Earth Day was first celebrated in the United States on April 22, 1970. While we at Nutrex Hawaii do our best to make a greener difference every day on our beautiful island of Hawai’i, we encourage everyone to do their best in following these simple tips to do your part in living a more environmentally friendly life. A little goes a long way when it comes to being green.
Shop at Farmer’s Markets – Shopping local at farmer’s markets is one of the easiest ways to make a green impact on the environment. Local produce is usually fresher and can be more nutritious and tasty, but is also gentler on the environment and reduces carbon emissions, as it doesn’t need to be transported long distances, which in some cases can be thousands of miles (especially if you’re on islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – Hawaii!). Plus, you’ll be supporting local farmers when you shop at local farmer’s markets which is a great way to keep local dollars circulating within your community.
Turn the Faucet Off – Many of us may take water coming out of the tap for granted, but it doesn’t mean that we should waste it. Did you know that by turning the faucet off when brushing your teeth, it saves 8 gallons of water per day? This adds up to nearly 250 gallons per month in water savings, just from this simple change when brushing your teeth. Be sure to fix any leaks – a slow drip from a leaky faucet wastes even more water per day at around 20 gallons while a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day! When taking a shower, aim for 5 minutes or less – or at least turn the water off when shampooing or shaving.
Eat Completely-Plant Based At Least One Day A Week – Animal agricultural has some major negative impacts on the environment ranging from extreme water usage, deforestation, waste runoff to increased methane gas in the atmosphere. While something like “Meatless Monday” may sound foreign to some, it can be an easy change. Breakfast is the easiest meal of the day to go plant-based – try oatmeal with fruit or a slice of toast with a nut butter. For lunch and dinner, many pasta dishes can be made without meat or dairy. Switch up meat for bean and lentil alternatives. By avoiding meat for just one day a week, not only are you helping the environment, but you are also making an impact on your own health. Involving the entire family with these types of meal prep is a great example to set for future generations to come. The long-term goal is to adopt a more plant-rich lifestyle for long term sustainability of our environment.
Plant a Garden – Soil health is a very critical component to supporting our environment. Regenerative farming practices to create healthy soil is a powerful way to sequester carbon in the atmosphere. We can start at home by planting edible plants, whether that be in your yard, on your patio, or in a pot near a sunny window in your house. Don’t toss your kitchen scraps and rotting food – instead, learn to compost this waste to create rich soil. Food scraps that go to the landfill don’t get enough air and end up producing methane gas (an environmental polluter) in the process. Most importantly, don’t use chemical herbicides or pesticides to manage insect control in your garden. Natural alternatives such as spraying soapy water or neem oil are effective.
Pick Up Trash – Studies show that we should be aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day and a fantastic way to get your 30 minutes in is a walk around your neighborhood or town. Why not double team the effort and pick up trash while you’re at it? If possible, organize or participate in a clean-up in your town to help greenify open spaces such as parks or beaches.
Minimize Plastic Use – Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill. It can be hard to really wrap your head around how long that is, but that plastic water bottle that was tossed in the trash yesterday could still be in the landfill up to 10 generations later. When thinking of the amount of plastic the whole world uses, that’s a lot of plastic in our landfills as well as oceans. But we can each do a small part to decrease plastic use:
- Bring reusable shopping bags to the store. Some states, including Hawaii, have banned plastic bags from being given out at stores, so bring your own reusable ones from home.
- Fill up water bottles at home or from drinking fountains. There are so many great reusable water bottles on the market these days that can keep liquids hot or cold for how, so refill these up with drinking water from home instead of buying bottled water at the store.
- Say no to straws – this is a big one these days in many restaurants, but every little bit helps. Take this a step further by bringing your own straws and coffee mugs when you go to your favorite coffee shop.
- Shop the bulk bins in the grocery store. This can reduce packaging.
- Pack lunches from home in reusable containers or use reusable food wraps like beeswax wraps.
- Buy less plastic overall and instead shop for reusable materials such as glass or wood.
Turn Off Lights, Unplug, & Drive Less – Turning off the lights when you leave a room is a very simple energy saving tip that anyone can do. But did you know that even if you aren’t currently using some of your household appliances, they are still drawing electricity? Unplug appliances that you aren’t using, or at least plug them into a power strip that you can turn off. Your hot water heater using large amounts of energy therefore, some homeowner choose to install a solar or on-demand water heater, when possible. Or, set your hot water heater to turn on only for a few hours a day when you most use hot water.
Thinking outside your home for energy conservation, try driving less. If possible, walk or bike to your destination or take public transportation. If none of these options are available, plan out your trips so you can get to your errands done in one trip versus driving back and forth around town multiple times.
Vote With Your Dollar – Consumers have a lot more power than they think when it comes to sending a message to the market – it’s all about supply and demand. The more consumers support environmentally conscious companies, causes types of companies to thrive and motivate other companies to get on board with sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Taking the time to learn the company’s story rather than impulse purchasing will help you make better informed choices about the products you purchase and the companies you support. To learn more about some of Nutrex Hawaii’s environmental sustainability practices, read here: https://www.nutrex-hawaii.com/pages/environmental-responsibility
These tips are just a few changes that each and every one can adopt and practice. We all can make a difference, one small change at a time.