Ways You Can Be More Eco-Friendly

Photo Source: Pexels.com

Photo Source: Pexels.com

Karaline Baldini, Writer

Donate/ Buy Second Hand


When you have outgrown an item, donate it for someone else to enjoy instead of putting it in the trash. America already has too much waste to properly dispose of. It is estimated that the average American throws out about 81 pounds of clothes each year. Donate clothing and other items you no longer want to a church, the Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. There is guaranteed to be someone who will appreciate your items.


Buying anything second hand conserves water and energy that would be needed to manufacture a new product. It can take up to 2,700 liters of water to produce the cotton used for a single t-shirt. 


Switch your Lawn to a Grass Alternative


Fertilizing and watering your grass lawn puts pressure on the environment. The chemical runoff from lawn fertilizer pollutes our drinking water. Also, using a gas powered lawn mower for an hour produces as much emissions as running eleven cars. There are lawn plant alternatives that require less water, energy, and reduce pollution. 


Creeping thyme is a plant that requires no fertilizer and little watering. It blooms beautiful purple flowers. Carpet sedum is a heat and drought resistant plant that needs little to no fertilizer. This plant thrives in poor soil, so it can be planted anywhere. There are many eco- friendly alternatives to grass that are low maintenance, and pretty.  


Try a refillable shampoo and conditioner 


In an effort to reduce plastic waste, some hair care companies have created a refillable shampoo and conditioner option. Instead of buying a new bottle each time, you can purchase a pouch of shampoo and conditioner to refill your first bottle. This option is sustainable for the environment and buying a pouch cuts the cost for the consumer.


A few companies with refillable shampoos and conditioners are:


  • Kiehl’s
  • Fiils
  • OUAI
  • The Body Shop
  • Faith in Nature


Eat Less Meat


Raising livestock and growing their food requires a large amount of land. Forests are frequently cut down to be converted to farming land. Animal agriculture also contaminates our drinking water. Mercy for Animals states that animal waste and agricultural runoff have polluted almost one third of rivers in the United States. Runoff from farms often contains pesticides, resulting in us drinking these chemicals. A study by the United States Geological Survey discovered, “…at least one pesticide was found in about 94 percent of water samples… and in nearly 60 percent of shallow wells sampled.”  


By eating less meat, you can reduce the demand for animal agriculture. If you’re not completely eliminating meats from your diet, buy it from a local farm rather than a supermarket. In the USA, meats bought from grocery stores most likely came from factory farms.


Use Green Cleaning Products 


The chemicals contained in household cleaning products pollute our drinking water. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and ammonia are present in many cleaning products. They are also dangerous water contaminants. These chemicals are not removed in the water treatment process and they travel into our water sources. 


Ammonia, phosphorus, and nitrogen are used as fertilizers to promote plant growth. When these chemicals enter our water, the increased nutrients cause algae blooms which release toxins into the water and make it undrinkable.   


A Safer Choice is a pollution prevention program that collaborates with the Environmental Protection Agency. They recommend the following eco-friendly cleaning products:


  • Blueland’s multi-surface cleaner, hand soap, dishwasher tablets, and bathroom cleaner  
  • Clorox’s compostable cleaning wipes, glass cleaning system, and bathroom cleaning system
  • Tide’s free and gentle liquid laundry detergent
  • Bona’s hard-surface floor cleaner
  • Seventh Generation’s dishwasher detergent gel, all-purpose spray, and fabric softener sheets

Implementing some of these habits can help you lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Future projections for pollution and climate look grim. We all need to be conscious of our carbon footprint and reduce where possible.