1. Ditch the straw
We all love to sip on a summer cocktail now and then, or maybe a fresh juice with Sunday brunch. Straws may seem pretty innocuous, but as a single-use plastic they can’t biodegrade – only break down into microplastics, which are incredibly harmful for marine life. Each year, a whopping 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals sadly die from ingesting plastic. Yeah, my heart just broke a little too.
If you must sip with a straw, swap out the plastic for a kitschy paper one, or if you’re feeling particularly fancy check out a reusable bamboo or stainless steel straw for the ultimate fashion statement – this crazy one from Tiffany’s might be for the more extravagant among us.
2. Hang out on FreeRice.com
Some people watch Netflix when they’re bored, some people scroll social media mindlessly. Most people, however, feel the guilt of non-productivity after doing either of the two. Spending time on FreeRice.com is far more likely to have you feeling accomplished and motivated.
FreeRice.com donates 10 grains of rice per question you answer correctly on their website, working via the World Food Programme to help end world hunger. Take quizzes in just about any subject you can imagine, from Languages to Chemistry to Geography, and enjoy the smug realization that just by improving your own general knowledge you’re able to give back to those who need it. If you’re an animal lover, check out FreeKibble.com while you’re at it to send some snacks to hungry critters.
3. Get yourself a KeepCup and keep-up
You mean you don’t have a KeepCup yet?! Where have you been, honey?! As well as being the #hashtag trendiest coffee cup to be seen with in-hand, bringing a KeepCup to work or school and using it for your endless caffeine refuels will contribute to the over 4 million disposable cups removed from circulation this year, thanks to KeepCup users.
Oh, and grab a classy glass one if you can – everyone knows that coffee tastes better out of a glass cup than paper or plastic, and hey, you deserve it.
4. Put your money where your mouth is
Next time you’re at the supermarket, consider buying Fairtrade products wherever possible. Often we don’t think twice about the implications our grocery lists or shopping sprees can have on the environment, but focusing on minimal-waste products from companies who have gone the extra mile to do their part can collectively make a huge impact.
For example, Fairtrade chocolate guarantees minimum prices for cocoa farms and works to prevent farmers and their families succumbing to poverty. As if you needed an excuse to get yourself some choccy!
5. Don’t let the world intimidate you from doing good
It’s true that embracing an eco-friendly lifestyle can be intimidating; it can be overwhelming how many different ways there are to give back, and it often results in that guilty feeling that we’re not doing enough.
But the worst thing you can do is let that convince you to give up – whether you’re a full-time vegan activist who volunteers in their spare time, or someone who is slowly switching over their habits to more sustainable options, positive change is positive change. And only you can affect it.
Want to volunteer your skills, right from the comfort of your own home?