The amount of packaging a person throws away annually is around 5 pounds a day. On average only 1/4 is recycled. Environmental friendliness is defined by a spectrum of two opposite points. It’s a personal guideline used to decide what to support and what harms the natural ecosystem. The environmentally conscious person would suggest recycling more garbage is better. Yet, a minimalist believes recycling is not a solution. Reducing the occurrence of waste will save us problems. Is eating meat environmentally friendly? Some would say of course it’s fine! We have to eat. The current treatment of animals is necessary so food is plentiful. Vegans say, No way! It’s not right. We should support a system that shows respect for the lives of animals. For the majority, the biggest excuse? There isn’t enough time in a day to make eco-friendly decisions. This excuse was mine until one day I realized its a responsibility to learn successful habits. The responsibility to change how I shop when the world around me is filling up with garbage.
Successful habits for your health and the health of the environment
We have to muddle through right and wrong and decide what is right for us. It’s a journey that is unique to you. We are all walking down the same path of consumerism and overpackaging. One-time single-use packaging promises us a new way of life. It gave us freedom. We rely on it to get us through daily life with ease. If we don’t have to cook we could work more, play more plan less! Motivation in my short eight-month journey to become environmentally friendly is the first requirement for change. Achievements in life need motivation as the first ingredient and the kick start I needed.
However, for me and most people, this one feeling can quickly subside. Quite often we start to get a little lazy. Ultimately it could very easily turn into another fad diet or stint at the gym. If obsession doesn’t take over then it most certainly will! I trained my brain to say no to plastic. It works when your present but if there are distractions somehow it can slip stealthily into your life. It happens so easily so don’t be too hard on yourself when it does.
There are times when it’s near impossible to say no to plastic. For instance, buying juice comes in either tetra packs or plastic containers. For some reason companies that choose to put their juice in glass charge a fortune! So it’s out of the question unless splurging is affordable. Moisturizer, Milk, yogurt, chips, everything we find in the store have the element of single-use. The trick to staying calm is by knowing you have a goal. The goal to shop smarter.
Walking into a large convenience store like Walmart is overwhelming. I’ve realized that if I wanted to do this right I couldn’t rely solely on one store. You’ve got to be versatile and set a standard when starting your next set of successful habits. Stay with it! I find that supporting your local butcher is the best way to get meat. Quite often they will find suppliers that are close by in order to get the freshest meat. When you pick your food up and take it away they give you paper coated in plastic. The wrapping isn’t recyclable and considered single-use. I suggest you bring your own container.
People on one side of the environmental spectrum don’t eat meat to protect nature. Animals are treated unethically and death is traumatic. Plus, eating meat causes an increase in CO2 emissions. I agree. However, if you’re like me it’s tough to stop. I grew up eating meat in every meal and don’t feel repulsed by it. For those of you like me! Try to find an Organically certified product. Changing your eating habits for the sake of the environment is a personal choice.
Bread and Baking
Next, if your looking for a good fresh loaf of bread chances are you’re not going to find it alone. It usually comes accompanied by a brand new plastic bag! I thought the way to avoid the bag was to bake the bread at home. However, when working full time it’s super hard to find the time to bake. The bread goes hard in half the time since it doesn’t contain preservatives. So for families that eat it all the time it has to be baked more often. But, here’s a trick I learned along the way. I realized I could bring my own box to the local Bakery. There are some reusable packaging options online for your bread. A reusable box will do for transportation but once you get home it’s best to use an airtight container.
In living an eco-friendly lifestyle your successful habits will include the time to bake cookies. The great things about baking cookies are when kids are in the house they always get eaten. Then time and money are never wasted. Plus, single-use packaging isn’t needed and we don’t rely on palm oil. Palm oil is the number one reason why the rainforest is being burned to the ground. Plantations use the fertile soil of the Amazon to turn crops and move on.
Eggs are a go-to food for breakfast, lunch or dinner! It’s a versatile food that contributes to so many dishes including most treats. However, buying eggs from an industry that’s known for the dark, crowded and unsanitary conditions sucks. Start to look for a local farmer that has a flock in his backyard. They often advertise their eggs on street signs or word of mouth. The big business of chicken farming has been operating the same way for over half a century. The demand for eggs has steadily grown with the rise in population. So the business practice won’t stop. It won’t quit unless people support smaller operations.
Bring your own basket or box to take the eggs away. Of course, if you’re doing your shopping and a farm seems too far away go for free-range organic eggs. These chickens are the only ones that are certified to live happier lives. They are better for our health, environment and the general well being of the Chicken.
Try these four successful habits to get you moving in the right direction. So far, the way we have treated our planet has been a series of personal choices. Our choices do make a difference in the world we live in. We need to train our minds to reduce plastic and packaging waste. It’s not hard and if you make it a personal goal then you will develop successful habits.
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