How to Avoid Enviro-Guilt

How to Avoid Enviro-Guilt

Sydney LaPine

It’s hard not to imagine a turtle and fill with guilt every time you accept a plastic straw.  Or every time you throw away five plastic baggies at lunch. How do you not imagine the starving polar bears struggling to balance on the little bit of ice that hasn’t melted every time you drive across town for some brown sugar poptarts? You make yourself feel better by buying a reusable straw (and then never using it) or by carpooling occasionally (when you’re feeling too lazy to drive yourself).  Or maybe your parents watched a Netflix documentary that one time and are insisting that everyone in the family goes vegan for a solid week (which personally made me feel much better about how friendly I am to the environment). Fun fact for your day:  livestock generates 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential of CO2, according to a UN study.  Meaning if everyone ate a little less meat, our global warming crisis could be unnamed a “crisis.” 

 

So without asking you to ride your bike absolutely everywhere, or to only use 100% cotton and reusable everything, here are a few easy ways to ease your conscience:

 

  1. Buy and USE a reusable water bottle.
  2. Take shorter showers.
  3. Use a bar of soap instead of body wash. Lush even makes bars of shampoo and conditioner!
  4. Cut your tubes open to avoid letting your products go to waste (there is always more toothpaste if you squeeze hard enough).
  5. Only buy a new product when the old one is gone – “one in, one out”.
  6. Bring your own fork from home, don’t use the plastic silverware.
  7. Try meatless-Mondays or Tuesdays, or Fridays.
  8. Opt for smaller plates of food or share something when you go out to eat-more room for dessert.
  9. Take a friend to school or have a friend take you to school.
  10. Make sure the lights are off before you leave your room, even if you’re just going upstairs for a snack.
  11. Only take one napkin at a time, don’t grab a handful, maybe you won’t be as messy as you think and throwing away a wad of napkins is a sure way to induce enviro-related guilt.
  12. You’ve heard it a million times before but plant a tree!
  13. Combine your errands in one trip.
  14. Only press “print” or use paper copies when absolutely necessary, we have computers for a reason.
  15. Support Eco friendly brands when your wallet allows it. (Patagonia, Lush, Toms, REI, Reformation)
  16. Buy clothes that will last a long time or try to mend them if they do rip.  Also thrift shopping!