers. When you sign up, they work with your existing utility company to make sure all of the energy you use is supplied by clean energy sources. This doesn’t cost anything extra for you and in fact, you’ll probably see your electricity bill go down!

2. Eat More Plants:

plantsIt’s no secret that eating a plant-based diet is one of the easiest ways to have a positive impact on the environment.
Making bread has become a favorite leisure activity in recent week so maybe you can pair that freshly made loaf with broccoli and cheez soup or my favorite curried carrot soup.

Try adding a few more plant-heavy meals in your rotation. If you’re looking for some inspo, the comment section on this post is overflowing with delicious recipes and meal ideas!

When I switched to plant-based eating, the hardest part was breaking down my preconceived notions of what a “meal” constitutes. Once I understood the building blocks of creating meals, I had total freedom to cook easy, inexpensive, and filling meals in under 30 minutes.  If you’re interested in learning the 5 Best Principles to easy, quick, and zero waste meals, join my community.

3. Divest

Have you thought about what your bank does with your money? Anything from CDs to savings accounts, banks invest your money and use it to give out loans. When I first heard that my money was being used to give people loans, I thought, “Cool! My money is being used to help someone buy a home or help someone open a small business in my town.” Which isn’t wrong, but it’s just not the whole picture.

Banks also use that money to fund a lot of projects that you might not agree with like big Tobacco, the fossil fuel industry, tar sands pipelines, and the list goes on and on. Make sure that money is working for both you and the planet. You can get my full guide to Ethical Banking and Divesting you 401k from Fossil Fuels.

4. Support Ecocide Law:

I first heard about Ecocide Law when I was researching ways for people to help with the bush fires in the Amazon that were burning last fall.  The goal of ecocide law is to add The Crime of Ecocide to The Rome Statute, known as Crime Against Peace, which is one of the most powerful documents in the world. Currently, the law makes four crimes punishable in International Criminal Court.

The Crime of Genocide

Crimes Against Humanity
War Crimes
The Crime of Aggression

The goal is to add The Crime of Ecocide so people who are knowingly destroying the environment, which endangers all of humanity through climate breakdown, can be taken to court. You can learn more and I would encourage you to lend your support!

5. Compost:

compostThe UK generated 221.0 million tonnes of total waste in 2016, with England responsible for 85% of the UK total.
In fact, 60% of our landfills are full of organic matter because many people think their food scraps will return to the Earth, but they won’t!

Landfills are designed for storage – not decomposition. There’s no oxygen in a landfill so organic matter can’t break down creating a limbo state that releases methane. On average, methane is 30x more powerful than your average greenhouse gas like CO2.  And, 16% of ALL methane emissions come from landfills.  An easy way to fix this is to start composting, and as a bonus, you’ll reduce your trash by at least 50% with this one swap.

As you read that you probably thought, “I’d like to compost, but I just can’t!” So, before you make any decisions, I’d love for you to do a bit more digging.  Composting is WAYYYY easier than you think. I promise!  It doesn’t smell, it won’t attract rodents, and there are literally 20+ different ways to do it so you’re bound to find the perfect method for you.

If you have a backyard and you’re feeling up for the challenge check out The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Composting. If you live in an apartment or you’re looking for something very, very low-maintenance check out The Fool-Proof Guide to Composting in an Apartment (even if you don’t have a balcony).

6. Save Water:

71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, but only 3% of that is freshwater, and of that 3% most of it is locked under the Earth’s surface, in ice, atmosphere, and soil. This leaves only .007% of the Earth’s water available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people. As population rates climb this small percentage of water has to serve more people.

On top of this, water is becoming more scarce due to climate change fueled droughts meaning there will be even less water to share among us. The average household uses 349 litres of water each day, but our virtual water use, in other words, how much water goes into the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the products we use every day, is in the thousands of gallons.

Don’t believe me? Check out the Water Footprint Calculator – it’s very eye-opening. My water footprint came to 1,262 Gallons/Day which is still a lot, and I would love to try and cut it down.

4 simple ways you can shrink your water footprint today is:

eat more plants!
shop secondhand.
choose reusables like cloth towels.
choose products made from recycled materials.

For more information and 6 more tips check out my blog post 10 Tips for Saving Water.

7. Donate:

If you have the means, I urge you to donate to a cause you believe in.  I think my friend Alden Wicker lays this out really well, “If you have a limited amount of time and money, it’s more effective to donate that time and money toward nonprofits addressing environmental and systemic racism issues, than to stress yourself out trying to be perfect, or blow your budget on expensive fair trade clothing.”

