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How Consuming and Wasting Less Means Living More

Take the opportunity of a fresh, new spring season to reaffirm your environmental goals. One way you can become an environmental hero is by reevaluating ways in which you can reduce waste in your everyday life. According to a study conducted by Duke University, the average person generates 4.3 pounds of waste per day. That’s about the weight of three basketballs per person being thrown into landfills every day.  We are producing 1.6 pounds more than what was produced per person back in 1960. But don’t despair! Spring is all about renewal, so here are a few beginning steps that you can take to make a difference:

Avoid Disposables

  • Bring a portable reusable bag with you everywhere you go or at least have it readily accessible in the car. If you go shopping, you’ll be able to easily retrieve your reusable bag. Next time the cashier asks plastic or paper, your response will be “I have my own bag.”
  • Bring a portable water bottle with you. Not only will you save money, you will break the cycle of plastic consumption.

Buy/Wear Second-Hand Whenever Possible

  • Fast fashion is the second biggest polluter in the world next to oil. Clothing made via the fast fashion method are not durable. As we buy more and more of these types of clothing, we are increasing our consumption of unsustainable clothes.
  • Visit thrift stores to find unique clothing while saving some money and the environment
  • Borrow clothes from friends or set up a clothing exchange where everyone can share items together. Not only will you expand your style options, you’ll also make a tangible effect on the amount of pollution produced by new clothing manufacturing.

Make the Transition to Digital

  • Cancel paper subscriptions of magazines and newspapers and switch to digital
  • Use audiobooks and ebooks. If you must have a paper copy, visit the thrift store to give old books another life.

The less we consume the less we waste. You don’t have to aim for a perfect, zero-waste lifestyle. Every little bit of trash that is diverted counts. So the next time the waiter asks if you need a straw, just say “No thanks.”

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