We've all heard about the environmental benefits of adopting a plant-based diet, bringing your own bags to the grocery store, and conserving water and electricity at home. But what if you want to go beyond those steps to reduce your own carbon footprint? Here are some fresh ideas:
- Reduce single-use plastics by utilizing refill stores. Here in Richmond, shops like Ellwood Thompson and Eco Inspired make it easy to reduce your reliability on single-use plastic packaging for food, cleaning products, and bath/beauty items. If you're not local to Richmond, do some research to see if you have any refill stores near you- and don't forget to bring your own containers!
- Reduce the amount of microplastics going into the water supply. Synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester, and spandex are made of plastic fibers that can break down into tiny microfibers when washed and get into the stomachs of animals and even our drinking water. There are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of microplastics getting into our water including washing your laundry with cold water, using liquid detergent, only washing full loads, and using a device like a Cora Ball to trap microplastics.
- Never throw wearable clothing away. Donate old clothes to local charities or via your local Buy Nothing Group, find a nearby clothing recycling program, or resell them on sites like Thredup, Poshmark, Depop, or Mercari. You can even host a clothing swap with your friends, coworkers, or neighbors and walk away with some new-to-you clothing as well.