50 things to do to help save the planetCategories Ecology, La Reunion
Easy ways to save the planet Earth… maybe you’re asking yourself why travel bloggers write an article about environment? And why not? If you follow us on Facebook you certainly saw that we try to tell important message everytime we can.
Preserve nature, favor local / handmade / and reused products, donate blood, stop single-use plastic …
It’s not because we write about travel that we can’t also promote some values very important for us, and that deserve to be seen / read by more and more people. It sounds familiar? Well, good… more people will talk about it, better this info will be listened!
Things to do to help save the planet
50 easy ways to protect our environment everyday.
Today, 1 year after we came back from our road trip in a van in Europe (almost 2 years on the road) … we took on new habits and we are trying every day to do better. Romain and I have always been nature lovers and have long been aware of our impact!
We still have a lot to do to improve our way of life, but we already write to share our experience and our things to do to help save the planet. Good tips to consume less, consume better and even save some money while preserving our environment!
Some of these things to do to help save the planet will certainly looks logical for some of you (and that’s good). But everybody is not at the same level, so every small gesture is important.
- Easy things to do at home (electricity, second hand, water, waste…)
- Change our consumption, buy differently (learn how to consume better)
- Things to do and behaviour outside (nature, town, work, transport…)
Adopt easy things to do to help save the planet
1) Easy ways to do at home
There are many things you can do at home. Some are really easy, some others need to reorganise a little your everyday life. It sounds maybe difficult, but not at all. Once you try, it can become an habit.
1.1) Things to help save the planet, in général
- 1- Unplug your devices! Even if a device is in standby, it continues to consume. The ADEME (environment and energy management agency) estimates that our standby devices (phone charger, TV, kettle, microwave …) represent around 80 € of expenditure per year (fridge not included). Just for info: an internet box lit 24 hours a day spends as much as a fridge.
- 2- Don’t forget to turn off the light (LEDs, it’s even better!!) and don’t open your fridge for nothing!
- 3- Air conditioning and / or heating… only when it is really necessary. And when you turn them on, close all your doors and windows well so as not to lose temperature.
- 4- Put a lid on your pan to boil water.
– Internet pollution
It is known more and more, but if you ignored it, internet pollutes (see the video on internet pollution, in french)! Each click, download, streaming, consumes energy because those data are real and are stored on real servers (large computers) somewhere in the world.
- 5- If you can’t reduce your consumption, try at least to delete your emails often,
- 6- and try not to stock to many things on the cloud.
- 7- Also, unsuscribe to those dozen of newsletters you never read! I tried Cleanfox it’s very helpful and quick. Result: I unsuscribed 43 newsletters !
- 8- You can even have a positive impact while using internet… yes really! Using “Ecosia” search engine instead of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari… I had allready tried it in 2011 but it wasn’t very accurate, I did it again and since 1 year now we use it!
– Second hand
- 9- Repair. Try to repair your stuff before you replace them.
- 10- Second hand. Buy as little as possible new things and prefer recuperation, second hand… for furniture, clothes… Think: Marketplace (on facebook), word of mouth between friends, neighbors, family…!
- 11- Sell or give. Likewise, before throwing away your things, consider reselling or giving away what can be. It takes more time but it can make a small money and happy people! For example, we put a printer in very good condition (which lights up very well but no longer prints) to give on the Marketplace. Someone more resourceful than us was happy to recover it for repair rather than buying a new one.
- 12- Wrapped gifts! This Christmas was a 1st in my family. Without consulting, many of us didn’t use wrapping paper. We have: either used old papers from last Christmas / birthday, or used paper from magazines and newspapers (pretty pages eh… not the death section), or even wrapped in a pretty fabric (in fabric : see the different Furushiki techniques on this video)!
– Advertizing, leaflet
- 13- Stop Pub. If when you open your mailbox, all the catalogs end up directly in the paper bin (which is already better than nothing!), Do not hesitate to place a “Stop pub” sticker. That’s about 30 to 40 kg of paper saved per household per year! Ask your town hall or print a Stop Pub directly at home!
1.2) In the bathroom / WC
This is essentially to reduce your water consumption … but not only! Knowing that it is indeed drinking water here … that we waste so easily when not everyone has access to it! Here are some ideas, things to do to help save the planet and to use less water every day.
