Between the harvest season and the holidays, we have a chance to pause before winter and a busy season. Take this time to consider the impact your daily routines have on your individual health – and the impact they have on the environment.
So just exactly why is sustainability important? We’ve witnessed some pretty intense news about the rate of climate change lately: It’s up to our generation to to turn things around, and the time to do it is now. If we don’t, we’ll feel it in our lifetime. The long-lasting changes the world needs can start on an individual level, and each person has the power to set an example in their community. Ours, the cannabis community, has so much power to create change. We see it increase everyday. The people who understand just how powerful the plant kingdom is have an opportunity now to show others that life is better when it revolves around respect for the natural world.
Take responsibility for the example you set, and make sure your impact on the earth and your community is a positive one. Here are 8 ways to do it.
Get on the meatless Monday train. Or, if that seems like no sweat, challenge yourself to a meatless month. Or longer. According to a report released earlier this year, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way we can reduce our impact on the planet.
Green your cycle. Almost 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are poured into North American landfills yearly. That’s roughly 10 times the reusable coffee cups we throw out yearly. As waste piles up in our country, those who menstruate can make one shift that could yield a big impact. Companies like Natracare and Organyc make organic cotton, biodegradable pads and tampons that make a shift easy. Or, consider a reusable silicone cup like DivaCup, which will last you up to 10 years.
Switch to natural cleaning products. Spare your home the chemicals like ammonia and bleach. Toss those possibly-ancient cleaning products under your sink and sub in with baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice, which make super-effective natural cleansers that, used by themselves or together, can clean your entire place. Use them on surfaces like bathtubs or stove tops, on floors, down drains, etc. Your home will feel and smell fresher for it.
Buy hemp. Hemp is the new cotton (ideally.) It grows in abundance, needs less water to grow than cotton or canvas, and can thrive in all kinds of climates. It’s also 100% biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. Consider hemp when you shop for clothes and accessories. (We suggest grabbing a shirt from our collab with Jungmaven and checking out more from this incredible company!)
Navigate your way around over-packaging. It’s really, really easy to accumulate a lot of waste from groceries alone (think about all the individually wrapped food items that then get put into a bag or box!) and it takes some pre-shopping prep to navigate around it. Shop with intention and bring a shopping bag, and where you can, buy in bulk with reusable containers.
Fly only when you need to. November can be a big travel month, and flying is notoriously hard on the environment. According to The New York Times, “a round-trip flight between New York and California [generates] about 20% of the greenhouse gases that your car emits over an entire year.” Try to take non-stop flights (planes use more fuel when they take off), and, if you can swing alternate means of transportation, do it. Obviously travel is a major part of a lot of people’s bucket lists, but make it so! Splurge on travel with intention.
Prepare for the holidays consciously. From trees to gifts to food waste, there are so many ways to go overboard with packaging around the holidays. Change how you prep: Buy recycled wrapping paper, or use newspaper to wrap gifts, dad-style. When it comes to trees, most artificial ones are non-biodegradable, so they’ll sit in a landfill for years. Get a local one, or decorate an outdoor tree, if you can deal without a tree in your place. Regift some of the trinkets you accumulate over the holidays. Give cookies in reusable jars. Empower your giftees to reduce their carbon footprint, too.
Vote. We still have a chance to clean up the earth and make it better for us and our generation’s kids. If climate change is important to you, then support the political parties that put the environment at the top of their policies. You have power! Use it!