There is so much discouraging news about the state of our oceans and our planet, it is easy to feel there is no way to make a difference. But consider the effects that your current way of life has on the planet. Simple earth-friendly changes can refresh your lifestyle to make it more sustainable and positively affect your health, other people, and the oceans.
This year, switch to reef-safe sunscreen when you’re at the beach! Hawaii is the first state to ban traditional sunscreens that have ingredients that harm coral reefs. No matter where you live or vacation, use reef-safe sunscreen instead. These sunscreens are made from natural ingredients that won’t harm coral reefs, which are vital ecosystems for marine life. Not only will you be doing a solid for oceans and their inhabitants, you’re keeping your whole family safe from toxic ingredients too!
Avoid even more plastic
A lot of people are making strides to avoid plastic by using reusable water bottles or reusable grocery bags, which is very important and helpful to the ocean! However, if you take a moment to be mindful of how much more plastic you use in your daily life, you’d be surprised!
Bath products – If you take a look in your shower, you may find that every product inside comes in a plastic bottle. To reduce the plastic you’re using every single day, use bar soap and a washcloth to wash your body, so you can cut down on a plastic bottle and a disposable loofah or sponge. You can even find shampoo and conditioner bars too! Soon your shower will be free of plastic.
Self-care items – More everyday products you use like toothpaste and contacts cause a lot of waste that can end up in the oceans as well. You don’t have to settle for traditional bottles of toothpaste or wasteful contact packs anymore. This year, consider buying toothpaste tabs or sleek daily contacts that use less plastic. Rethinking the plastic items you use on a daily basis can put your mind at ease when you’re striving to make a change for the planet.
Kitchen items – Tons of products in your kitchen can be swapped out for more eco-friendly versions. For starters, plastic can be dangerous to reheat your food in, so swap Tupperware or dishes out for glass instead. Glass Tupperware can safely go into the microwave and oven! Plus, plastic Tupperware is considered a hard-to-recycle item in some areas which means many people just end up throwing it in the garbage. Plastic Wrap is another wasteful kitchen item that ends up in our oceans that now has a common alternative. Beeswax wrap is a sustainable way to keep your food covered and fresh. You can even DIY this product by reusing old textiles from around your home!
For even more suggestions, check out this article on avoiding microplastics in your everyday life.
Eat less processed foods
Processed foods like cheese, meat, chips, and candy always come with the burden of tons of plastic packaging, some of which aren’t easily recyclable depending on where you live. By committing to the lifestyle change of focusing on eating whole foods such as fruits, veggies, and grains, you can help keep all of the plastic bags and wraps out of the oceans and away from marine life. Even when you’re at the grocery store, things like carrots and lettuce can come packaged so try to stick to buying these items unpackaged or in bulk. Even better, buy your produce from a local farmer to support your local community! In addition to helping the planet and a local family, eating more whole foods can be great for your overall health! Committing to just one day a week of eating no processed foods can make a difference to the planet and your family’s health.
If you see the effects of climate change around you every day and are disheartened by the state of the world, it’s important to consider how you can change your lifestyle to help. A few attainable resolutions to commit to in 2020 can have a positive effect on your health and the planet. Plus, you may be able to enlist your family and friends to tackle this resolution with you! There is strength in numbers, so be sure to hold yourself and your family accountable to make a positive change for the planet!