Eco-Friendly Life Hacks

Education, Environment, Food, Health, Lifestyle, Recycle, Zerowaste

When it comes to making your life a little greener, you might be helping more than just mama earth. Here are some ways to keep the earth clean while improving your health and saving money? Yes!

  1. BYOB – No, not your own beer, bottle! You can fill up on beverages wherever you go, whether you’re at the gym, juice press, airport or coffee shop. (Tip: Politely ask your barista if they would fill your order in the bottle you brought; chances are they will gladly do it if you tell them you’re trying to help the environment by avoiding unnecessary waste!) Having a water bottle on you at all times also makes it more likely that you will stay hydrated and stay away from sugary carbonated beverages, not to mention how much money you’ll save by ditching plastic bottles.

“Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. And that’s not even including the oil used for transportation.”

“Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year.”

Ban the Bottle

2. Do your food shopping at a Farmer’s Market – Support your local economy and farmers by buying your fruits, veggies and more at your local farmer’s market. Not only are you helping the earth by supporting better farming practices, you are also eating tastier and more nutrient dense foods which are in season and that boost your immune system. It doesn’t hurt that you can shop outside and meet people in your community who are also interested in making a difference in the planet and their health.

“Three out of four farmers who sell at farmers markets use practices that meet or exceed organic standards.”

15 Benefits of Shopping At A Local Farmer’s Market

3. Do you have to drive? If not, then why not pull that bike out of the garage that’s been sitting there for months or grab some comfy shoes and walk to your destination? This one doesn’t need much explaining. Less fossil fuels, more feeling fueled. Instead of a carbon footprint, go leave an actual footprint… outside.. let’s go!

Walking, Bicycling, Driving, and Cost-Effectiveness

4. Reusable Bags – I keep reusable bags with me all the time, stuffed at the bottom of my purse incase I need it, in the trunk of my car for groceries. It’s always good to be prepared to avoid plastic bags. If you are buying bulk food items such as beans, oats, rice, etc. you can bring cloth bags to fill with food, this way you avoid buying the items already packaged in plastic.

“Nearly 2 million plastic bags are used and disposed of every minute.” – Earth Policy Institute

5. Line Dry your Laundry! – It will save energy and extend the life of your clothing, ultimately saving you $$$. You and mama earth are both gonna be lookin’ good when you skip the drying machine.

5 Reasons to line-dry your clothes

6. Coffee drinkers I’ve got a question for you… What do you do with your leftover coffee grounds? Oh, you already dry them and save them to exfoliate your skin and make your hair shine? Okay cool. Well incase you don’t, coffee grounds are full of antioxidants and naturally scrub away dead skin cells leaving you with radiant skin. So next time you’re looking for an exfoliating product at Sephora for $68, just remember to drink some coffee and save your money.

5 Awesome DIY Beauty Projects Using Coffee Grounds

7. Share/Borrow/Buy Used – Before clicking the epitome of convenience that is Amazon, think about where you may find what you’re looking for at zero cost. Need a screw-driver? Lawn mower? French press? Ask your neighbor or a friend if they might have what you’re looking for. Check Craigslist, Facebook, thrift stores and if after that you can’t seem to find what you’re looking for and know that you’re better off buying it new, then go for it.

“Borrow Before You Buy”

8. Get Creative With Your Wardrobe – Thrift Shop, swap clothes with friends, find pieces no one else has, except maybe your grandma.

“Americans send 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills every year.”

There are plenty of other ways to live greener that boosts your health and personal finances. What are some of your favorites?

8 Reasons to Go Vegan

Lifestyle

The Animals. It goes first because in actuality, these innocent living beings are put last. In a world where we see hate, violence and unnecessary cruelty, going vegan is the most compassionate way to live. The animals that are being bred and raised in factory farms are only a small group of species humans have decided over decades to domesticate and abuse for nothing more than palate pleasure. Meanwhile, we respect and protect other species we find more valuable and even consider them part of the family. The treatment of cows, chickens and pigs in America would simply never be tolerated if the same treatment were applied to dogs and cats.

 The animals that end up on our plates are not the only ones who die.

It is standard industry practice to kill wildlife predators – coyotes, foxes, deer, bears and many more native species to make room to graze livestock as well as protect profits. A lot of the wildlife end up suffering and dying before they are targeted by the meat industry due to habitat destruction. With the meat industry being a huge contributor to deforestation, water pollution, air pollution, climate change and drought, it wrecks the lives of innocent animals and the entire ecosystem.

