As a teenager myself, I can affirm that the best part of being a member of the Gen-Z, formally called "Generation Zet", is having a great aspiration to make this world a better place for everyone. We are passionate about tackling climate change and thinking about ways we can make long-term changes to reduce the harmful impact that our daily lives have on the environment.
If you feel the urge to begin your "world-changing" journey but don’t know where to start - I have a simple answer for you. Home. The place where you spend most of your time should be your starting grid. In this article, I will provide you, my dear reader, with 10 ways you can make your home climate-friendly.
1. Stop using plastic bags
The problem with plastic bags is known by everyone but still isn't talked about enough. The best-selling item in supermarkets is plastic bags. They are literally used for 12 minutes to bring products from the store so that later they can be sent to the landfill anyway.
Important! Every year, plastic bags kill 100,000 marine animals and about 1 million seabirds worldwide. Most often they mistake bags for food, in particular for jellyfish. Scientists predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the world's oceans than fish.
Perhaps the most environmentally friendly and safe are paper bags. The kraft paper used for their manufacture can quickly biodegrade in landfills without causing irreparable damage to nature. Such packages can withstand fairly significant weight and can be used repeatedly.
Another great alternative is eco-bags. It is a fabric bag of the simplest design, designed to replace plastic bags. It is also taken with you in case of purchases. Self-expression through eco-bags is possible with the help of different inscriptions: funny or serious, and also through different pictures on them.
2. Save leftover food
When you cook, for example, cut vegetables and fruits, something always remains superfluous. Don't throw away the excess! First, the leftover fruits and vegetables can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer, and over time enough will accumulate to use them.
Or you can use the leftovers as a natural fertilizer for your garden. In any case, there will be less garbage, and more money for new purchases.
Important! Wasted and lost food accounts for roughly 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions attributed to human activity every year, according to a U.N. (taken from Discover)
3. Replace plastic bottles with glass ones
We solved the problem with plastic bags, but what do we do with plastic bottles?
Important! About 20 thousand PET bottles are created every second in the world, and about 1,000000 are sold per minute. Every year, the average person produces more than 50 kilograms of plastic waste, most of which are PET bottles and other food packaging.
The best alternatives to plastic bottles are glass bottles. In addition to eco materials, glass is the safest type of packaging for humans. The fact is that this material is absolutely neutral, does not emit any substances or odors, and also does not absorb the aroma of the substance packed in glass containers. In addition, due to the neutrality of the composition, glass cannot change the taste characteristics of the product.
4. Reuse things instead of throwing them away
We often throw things away when we grow out of them or think they're out of fashion and don't want to wear them. We don’t even think about the possibility of using these things in another way. Consider how you could repurpose an old t-shirt: a cleaning rag or a hair towel, and so on.
Important! It takes 700 gallons of water to make a cotton shirt. It takes a lot of water to produce the cotton needed to make clothes. To put these numbers in perspective, the amount of water needed to make a t-shirt is enough for one person to stay hydrated for 900 days while the amount of water needed to make a pair of jeans is equivalent to hosing down your lawn for 9 hours straight. (According to Planet Aid)
5. Create your apartment garden
Even if you live in a small apartment, you always have the opportunity to take care of not only flowers but also grow vegetables. Onions, salad greens, chili peppers are great options for apartment gardening.
Growing an apartment garden has proven to be one of the best time and money expenditures I've made. You are always sure that what you eat is environmentally friendly, without any impurities. And also, you do not need to buy new vegetables and fruits every time.
Important! More information about gardening you can find here
6. Use Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper
When creating toilet paper, there is no need to use virgin pulp. Toilet paper does not require rigidity and durability, nor supernatural whiteness. So, it is quite possible to make it from waste paper and not cut down forests.
Recycled paper is environmentally friendly. Its use helps conserve forests and reduce household waste.
Important! According to the Australian Conservation Fund, “every ton of recycled paper saves 13 trees, 2.5 barrels of oil, 4,100 kilowatts of electricity, four cubic meters of garbage and 31,380 liters of water."
7. Stop Using Single-Use Straws
When it comes to the dangers of plastic, we cannot get around the topic of using plastic straws. If you still cannot refuse straws for various reasons, it is very easy to find an alternative to them, not only eco-friendly but also aesthetic. For example, metal straws for drinks have become very popular nowadays.
Such straws are practical and most eternal. You can safely wash them in the dishwasher and not be afraid that something will happen to them. They are certainly not the prettiest, but they have their own charm.
Important! Nearly 7.5 million plastic straws were found on U.S. shorelines during a five-year cleanup research project.
8. Choose eco-friendly cosmetics
Every day we use a lot of cosmetics to prolong our youth and beauty. And for cleanliness in the house, we use household chemicals. All this comes into contact with the skin, and dangerous components penetrate our bodies. For this reason, it is better to choose proven products with a composition that is safe for humans and nature.
Best Ethical Beauty Brands:
- Elate Cosmetics
- Dab herb
- 100% Pure
- River Organics
9. Use Green Cleaning Products
Regardless of whether you love cleaning or not, your cleaning materials might be harming the environment. When purchasing floor or multi-purpose cleaners, pay special attention to the label. Look for non-toxic, biodegradable products that come in a recyclable bottle.
10. Buy a tankless hot water heater
For as little as $500, you can acquire a high-quality electric water heater. Installing it is also a lot easier because all you need is a reliable power supply in your home.
A tankless electric water heater is ideal if you live in a tiny place since it is a third of the size of a gas heater.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this article, my dear reader. Starting the "world-changing" journey might be hard, but I believe that these 10 tips will help you in it!