- 14- Less flush the toilet! Yes, whether you live alone, as a couple or as a family, you don’t have to flush after every pee. We’ve been doing this for over 10 years and even when I was young I was already doing it with my roommate, it didn’t kill anyone! And well known too: pee in the shower.
- 15- Less water. If like us, you have no “small/big” flush, put a full 1.5 bottle in your WC tank. It will be 1.5L less wasted per flush!
- 16- Less or no bath. If you like bath, try not to take them to often. Flowers, candles, handmade bathbomb… less often, but appreciate it. And try to do everything: wash your hair, shave… to save water on next shower!
- 17- 4 mins for shower. For those who take shower… avoid to let the water on when you use soap or wash your hair… try to let the water on, only 3,4 mins per shower max!
- 18- Use a glass. You already turn off when you brush your teeth? Great! But we learned during our roadtrip in van (only 25L of water for 2 persons for 2, 3 days…) that we use much less water using a glass to rince our mouth than using the tap!
- 19- Rain water. If you can, collect rainwater to water you plants!
1.3) Kitchen / cleaning and wastes
– Recycle your wastes:
- 20- Recycle you wastes! Yellow, white or green bins… Recycling glass, paper, pastic and organic wastes seems to be usual for many. But be well informed… we often see paper and carton of milk in the right bin… but in a plastic bag! It’s too bad! Try to contact you town hall and ask how to recycle well in your region.
- 21- Recycle special wastes. Don’t forget to also recycle special items (bulbs, mobiles phones, batteries, fridge, car battery …), they are very harmful for the environment!
- 22- Think about compost… personally, we haven’t tried it yet but we plan to order one soon with our region (it’s free) to better recycle and reduce our garbage cans. We will add our impressions, I promise!
– Reduce your wastes:
Less wastes. Recycle is good! But the best is to limit and reduce your wastes! Indeed, even if recycle is a good first step, but having less waste is even better! You can ask yourself how…and it can sounds complicated but it’s not! It’s just a matter of habits! We need to rethink the way you buy your products:
- 23- Buy loose products! Everytime you can, prefer loose products when you can take your own content.
- 24- Buy products without (or with less) wrapping. Ex:
- 25- Toothpaste with no carton, ham or meat by weight…
- 26- You need only 1 pepper / eggplant cucumber ? Stick the price tag on the vegetable directly, do not use a bag for it!
- 27- Stop coffee maker with coffee pods! Use a plunger coffee pot or italian coffee maker…no pod, no filter, no waste… and you can keep the coffee grounds for skin exfoliation!
- 28- Don’t buy plastic water bottle. There are filters to place on your tap or filter jugs (like Brita). It will save tones of plastic and make some economy!
- There are many other tips, so open your eyes when you go shopping to buy better and reduce your impact on the planet Earth!
Reduce your wastes…. it’s depend on what you buy, but also what you don’t buy!
- 29- Do it yourself: do things yourself will really limit wrapping, reduce your costs and also let you know what you really eat or use! Cool, isn’t it?
- 30- Food. We avoid ready-prepared dish or over wrappred products. We cook: jam, compote, yogurt, pie pastry, pasta, cakes… when we buy food, we try to buy products with less wrapping or with a glass content (we reuse it for our preparations). Cooking takes time but it’s better and cheaper. And you can cook in big proportion and freeze many baskets for later!
- 31- Housework. We make our detergent, floor cleaner, dish soap... It’s quick, easy, economic and better for environment (a lot of products sold in supermarkets are not eco-aware). We kept our old contents to refill them with our preparations.
- 32- Hygienic products. We make deodorant, toothpaste, buy solid soap and shampoo, bambou toothbrush. We avoid plastic! And since 9 months now I use period panties. I watched a lot of videos on youtube before trying, and now I use only that (exept for swimming pool and beach).
Those things to do to help save the planet look complicated?
Don’t panic, we didn’t invent anything! For cooking, we found the recipes on internet. And for hygenic and cleaning products, we tested some recipes from our friends or also from internet. And when it’s the good one, we keep the recipe and it becomes an habit. If you need it, we can give you the ones we use (or we’ll write an article to sum up all the recipes we use).
Decline, reduce, reuse, recycle and compost!
2) Change our consumption, buy differently!
Consume better it’s also learning that you can’t always pay less but have to change your consumption!