Health. The #1 killer in the U.S.A is Heart Disease according to the World Health Organization. This is a disease caused by high blood pressure, lack of exercise, obesity, diabetes and especially poor diet. It is understood that heart disease is the narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup. But where exactly does this plaque come from?  Foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as meat, dairy and eggs causes cholesterol to build up in the blood stream and replacing those foods with plant based alternatives actually reverses those effects.(animal products are the only source of dietary cholesterol.) Our bodies naturally produce cholesterol leaving humans no need to consume it. By incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes into your diet and avoiding animal products, you are significantly lowering your chances of getting heart disease.

By avoiding animal products you are also decreasing your risk of developing various cancers. Since animal protein has a higher proportion of essential amino acids, it causes our bodies to produce higher levels of insulin-like growth factor-1. This hormone is responsible for cell-division and growth in both cancerous and non-cancerous cells which is why people with higher levels of IGF-1 are more prone to have cancer and other diseases. A study published in 2014 confirms that high protein intake is linked to increased cancer, diabetes, and overall mortality.

Besides a plant based diet helping to prevent diseases, it is also the way to eat if you are facing health problems present day. An incredible story about a man who beat cancer with raw foods instead of chemo-therapy is a success story many would never think possible yet the power of raw foods proves otherwise.

Climate Change. One of the biggest contributors to climate change is animal agriculture. A study conducted by environmental specialists at the World Bank concluded that livestock production is responsible for 51% of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Meaning the production of meat and animal products is heating the planet more than the entire transportation sector combined. Choosing to abstain from eating animal products is the biggest most impactful choice we can make in the fight to reverse climate change before it is too late. The study accounted for the overlooked emissions that come with raising animals for food such as respiration, land use, and under counted methane.

Leaving animal products off of your plate is arguably the only way to save the planet.

Water. One single hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce. This is because meat production requires gallons and gallons of water to operate the facilities and feed the animals. When we walk down the isles of our grocery store and see the final product, it is easy to forget the water it took to grow the food, the fuel it took to ship the food to the farm, the water the animal actually drinks and the waste that comes from raising that animal which ends up contaminating water and causing dead zones(large bodies of water that do not have oxygen to support marine life). Producing meat is a complete waste of resources for what yields only a small amount of food. Imagine the number of other ways  we could allocate the 80%-90% of US water consumption used to operate factory farms.

Deforestation. Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon Destruction. How could so much destruction occur at the hands of man and more importantly why? Well in order to supply people with the ever growing demand for animal products, the space needed for the industry must grow too. I know it may seem like our earth is ginormous but the human population is growing at such a rate that our poor little planet cannot support our meat eating habits. Since the industry prefers to keep making money by chopping down our precious amazon, we are losing an immense amount of trees(our biggest natural carbon sink) as well as all of the wildlife that inhabits those trees are now on the endangered species list or have gone extinct.

The good news? You can save the trees by eating plants and leaving animal products off of your plate!

Social Justice. All oppression is connected. When we allow the belief that living beings should be abused, killed and commodified, we are sending the message that there is a line to be drawn between different lives who all feel pain and desire to live. That some can live and others should die and of course it’s easiest to do with the non-human animals who cannot speak our language. It makes it a lot easier to kill something when it can’t tell you “Hey! Please don’t slit my throat and boil me until my hair burns off! I actually would like to live and be a mother to my babies that I only have because humans impregnated me for their own purposes.” Meat eating stems from the core belief that humans are superior and non-human animals are inferior and it is this exact mentality that has fueled the genocides of our history. It’s the belief people had about one race or country that caused the deadliest wars and most human suffering.

There is a beautiful intersection that happens when one goes vegan. It’s the connection of all things living and an appreciation and respect for all life. We wouldn’t be here without the bees who pollinate our food, or the trees that supply our oxygen, so how could anyone ever create a superior species when we all depend on each other to survive?

World Hunger. We have the food required to feed every person on this planet sufficiently. We are simply choosing to feed it to farm animals. In countries with the most starvation, people are growing plant based crops and sending them to affluent nations like the U.S. to feed to livestock. We lose an exponential amount of caloric potential and smaller yield through meat production. In other words, by growing the plants and feeding them to a cow for almost a year, we are left with a very small amount of food. If we took the cow out of the equation and fed people the grains instead of the cow, we would be able to feed a lottttt more people. In a study conducted in 2013, scientists reached the conclusion that if all food crops were fed directly to humans instead of animals, around 70% more food would be added to the world’s supply, which would be enough to feed 4 billion additional people.

Another reason to go vegan!

Save Money. Plants are the cheapest food source in every grocery store as long as you are buying whole foods like rice, beans, tomatoes, etc. While it is true that some vegan products such as mock meat and vegan cheese do cost a bit more being that they are a luxury food, you don’t have to buy them! Most vegans will spend a bit on substitute products in the beginning and then eventually stop buying them altogether, ultimately saving them money. Not to mention all of the money you will be saving from potential future medical expenses that come with a poor diet!

Well, there you have it. 8 reasons to go vegan!