Personally, I find it very important to take care of this beautiful land of ours, but as a teenager it can often be difficult to give large sums of money or spend a lot of time volunteering, so here are some tips on the little things you can do.
1. Say no to straw!
In the United States alone, 500 million straws are used and thrown away every day. They cannot be recycled! Your tiny little straw can do a lot of damage in the ocean where it can kill all kinds of wildlife, including sea turtles. So why not stop using straws altogether? Some people (myself included) like to use straws, if you have braces it is suggested to use a straw when drinking carbonated drinks, some drink lids require straws. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. I have three good options for you:
Glass straws, paper straws, metal straws. I spent £3 ($4 / €3.40) for a pack of metal straws on Amazon and now have one with me in my purse at all times!
2. Tote-ally awesome!
Here in the UK the government is trying to do something about the amount of single-use plastic we use, including charging £0.05 for a plastic bag in the supermarket. In order to avoid spending an extra 5p every time I buy something, I take a reusable bag with me. Personally, I love a good tote bag that you can fold up and store in your purse!
3. Cute mugs!
Every time you go to a cafe and take away your latte, you waste a cup. If you are a frequent consumer of hot drinks, you might want to buy yourself a nice reusable cup. Not only do they reduce waste, but they’re also much nicer and nicer than regular tumblers.
4. Bottle it
There’s nothing better than a pretty reusable water bottle in my opinion. There are so many choices and less waste created by using plastic water bottles. In the US over 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away without being recycled and here in the UK 80% goes to landfill. That’s a lot of bottles and a lot of plastic that could be recycled to make something new.
5. Say no to single use
Avoid using items wrapped or wrapped in single-use plastic. Try using cardboard or reusable plastic instead. And if you can’t, read your labels and buy things that come in recyclable packaging.
6. Ecosia Research
Instead of using Google, I use a search engine called https://www.ecosia.org/ which is really easy to download to your computer. For 45 things you research, Ecosia plants a tree. So far, they have successfully planted over 30,000,000 trees around the world. It’s an easy and free way to help prevent/slow down deforestation.
7. Go out
Using a car is one of the worst things for the environment, so if it’s possible, why not walk to where you want to go? It’s easy to exercise and you’re helping our planet by reducing greenhouse gases. If you can’t get there on foot, why not take the bus? It’s cheaper and it saves the planet.