- 33- Buy Labels. Buy products better for the environment. If you don’t make them yourself, buy products more ecological. Look for ecological certified lables.
- Buy products with less wrapping (see previous chapter about wastes).
- 34- Buy local. Indeed, when it’s possible, chose products from your region. You’ll help your local economy and avoid a lot of no eco-friendly transports.
- 35- Consume products of the season! Avoid to eat tomatoes, zucchini, pepper…all yeat. Eat seasonal products is often cheaper and have better taste. If you can, buy in local markets (> Some local markets in Reunion Island).
Test new things is nice
- 36- Learn new recipes! With seasonal products and less meat. To consume better and reduce your impact on the environment. For example, try to eat less meat but better quality, with more vegetables, with less carbon impact and better for health… Be inspired by other cultures… we’ll discover new flavours and it’ll change your everyday meal!
- 37- Buy better quality products. Regarding food but also furnitures, electrical goods, clothes… think about the price quality ratio before you buy. On a short term, buying cheaper is good for your bank acount! But on a long term, often first price products will consume more electricity (you’ll see it on your electricity bill), won’t last as long as better one (so you’ll have to buy again)… It’s better to buy less but better!
- 38- Choose responsible brands. Which pay attention to their environmental impact but also to the well-being of their employees …
In short, you have to begin somewhere and not think that you have to change everything in 10 days. Or it will looks too hard! Every time one new eco-gesture become an habit, add a new objective and new things to do to help the planet!
3) Things to do and behaviour outside
3.1) Less wastes outside!
- 39- Decline plastic bags everywhere (in a shop, at the pharmacy…).
- 40- Reusable bags. And always have reusable bags with you!
- 41- Reusable content. Try to ask to your regular caterers if you can bring your own content. For ex, in Reunion Island, some snacks have a Zero Waste sticker (“Amèn out barket“) when then accept other contents.
- 42- Use a flask when you’re outside!
- 43- No straws. In bars, restaurants, decline plastic straws and other single-use plastic items!
- 44- When you go to a pic-nic, bring your own plate, glass… It’s nicer than plastic one and it’ll save a lot of wastes!
- 45- At work, bring a mug. To drink your coffee / tea. At least 1 or 2 tumblers less per day!
- 46- Don’t trow away. In nature, BUT also in town: wrappings, cigarette butts or anything else…
- 47- Pick up. …and if you want to go further, when you go outside, you can even pick a fex rubbishes. We are not saying “cleaning a beach every day”. But if everbody was picking even 1 trash per day… there would be MUCH LESS wrappings, cigarettes, plastic bags that end in the nature for dozen or even hundreds years. Polluting, killing flora AND fauna and ruining the landscape!
3.2) Eco-gestures about transports
- 48- On foot or cycling. For small rides and everytime you can, try to walk or use a bicycle. It’s better for the planet, for your wallet, and for your health!
- 49- Use common transports! After walking and cycling, public transports is the best way to move. Pesonally, for long rides, we use mostly our car… but:
- As we work at home, we decided to have only 1 car for 2. It’s not always easy when you use to be totally autonomous. When one of us has a appointment and the other needs to go somewhere… the less important ride take public transport! We always find a way. So the question is do you really need to have a personal car? If not, in addition to the ecological aspect, it’s a big economy (annual car service, insurance…).
- Combine rides. When we have to do several things (buy something, visit someone…), we wait to do everything the same day to avoid multiply extra trips!
- 50- Carsharing. You really need your car… ok. But maybe you can see with your colleagues to organize carsharing. Drinving every two days, or two weeks…? It reduce drives, costs, and when you’re with some people, you have to leave work on time! I did it more than 6 months in my last job… I just regret it wasn’t sooner!
And you, what are the things you do to help save the planet?
Ok, I’m not sure that there is everything… but it’s already “a lot of things to do to help save the planet” we do at home to reduce our impact and preserve our environment. There are maybe small eco-gestures, and there are certainly a lot of others… but if everbody tries his best, it could do a difference!
Do not hesitate to write us if you liked our article or if you have other ways to protect our planet we could add here! On our side, we’ll update it everytime we have new things to do to help save the planet!
We hope, that’ll motivate some of you to make some changes in their daily life!
> Do not hesitate to share this article around you! The more we are to adopt these little things to do to help save the planet, the most efficient it will be!