There are so many meaningful and simple ways to support the environment. If every person would adopt a more consumer conscious awareness and double think their purchases, their consumerism, and their habits, we could easily make the world a cleaner, greener place much faster.
1.Use a bamboo toothbrush
Pearlbar has a great charcoal toothbrush that is 100% biodegradable.
Simply bury in your garden and voila. Let nature do the rest
2. Ladies, swap your tampons for reusable menstrual pads (preferably bamboo or hemp) or a silicone menstrual cup
I’m a fan of the Cloth Pad Shop. There are two brands that I absolutely adore: Clothcycle and Noonee Wilga. I’ve been using bamboo cloth pads for 4 years now. I’ll never go back. They are really easy to keep clean. I pop them into a soaking bucket for a couple hours, rinse out and throw in the wash. If I don’t have a full wash, I’ll do a quick hand wash in a bucket. Simple
3. Buy bamboo cotton buds/Q tips
These are brilliant. They come in a recyclable cardboard box with fabulous infographics. Simply bury the earbuds once you’ve finished using them. I’ve buried about 4 boxfuls now. Within 6 months, they are completely broken down. No joke. I found no trace of them at all
4. Use metal or glass straws instead of plastic
There is a plethora of fabulous reusable straws. You can even get cute little brush cleaners for them! I personally prefer metal straws to glass straws. I tend to drop my straws a bit. So far, the metal ones have been just fabulous. I’ve had them for 4 years now. That’s right, the ones in this photo are 4 years old
5. Use your own takeaway containers
I have a couple sets of 2 tier and 3 tier stainless steel tiffins, 3 large stainless steel soup thermos flasks, 2 stainless steel hot water thermos flasks and loads of glass containers. Whenever I go to conferences, workshops or seminars, I always bring my own food along. Being gluten & grain free vegan, there are not many meal options available for me. So, I happily provide my own. It also means I spread myself out to accommodate all my tins, containers, plates and condiments jars.
6. Bamboo Clothes Pegs
Yep. They even make bamboo clothes pegs. I bought two boxes of 24 pegs 6 years ago. They are still as strong as they were the day I bought them
7. Take your own reusable cutlery
Keep a set of reusable quality cutlery in the car and or your handbag. This is another simple yet meaningful way to help the environment. This set has been part of our household (well, my car actually) for nearly 11 years now.
8. Buy a reusable travel mug and actually use it too!
There are some awesome heavy duty ceramic travel mugs (mine is purple) or stainless steel travel mugs. Remember to take it with you. Mine are with me with every single workshop, seminar or event I go to
9. Stop buying bottled water and use a glass or stainless steel water bottle instead
My last purchase of a water bottle was 6 years ago. I bought 8 water bottles for the family. My preference is Eco Tanka brand.
10. Don’t throw out your brown paper bags. Use them to line your rubbish bins with
You can use brown paper bags for just about everything. We pop a couple into the compost bin to help add a bit of carbon.
If you don’t have any brown paper bags, you can use newspapers instead. It’s what my parents did when I was younger. (Is that showing my age???)
11. Avoid getting a receipt when possible
Did you know they are lined with a thin layer of BPA plastic? BPA is a nasty endocrine disruptor.
12. Environmental bags or make your own cloth bags for shopping
You will find reusable shopping bags in just about every store nowadays. Sure, they are emblazoned with the store’s logo, but think of how many times you can reuse that bag?! I take mine with me all the time. I have about 20 enviro bags in the car. It’s first instinct to grab one out of the boot now, as I head out to the shops.
13. Avoid plastic bags in the fresh food aisles and plastic wrapped produce
When you see aisles of plastic wrapped produce, do you naturally associate fresh produce with plastic wrapped? You don’t have freedom of choice when your produce comes already wrapped for you. What if you only want 4 items but have to purchase 8? Or what if you need 12, but have to buy 2 packs of 9 instead? It can become quite wasteful also. I don’t know about you, but I like to touch, smell and carefully select my produce.
14. Grab a mushroom bag/brown paper bag instead
You can pop any fruit or vegetable into these handy paper bags. I’ve been known to reuse my paper bags over and over again until they tear or wear out.
15. Buy in bulk
Fill up your pantry with good ingredients. When you have real food in your pantry, you will be more inclined to make healthy meals. Dry goods such as legumes, seeds, nuts, pastas, grains and dried fruits keep quite a long time in air tight containers. As you can probably see in the picture, I have loaded my pantry with glass jars of all shapes and sizes. I usually have 6 or 7 x 1L glass jars filled with homemade kale chips. What doesn’t go into a glass jar, stays in brown paper bags – such as dried bananas or cacao butter chunks (though I do buy cacao butter in 10kg bulk boxes).
16. Use glass jars in your pantry for your dry goods
Reuse your coffee jars, honey jars, condiments jars, oil jars and bottles. Get these refilled at your local bulk foods store or no waste bulk foods store.
17. Use a clothes line
Use the power of our beautiful sun to naturally dry clothing. It will have that glorious fresh air smell when you bring it inside.
18. Switch to a vegan diet or at least a vegan meal once a week
To get you started, here is a recipe:
Fully Loaded Roasted Vegie Pizza with Hummus
1 cup chickpea or besan flour
1/2 to 1 cup water
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Mix dry goods first. Add in water, half cup first, then small amounts at a time until you get a medium batter. Add in oil. You want the base to be able to be thinly spread but not watery. Spread out mix onto a baking paper lined tray and cook for 10-15 minutes at 180°C or until crisp.
1 large zucchini sliced into rounds
2 Roma/egg tomatoes sliced into rounds
1 whole bulb garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 red onion sliced
1 cup Swiss brown mushrooms thickly sliced
Add all vegies to an oiled baking tray and cook in the oven for up to 45 minutes
1.5 cups homemade chickpeas, pre-cooked or 1 can chickpeas drained
1/4 cup unhulled tahini (though I’ve been known to add in up to 1/2 cup when I want a stronger flavour)
2-4 tbsp coconut oil (more may be required if you desired a thinner hummus)
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
1/4 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic finely minced
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Add everything to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times. Continue to check for flavour and add in extra lemon juice, salt or oil if required.
Spread a liberal layer of hummus over the base of the pizza. Arrange roasted vegies over the hummus. Add pitted black kalamata olives and serve immediately