Living Sustainably Tips!
Calculate your Ecological Footprint: www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/
Involved in this calculation: food consumption; energy and water consumption, transportation choices, consumption of goods (clothing, etc) and services (health care, entertainment); and waste generation.
- Drive less! Fly less! Figure out alternate modes – ideally a using a car should be a rare occasion; it’ll be a hard habit to shake, but you can do it!
- Walking or bicycling instead of driving places can rack up some great exercise – if you make this your common mode of getting around, you’ll feel healthier every day – guaranteed.
o Trader Joes: burn about 50 calories, The average car will create 1.072 lbs of C02 driving this route.
o Beach: (4 miles) burn over 300 calories. The average car will create 3.92 lbs of C02 driving this route.
o Get more of these estimates at: www.bikemetro.com
- Resources for Biking
o www.bikemetro.com gives you bicycle-specific directions including what inclines to expect, so you know what you’re getting into
o Google Maps now has Biking as an option for directions (although bikemetro.com is definitely better)
o UCLA Bicycle Coalition: if you want to get involved in local policy making
Food & Environmental Impact
Food has a huge environmental impact, because growing & producing foods involves huge amounts of energy, land, and water. Here’s how to lessen the environmental problems with the food you eat, not to mention all of these recommendations are synonymously healthier options.
- Eat less meat
o Graphs showing water, emissions, and calories / health problems are literally overlapping
- Choose organic foods whenever possible
- Choose local fruits and vegetables, avoid products from far-away countries
o Farmers’ Market in Westwood: just as close as Trader Joes, Ralphs and Whole Foods, so it’s completely convenient: every Thursday, 12 - 6pm on Broxton Avenue
Waste – reduce the amount you create
• Avg American generates 4lbs of solid trash per day
– avoid buying 1-use plastic water bottles – contributes to pollution, landfills, and is a waste of money
o Americans go through 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, only small % is recycled
o Bottled water is LESS regulated than tap water
– Reusable water bottles make you drink more water: better for your health! Drinking more water increases brain function, clear skin, weight management…
Reduce one-use bags:
- Always BYOB…Bring Your Own Bag, of course
- You always have a purse or tote on you, so why take another bag? You can also get bags that bunch up really small (ex. Chico bags, available at the UCLA bookstores) that can be in your purse at all times
- Reusable bags are inexpensive – just need to get in the habit of BYOBing whenever you’re going to the store
Don’t contribute to unnecessary waste
o In 2002, 4-5 trillion plastic bags were used globally
o Americans throw out 100 billion plastic bags per year (only about 0.6% is recycled)
• Find ways to conserve everyday! It’s easy
• Less AC & heating
• Turn off all appliances and electronics when not in use
• Less hot showers, shorter showers
• Change your laptop settings to “power-saving” or to power off after 15 minutes of no use
• Turn off lights
Cosmetics & Clothes -
There are significant health concerns with beauty products, such as toxic chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive health
- Must watch, explains it all: www.storyofstuff.org/cosmetics
- Find out which personal care & beauty products are worse & better: www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/
Clothing & accessories require great amounts of resources to produce. You don’t have to sacrifice fashion!
1. Nothing new: Challenge yourself to “buy nothing new” – make new purchases the exception
o Pre-loved fashion stores all around LA!
2. Share clothes – be deliberate about it; coordinate with your roommate or friends
3. Get creative: how else can you wear your clothing items? Mix and match clothes & accessories, so you increase variety in your wardrobe without buying more
Vote with your dollars
• Look for labels that indicate environmental and social responsibility, such as
• Fair Trade Certified (coffees, teas, chocolates)
• Rainforest Alliance Certified (coffees, teas, chocolates)
• Organic Certified (foods & drinks, clothing)
• Forest Stewardship Council (paper products)
• If we demand something from the market, companies change
- Be sure to vote. Consider each candidates stance on environmental issues and equity. Look at what propositions will create or their consequences.
Published: Friday, January 06, 2012