Donating to organizations doing good work is easy and one of the MOST effective tools we can use. I have several recurring donations set up each month, and I donate a portion of every sponsorship I do. One of my goals this year is to create a more consistent donating schedule each month to benefit the organizations I love.

When it comes to choosing an organization, it’s always good to check them on Charity Navigator. They rank charities for effectiveness and transparency. Here are a few of the charities I have recurring donations set up for and donated to last year:

Plastic Pollution Coalition

Plastics for Change
Drawdown
Earth Justice

Rainforest Alliance
Rainforest Action Network

Sierra Club
World Wildlife Foundation

Oceana

Environmental Defense Fund


8. Plant A Tree:

treesDid you know that planting trees is one of the easiest, cheapest and potentially most effective tools we have for combatting climate change and drawing down carbon from the atmosphere? We could reverse the last 10 years of carbon emissions by simply planting 1 trillion trees. One Tree Planted is a non-profit organization, and they plant trees in North America, South America, Africa and Asia.

Trees are vital parts of our eco-systems that help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink and provide habitat to over 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. They also provide jobs to over 1.6 billion people, absorb harmful carbon from the atmosphere, and a key ingredient in more than 25% of all medicines. To make this even sweeter, it only costs $1 to plant a tree.

9. Email Your Reps:

Hey, keyboard warrior. Crack your knuckles and get ready to work, because it’s time to email your representatives.
Your representative’s job is to represent you, and they can’t do that if they don’t know what’s on your mind.  It can feel overwhelming to reach out and cold email someone you’ve never met, but don’t worry about it. I’m going to walk you through it step-by-step.

My first recommendation is to check out your local Sierra Club Chapter.  The Sierra Club does a good job of rounding up the current bills in your current legislative process, and the best way to find it is google, “Sierra Club Legislation in (Your State)”, I looked up 10 different states and they all popped up within the first five results except for Alaska.
To give you an example, here’s California’s page.  As you can see, everything is easy to read, and they tell you which bills to support or oppose so all you have to do is copy the bill number into an email or fax to your representative, and ask them to either oppose or support those bills.

I highly recommend making this a monthly practice.

10. Offset your Carbon Footprint:

Have you ever calculated your carbon footprint? The quiz at footprintcalculator.org is my favorite one. You can pop over and plug-in the details of your life/last year, and then it will calculate how high your carbon footprint is including how many Earth’s we’d need to survive if everyone lived like you.

Back when I lived in the tiny home, my carbon footprint was one earth. This was great because we have one earth, but now that we moved to a slightly bigger place Justin and are at about 1.3 earths.
It can feel a little discouraging when you feel like you’re doing a really good job, but still can’t get seem to reach that one earth goal.

In my blog post How to Offset Your Carbon Footprint and Why You Should, I go over everything you need to know about offsetting your carbon footprint and why you should. I tell you what to look for, and how to choose a reliable organization to handle that for you.

kkelloggKathryn Kellogg is the founder of Going Zero Waste, a lifestyle website that breaks eco-friendly, sustainable living down into an easy step by step process with lots of positivity and love! All of her trash for two years fits in a 16 oz mason jar, but don’t let that intimidate you. Her blog is full of small, actionable tips you can implement to make the world a little greener.

She’s the spokesperson for plastic-free living for National Geographic, and  author of “101 Ways to Go Zero Waste“. Find her on Instgram here.

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Is Zero-Waste Parenting Possible? These Awesome Mums Share Their Tricks!

Zero-waste parenting is not just a hippie tend, but a way of life for numerous across the country and that signals excellent bulletin for the planet and the children alike.

Bengaluru-based Malini Parmar, Mumbai-based Pallavi Utagi and Chennai entrepreneur Kalpana Manivannan are at the forefront of this movement, and here are their storeys, for the potential benefits of other parents who wish to follow suit.

Diapers, garbage discrimination and sword cutlery- three roads to the same journey

Malini soupstone zero waste parenting

“The baby and child care produces manufacture in India is criminally wasteful. We need storages that accept and sell expended drapes, natural products that are safe for our kids, and role models who promote sustainability and non-violence, ” says Malini Parmar, the co-founder of StoneSoup– an organisation that encourages sustainable lifestyles by plying compost crucials as well as menstrual cleanlines products

When Malini adopted her two daughters in 2009, she hadn’t schemed on being a zero-waste single parent. But several bouts prompted the family to consider it very seriously.

