Isn’t our planet amazing? From the biological processes of life to the vast amounts of natural wonders to the adorable animals we share the world with, our planet is absolutely mind-blowing. As a traveler, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience some of these processes/wonders/animals first hand. However, I’ve also witnessed some devastating events first hand, as well. It doesn’t take a scientist to notice that climate change is real. Record high temperatures have plagued much of the world this winter. Glaciers around the world are melting at unprecedented rates. More and more animal species are being put on the endangered species list. There are masses of rubbish floating in our oceans. Diseases, droughts, and famine are rampant. And, yes, while climate change can be a natural phenomenon, many people argue that this particular change is being exacerbated by the habits of humans. Humans who put comfort or greed in front of the environment. Humans who live an almost anti eco-friendly lifestyle, either by choice or ignorance.
I was ignorant. I was the human who lived an anti eco-friendly lifestyle. I didn’t do it on purpose; I just didn’t realize the extent of the damage being done to our planet. I did my part to recycle and reduce my energy consumption, of course, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough. When Sam and I founded The Manini Experience, we vowed to create a company focused on eco-friendly and sustainable travel. Through our company’s research, I was enlightened to the state of our planet. And, while realizing the devastation makes one feel utterly helpless and pessimistic, it’s also inspiring. It inspired me to reevaluate my life and my actions. It inspired me to change. And, it inspired me to help others make the change to an eco-friendly lifestyle, as well.
So, here are my vows for living an eco-friendly lifestyle and for improving the quality of life of our planet.
I Vow to Live a Vegetarian Lifestyle
When people ask me why I recently made the switch to vegetarianism, I answer with two points. First, the animal industry is cruel. Unless you’re buying from a local farm, it’s likely that the animal you’re eating was treated very poorly and died in an inhumane way.
Second, the mass production of animals, or intensive farming, takes a heavy toll on the environment. This production contributes to increased green house gases, water pollution, soil pollution, and more.
While I’m still struggling with the veggie-lifestyle (and admittedly succumb to the temptations of a delicious cheeseburger every once in awhile), I’m confident my bod and my planet will thank me for the reduced meat diet.
I Vow to Limit my Use of Plastic
There are currently 5.2 trillion bits of plastic in our oceans. To put that into perspective, that’s over 52 times the amount of stars in the Milky Way.
One of the greatest threats to our planet is plastic. Take a second to look around you. How many things within eyesight are made of plastic? Now, guess what happens when you no longer need that plastic thing? Even if you throw it in the recycling bin, there’s a pretty big chance that instead of being reincarnated into a beautiful plastic piece, it’ll end up in a waterway and eventually into our oceans.
Here are some areas in which I’ve cut my plastic usage:
- I’m using bar shampoo and soap, rather than buying plastic bottles full of shampoo/soap.
- I carry a metal water bottle with me 24/7.
- I have a mountain of cloth grocery and produce bags.
- I “just say no” to straws and ziplock bags.
- I take my own glass containers for the grocery to buy things like deli cheese/meats (my fiancé is still a carnivore…for now 😉 ) and bulk items.
I’m obsessed with the online store, Life Without Plastic. I literally have 57 items on my wishlist. Check it out for alternative solutions for commonly used plastic items.
Oh and, in case you need a visual for how awful the plastic epidemic is, check out this horrifying video.
The ocean is turning into a dumpster
Did you know there are now 5.2 trillion bits of plastic in the sea? That's over 52 times as many stars in the Milky Way and that's becoming a big problem, especially in places like Indonesia. Read the full story: http://s.pri.org/VKqH5gBPosted by The World on Monday, December 12, 2016
I Vow to Reuse
I have a car full of reusable grocery bags and mesh produce bags. I carry a metal straw in my purse. I recently purchased a reusable coffee cup, a set of reusable travel silverware, and a reusable napkin. I’m buying bulk at the grocery, filling up mason jars with the things I need rather than buying boxes of food. I use rechargeable batteries. I have a collapsible container that I carry with me in case I have leftovers at a restaurant. I even have cloth ziplock bags that can be put in the dishwasher.
By eliminating waste and reusing as much as possible, I’m saving the planet and my wallet!
I Vow to Use Natural Products
I’m channeling my inner hippie and using what little free time I have to make my own soaps, lotions, and cleaning products. I use natural and eco-friendly materials in order to prevent polluting waterways and soil. And, bonus, I get to tap into my love of chemistry while experimenting with all these different products and oils!
I Vow to Cycle
I bought a bike! While my lady parts might be screaming at me (TMI, I know), the planet is thanking me. I can ride my bike to work, to the store, or to happy hour. And, when I can’t ride it home, my local bus system has bike racks on the front 🙂
I Vow to Clean Up
One of my biggest pet peeves is littering. I’ll never understand why people litter. Why would anyone want to purposely hurt our planet? I DON’T GET IT!
Anyway, I will always take an extra second to pick up trash I see lying around. Not only do I want to make this planet beautiful again, I want to protect any animals in the area from ingesting or getting caught in our trash.
I Vow to Support Local
By supporting local farmers and merchants, I’m reducing the need for shipping, packaging, transit, etc. I’m also contributing to the growth of my local economy, which, although seemingly unrelated to the environment, is a really good thing.
I Vow to Spread the Good Word
It’s only through talking, writing, and sharing that people realize the affect we’re having on our planet. If it weren’t for amazing bloggers, YouTubers, and scientists, I wouldn’t know most of the stuff I know today and I definitely wouldn’t be living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. In an effort to pay that knowledge forward, I’ll constantly talk about and share my actions with others and encourage them to think critically about their own actions. Living in the midwest USA, this won’t be an easy task, but I’m definitely up for the challenge.
A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying our air and giving fresh strength to our people.Franklin D. Roosevelt
Maybe this post will make you think critically about your actions, maybe it’ll inspire change, but hopefully it’ll encourage you to take a look at your own environmental impact. What areas of your life are you willing to change for the betterment of our amazing, mind-blowing, incredible planet?
Need more inspiration? Be sure to check out Manini girl Sam’s vows to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, as well!
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