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Health Coach Quinn » 8 Sustainability Tips for the Urban Dweller from ALOHA

8 Sustainability Tips for the Urban Dweller from ALOHA

On October 27, 2015

How do we, as conscious citizens, reconcile the fact that we live in fast-paced urban environments that produce a lot of waste (visible and invisible) with the fact that we’re madly in love with our planet and want to protect it?  Small steps.  Every day.  Because little actions will add up and ultimately create a big difference.

I was recently asked by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to submit an article to ALOHA Magazine about my top Sustainability Tips for Urban Dwellers and I’m very excited to share my tip of the iceberg tips with you below.

 


 

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Your daily actions have an impact on the fate of our planet. Sound dramatic? It’s not. As global citizens, it’s our duty to honor our home (planet Earth) and keep her healthy by taking conscious action in our daily lives. Sustainability is the practice of keeping the status quo, rather than continuing down the path of increased harm to the planet. This doesn’t have to mean buying solar panels, an electric car, or only riding a bike. You can help to create a sustainable future—scratch that, resilient one—by reframing a few of the things you do your daily life.

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1. Compost & use food scraps. Most large cities have some sort of compost pick-up service, and many smaller cities have entrepreneurial businesses where people will pick up your food scraps and in return deliver some health compost. At the very least, you can bring your food waste to the farmers market for it to be composted. I recommend getting a designated compost bin and keeping it in your fridge to attracting fruit flies.

2. Go paperless. Cut down on paper consumption by using rags instead of paper towels, paying bills online, updating your magazine and newspaper subscriptions to be digital, and reusing the paper that comes into your home instead of plopping everything into recycling. You can use it as scrap paper, wrapping paper, or fire kindling in the winter.

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Click for 7 simple Homemade Vinegar Cleaning Recipes

3. Make your own cleaning products. Instead of buying a plethora of plastic bottles filled with harmful chemicals, you can easily make your own non-toxic products. The main ingredients you’ll need are water, vinegar, castile soap, borax, and baking soda. These five things in different combinations make all sorts of household cleaners. Combine 1/4 cup vinegar + 2 tablespoons baking soda + 1 liter water for great all-purpose cleaner. (Tip: Soak lemon peels in the vinegar to get a lemon fresh scent.) Instead of buying more stuff, consider clever ways to reuse what you already have. Take-out containers and plastic packages can be Tupperware. Old towels and sheets can be rags. Shopping bags can be garbage bags. Think about what materials are coming into your home and how they can be reused in practical, regenerative ways.

4. Conserve water. There are millions of people on earth who do not have enough clean drinking water, and about 22 percent of the United States is effected by drought every year. Make a point of turning off the water when you’re not using it. When doing dishes, fill a small basin with water, instead of keeping on a steady stream. If there’s extra water in a cup, water your plant instead of throwing it down the drain. And of course, if it’s yellow, let it mellow. Water is a precious resource, use it wisely.

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5. Cut down on packaging waste. Bring your own insulated coffee cup to Starbucks. Get a glass water bottle instead of always buying plastic. Keep a small reusable shopping bag in your tote instead of getting plastic bags. Shop in the bulk aisle (and reuse those plastic bags) instead of buying overly packaged items. Take stock of all the things that are going into your garbage and recycling, and think critically about how you can cut down on creating all that waste.

6. Reuse what you have. Your daily actions have an impact on the fate of our planet. Sound dramatic? It’s not. As global citizens it’s our duty to honor our home (planet Earth) and keep her healthy by taking conscious action in our daily lives. Sustainability is the practice of keeping the status quo, rather than continuing down the path of increased harm to the planet. This doesn’t have to mean buying solar panels, an electric car, or only riding a bike. You can help to create a sustainable future—scratch that, resilient one—by reframing a few of the things you do your daily life.

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7. Buy local. This not only supports local businesses but also cuts down on packaging waste and the carbon footprint that comes from shipping goods across the country or globe. If it can be found locally, make an effort to support local businesses in order to fortify your community and local economy.

8. Take care of your own health. Grow your own food in an organic container garden near your home, or join a CSA to support local farmers. Walk or ride your bike instead of getting in the car if your destination is less than a mile away. Eating local, organically grown produce and getting exercise will not only contribute to your personal health, but also the health of the planet. A major win-win!


QUESTION

What are two or three things from this list that seem easy to implement? Start making a few minor shifts today to boost your own health, fortify the health of the planet, and create a strong, sustainable future.

Share how you’re going to get started in the comments below! 


 

 

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