” One Diwali, my elder daughter, T, developed breathing problems, that continued even after the carnival was long over. Soon, I discovered that the indiscriminate igniting of garbage in my neighborhood was stimulating this health scare, and so I decided to begin segregating moisten debris from baked garbage .”

Soon, Malini’s mother, who also lives with them, began to grow an organic vegetable garden in their backyard. The increased greenery and reduction in garbage burning eventually naturalness T’s breathing issues.

In nearly a decade, the Parmar family has gone from rendering 2 kg of litter each month to only 300 gms. That’s significantly less than the number of onions we buy in a week!

superbottoms diaper

Meanwhile, Pallavi’s passage towards zero-waste parenting started with the birth of her son, Kabir. She was appalled to see the environmental impact of expendable diapers, an pervasive part in any dwelling with a baby.

” We would insure basketfuls of plastic diapers was just going to landfills. This, along with human solid trash in them, would pollute the groundwater eventually. The doctrine of breaking the planet to seek convenience in produce my babe seemed terribly selfish to me, and we decided to stick to cloth nappies for him ,” she says.

Pallavi would eventually go on to located SuperBottoms a homegrown cloth nappy label. These nappies help you stay sustainable while also saving you tons of coin because unlike expendable diapers; you don’t need to spend a bomb every week.

superbottoms diaper

While Pallavi and Malini perceived a problem and grabbed the opportunity to provide a solution, Kalpana Manivannan’s journey towards being zero-waste began with sword tiffins.

A biology teacher and entrepreneur, Kalpana started taking reusable sword dabbas to restaurants that otherwise served in disposable plastic containers.

“Honestly, becoming zero garbage was never an capricious decision that came from a single happen of inspiration. Preferably, it was a consistent, step by step effort that we are still pursuing, ” she shared with TBI.

Zero-waste parenting has its own deterrents

kalpana zero waste parenting

“The key challenge is knowing and ascertaining alternatives because easily available products do not fit the zero-waste lifestyle. What had contributed to nonetheless, is the growing consciousness towards pro-earth and zero-waste alternatives with a great deal of lovely people and entrances like The Better India speaking about them. This helps in understanding the choices we can make and how. Gradually but steadily, one choice at a time has brought us to come to where we are, ” asks Pallavi.

For Malini, the tour was filled with experiments–some wreaked, some didn’t–but she learned something better every single time.

“For example, we are seeking to exiting vegan at the bad era without enough experiment, and my daughter became B12 deficient. Now we are planning to shift when we have more term for research and more slowly by applying one thing up at a time, ” she tells us.

Parenting is a challenge in itself and to shun the widely available concoctions to perform intentional pro-environment choices can seem burdensome. But with the freedom guidance and ready mixtures, it can get easier. Check out this tie-up for your chisel sheet on sustainable child products, organic food and plastic-free playthings .

The most important critiques to zero-waste parenting: Children!

diapers

Pallavi and Malini agree that being zero-waste saves coin, and formerly you get be applicable to it, it also becomes less of a hassle. But what about the kids?

“Thankfully, my children are growing up in an environment where they understand that being eco-friendly is the only way to be. For us, the biggest change has not been switching to alternative concoctions, but are becoming ever more wary and cuddling sustainable live, ” says Malini, adding that the girls, who today boys,

Like her, the now-adolescent girls too use sustainable menstrual products like cloth pads and menstrual cups.

Pallavi believes that her son does not think of this lifestyle, as something which is alternative. Like Malini’s girls, he knows that it is the only way to be.

“Be it utilizing tooth powder instead of toothpaste, or electing wooden playthings over plastic, Kabir adoration zero-waste and sustainable makes and even proposes them to family members or friends. I also constitutes proud of the fact that he is growing up to be such an informed and sensible kid. It is important that children are exposed to our lovely quality and planet and explained why it is crucial to protect it.”

For Kalpana, the passage has advanced from taking sword cutlery to diners to changing backpack chips with cool fruit as snacks. Today, their own families ripens organic fresh fruit and vegetables in their Chennai farm, and the children contribute in hand-making soaps, mas butter and balms.

All three kinfolks went through their own challenges and have overcome them in the right force. For them, the only way is forward.

You may also like: Chemicals, Plastic& Cruelty: The Bad Side of Beauty Concoction You Cannot Ignore

( Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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