Have you ever wondered how you can help tackle environmental issues as big as food waste and climate change? We sat down with actress and sustainability guru Ciara Bravo and she shared her favorite actionable sustainability tips for making a positive impact on the environment. Here’s what she had to say:
“It’s all about baby steps. If you’re anything like me, an anxiety-ridden bundle of nerves, each new article regarding climate change and the need for immediate action may also leave you with an overwhelming sense of dread. If you, too, are drowning in the many answers to the question ‘what can I do?’ I’ve compiled a list of 6 easy actions you can take. “
1. Carry a reusable coffee cup or water bottle
By far the easiest and most popular step you can take. If you drink 8 glasses of water a day, that equates to 4 water bottles. By carrying a reusable bottle you could be saving 1,460 plastic water bottles from going to the landfill every year. What a power move! An added perk: many coffee shops will give you a discount for bringing your own cup.
2. Bring containers when you go out to eat
Who doesn’t love a second dinner? When you go out to a restaurant, throw some Tupperware in your bag for the leftovers. Not into midnight snacking? Have it for lunch the next day. Eliminate food waste and save the use of plastic/styrofoam takeout containers.
3. When you’re gone during the day, set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher
No one is expecting you to keep your AC off at night. Sweating in your sleep is never ideal, but a good way to save energy and lower that bill is to leave it off during the day! If you’re home, open some windows and let in the fresh air. This is also a great way to get that dewy glow Instagram is always talking about.
4. Ditch the straw
Avoiding single-use plastic straws is a great way to show the world that you respect turtles as much as that zombie kid we’ve all seen on Youtube. But if a straw is a must for you, there a loads of great stainless steel reusable options available for a reasonable price.
5. Line dry your clothes
This is an easy way to save energy during laundry day, while also saving time and saving your clothes. Line drying, from personal experience, keeps your clothes looking better for much longer.
6. If it’s within a mile, walk
Cars are one of the major causes of global warming. While we can’t eliminate them completely, an attainable way of using them less is by walking if your destination is within a mile. Maybe you live far out? When in town, try leaving your car parked in one location and then walking to the next. (Your butt will look so good!)
Living more sustainably is an ongoing journey, so forgive yourself on those days where you use a plastic straw/cup or leave the water running for a little too long. None of us is perfect. All we can ever do is our best!
Also, it’s important to remember that living sustainably may be contextual. For instance, when a family member has type 1 diabetes, you generate a lot of trash. Most options are very expensive for quick sustainability. There is no help for it. But maybe you can choose to do something else that works for your family. We choose to use paper plates during the week when managing two special needs kids is overwhelming with full time jobs, school, and healthcare visits. On weekends, we try to only use washable dishes. It’s all about trade offs and what is doable. If its not doable, then you won’t keep it up!
You make a very good point. Sustainability does involve some trade-offs and we all ought to cut ourselves and our families slack when appropriate. The best habit is one that we’ll stick with. Well said!
we use a reusable cup/water bottle
we don’t ‘eat out’
we don’t use air conditioning
we don’t need straws
oops, no place to hang wet laundry = not 100%
we don’t use/own cars
Thank you for sharing how your family is working to live more sustainably, Mike!
We are now doing most of these tips, but bringing containers to restaurants is a new idea. We don’t eat out often, but I’ll try to remember. I have been adding beeswax wraps for food storage in fridge. I just got a silicone container to try out for freezer. However, I still have a big roll of plastic film from Costco and a stash of ziploc bags that I inherited from my mom, so I’m wondering if I should use up or recycle without using. We have also stopped buying plastic toys for the grandkids–we give books, board games, sports equipment, and experiences.
That’s so great to hear. Let us know how the container tip works out for you!