Simple ways you can make a difference today

Meatless Mondays

The decision to skip meat can be a difficult task, yet it is a necessary one.  If you are a carnivore at heart, the thought of being a vegetarian seems impossible.  However, instead of ditching the meat forever, consider meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday is a global movement where nations all around the world have founded initiatives encouraging thier citizens to skip meat once a week.  

By skipping meat once a week, you are making a healthy decision for your body, and for your planet. The amount of resources used to make one hamburger is shocking.  You can make a difference. Take the pledge, start meatless Monday in your home this week.

 

Check my blog for delicious Meatless Monday recipes every Monday.

Image and info courtesy of www.meatlessmonday.com
Reusable Shopping Bags
Say no to single use plastic water bottles

In the state of California alone, Californian's use 12 billion plastic bags each year and less the 5% are recycled.  This leaves the other 95% to end up in landfills and in our oceans. When plastic ends up in our oceans, it poses a great threat to marine life. Many sea animals mistakenly eat the plastic rubbish and many times, the result is death. (Source: LA Times) 

We can make a difference. Say no to plastic bags. The alternative is simple, reusable bags.  Reusable shopping bags are durable, convenient, and many can fit right in your purse or glove box. This simple change can reduce the amount of plastic found in our landfills, oceans and in our marine life.

Additionally, many pet owners use plastic bags to dispose of thier pets waste during walks or when cleaning the litterbox.  I have found an eco-friendly alternative, biodegradeable pet waste bags.  

Pogi-bags are a wonderulf option for your household and youru pet.  Choices can be found at the link below:

Pogi Bags

There is no question, single use plastic bottles are convenient, but what is the price we are paying for this convenience?  

Thirsty and on the go? The average person will purchase a beverage in a plastic container when away from the home and once the beverage has been consumed, it will be discarded in the trash can.

Here is some surprising information about single use water bottles:

  • Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. It is estimated that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. simply become "litter." 

       Source: ValleyWater.org

  • Recycling is only feasible in limited circumstances because only PET bottles can be recycled. All other bottles are discarded. Only 1 out of 5 bottles are sent to the recycle bin.

       Source: SunTimes

  • Landfills are overflowing with over 2 million tons of discarded water bottles.

       Source: idswater.org

  • It is estimated that actually 3 liters of water is used to package 1 liter of bottled water.

       Source: ValleyWater.org

What is the alternative?

Reusable beverage containers. These come in all shapes and sizes. Insulated for your coffee, diffusers to add fruit, filters for tap water, and more. It can be a challenge to remember your reusable cup, but when you think about the amount of waste you reduce from this one simple contribution, it is well worth the effort.

Preserve Water
Photo courtesy of 365 days of living green
Get into nature

If you want to help nature, the best thing you can do is make it part of your life.  Get out into nature, share it with your family. Studies show the best way to encourage children to care about preserving nature is to expose them to it.

This can include hiking, nature walks, visit your local park, zoo, or garden.  You can also make room for wildlife in your own backyard.  Regardless of the size of your backyard, you can invite nature into it.  Grow native flowers for pollinators, ​​create a habitat for your local wildife, or create a backyard with native plants. There are many wonderful ways to get active in nature.

Sharing nature through social media is a wonderful way to show others you care, and can help to inspire others. Be a voice for the wildlife in your area.  

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Citizen scientists is another great way to get involved. There are many local conservation groups and projects that you and your family can get involved with. From local restoration projects, to city wide data collection, there are countless ways to get involved.  Click here to find great opportunities in your area.

Whether you live in a drought proned area or a region that seems to have an abundance of water; water conservation is vital and there are many simple adjustments you can make in your household that will add up to thousands of gallons per year saved!  Below are a few great suggestions.  Use the comment section below to add more!​

  • Turn down water pressure when you don’t need it to come out of the faucet at full force.

  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge – then you will drink all the water you run, instead of letting some of it waste away down the drain each time you fill a glass.

  • Don’t allow water to run while you wash dishes by hand. Fill up one side of the sink to wash all the dishes and another to rinse them. You’ll save several gallons each time you practice this conservation technique.

  • Use just one glass every day for consuming water or other beverages. This will cut down on the number of glasses you have to use more water to wash.

  • Don’t run the water while you are brushing your teeth. Brush, then rinse with the faucet on.

  • If you drop ice cubes on the floor, don’t throw them away – put them in a houseplant to slowly water them as they melt.

  • Shortening your shower by just a minute or more can save up to 150 gallons of water a month. If you take showers that are less then five minutes, you will save as much as 5000 gallons of water per month.

  • Compost instead of using the garbage disposal.

  • If you have a leaky faucet, fix it. Water wasted in every second of the day can add up to five gallons a day.

  • Use native and drought tolerant plants in your garden.

  • Use mulch when planting new garden beds – it helps soil retain moisture so you don’t have to water as often.

  • When buying new appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and more, consider purchasing models that conserve water, not just electricity.

(Source: naturalsociety.com)


Have another great idea?  Have you tried any of the above ideas?  Leave a comment and share your commitment to the planet!

The Open Spaces Coalition is committed to bringing awareness of our wildlife, conservation challenges and environmental issues to residents of Los Angeles and beyond.

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Email:

openspacescoalition@gmail.com

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