By: Ashoke Mohanraj
New Years Resolutions – everyone makes one but few of us keep them. Whether we are looking to actually start working out, read more books, or stop our awful spending habits, everyone wants to be a slightly better version of themselves in 2018. But what if I told you that this post could not only help you be a better version of yourself, but could actually help us save the world. That would be pretty cool, right? What if I told you this could be accomplished in five steps? Even better? I thought so!
Saving the world starts with our footprint – our ecological footprint that is! Our ecological footprint is calculated by measuring the amount of resources that are being used for any given activity, ranging from the waste of your candy bar wrapper to the amount of water used to create the sweater you’re wearing.
Now saving the world may not happen overnight, but decreasing our ecological footprint is a good start. How can you reduce your ecological footprint you ask? Well here’s a list of a few simple things you can do to significantly reduce your ecological impacts in 2018.
1) Bottle Your Own Water
Nobody likes to be thirsty, so don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re stranded without some water. As tempting as it may be to buy that fancy bottle of Fiji water at the closest 7/11, just invest in a reusable water bottle you can take on the go. Not only will you always be able to quench your thirst, but you can feel good knowing you’re going to be saving a couple of bucks. Worried about refilling your bottle with tap water? Then check out the “Bobble” which includes a filter that leaves your water crystal clear.
2) The Gift of Cloth
If you’ve ever had to wrap any present, you know the struggle of folding the wrapping paper 7 times to get the perfect length. Not to mention wrapping any object that isn’t the shape of a box is a complete disaster, the paper becomes ripped and wrinkly and by the third attempt, you start getting a little more than slightly ticked off. Why bother, right? Nobody ever says “wow that wrapping paper is so stunning” they just claw through it leaving behind a mess for you to clean up. Rather than wasting all that paper and making your life harder, why not just package your gifts in reusable cloth bags. Not only do these reduce the amount of waste generated this year, but they look great and can be reused over and over again.
3) Take Your Tumbler
During these cold winter months, the days can feel long, and well, pretty frigid. Some of us really depend on warm caffeine fix to keep us going. But all those Starbucks runs can really burn a hole in your wallet and in your trash can. 3 billion of the 200 billion cups Americans throw away each year are Starbucks cups because they can’t be recycled. That’s a lot of wasted cups. Fortunately many shops including Starbucks allow you to bring your own coffee tumbler in and will reward you with a discount. Not only are you saving the planet but you’re saving some pocket change while you’re at it.
4) Turn Down The Thermostat
Yes, it does gets ridiculously cold up here in Canada during the winter but it also means that it’s time for sweater weather. Rather than cranking up your thermostat all the time to stay warm, keep it at one consistent temperature throughout. Not only will this reduce the amount of energy you’re using but it will make you feel a lot warmer. If you are feeling cold, throw on that ugly sweater your grandma got your for Christmas. Who says you can only use those things once a year?
5) BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag
When going shopping, bring your own reusable bags so that you can avoid those wasteful plastic ones. Plastic bags take about 1000 years to decompose, plus they cost you an extra 10 cents. Save yourself the hassle and just bring your own bag. Not only do you look super fashionable, but you can feel good knowing that you’re diverting waste from landfills and being an eco-friendly shopper. Most grocery stores sell them or you can even find some really hip ones online. Save the planet and look good while doing it.