18 Meaningful Ways to Help the Environment

Michelle Heltay

Posted on April 27 2020

18 Meaningful Ways to Help the Environment

There are multitudes of ways to support the environment, though these are the easiest to implement immediately. Most are a direct swap out for next time you want or need to replace an item in your house

1. Use a bamboo toothbrush

Pearlbar has a great charcoal toothbrush that is 100% biodegradable. There are multiple brands out now which are comparable in price to the commercial plastic brands.

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: Hannah Pads and  Noonee Wilga. I’ve been using bamboo cloth pads for 6 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!


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 which leads to conversation about the food I'm eating. I find it a great conversation starter and chance to educate people where possible. 



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.


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 Naturopathic 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.



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.

13. Avoid plastic bags in the fresh food aisles and plastic wrapped produce

You can get useable produce bags too. I love the Onya brand bags for this. I've had my set of 10 for around 4 years now.



14. Grab a mushroom bag/brown paper bag instead

15. Buy in bulk

There are some amazing bulk produce food stores out there. I personally adore my local Source Bulk Foods at Springfield. It's so easy to shop there, the service is always amazing and the prices are fantastic. The produce is always fresh too as they have a high turnover



16. Use glass jars in your pantry for your dry goods

You can buy special glass jars if you want to kick start your pantry asap or yu can wait until you've used sauces, oil, coffee or other food items, clean out the jars well and use in your pantry.

It can be a bit of a pain to get some labels off so for those times when I just can't get a label off, I either leave it half peeled (which does annoy me visually) or I put a white label over the top. I always date the food I place in the jar so I know when I jarred it.

17. Use a clothes line

Use the sanitizing power of the sun and fresh air to dry your washing. Plus it's free!




18. Switch to a whole foods plant based diet or at least a plant based meal once a week

Recipe from my It's a Very Vegan Christmas

Red Capsicum Hummus

Makes 1 cup

  • 400g canned chickpeas drained

  • Red capsicum deseeded, roasted and peeled

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • 2-3 heaped tbsp. tahini (hulled or unhulled)

  • ½ - 1 tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ¾ tsp garlic powder

  • Nutritional yeast

  • 2-4 tbsp. water

Add the chickpeas to the blender or food processor and process until medium processed. Add the rest of the ingredients in and process until smooth and creamy. You may need to stop and scrape the sides down a couple times. 

Pour into a small ceramic dish, drizzle with a bit of extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil, some black sesame seeds and a sprinkle of smoked paprika

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