While hurricane Drumpf continues to wreak political havoc south of the 49th, the rest of the world continues to face an increase in natural hurricanes. And unfortunately, no amount of Canadian goodwill leaves us immune to either storms’ damage. Case in point, the newly elected premier of Ontario still lacks a plan to address climate change in the face of quantifiable truth – 166mm of rain is projected to fall everyday in Toronto by 2050.
You’d think that these political leaders would be avid supporters of environmental protection, considering the power to conserve resources and address climate change is literally in our hands (and we know how much his little hands love to hold power). For the rest of us, that power can actually be exerted at the simplest of times, like during your morning routine. And no, it doesn’t mean putting on a super suit instead of your daily three piece, Clark Kent. Below, we break down five simple ways that you too, can contribute to a better future every morning.
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1. Nothing wakes me up in the morn’ like a cold shower. But as Cape Town, South Africa has proven this year, cold showers could soon be a thing of the past. We are literally living out an apocalyptic storyline as Cape Town declares itself the first city in the world to be on the verge of running out of water. So how do we wake up to this reality? Well, an average shower uses about 5 gallons of water per minute. If you shorten your shower by 2 minutes, you can cut your water use by 10 gallons. That’s 10 gallons of water that no longer needs to be treated while reducing the carbon emissions required to pump out water for use. En bref, cut short your shower performances and save that singing time for an actual stage.
2. So, once you’ve washed, it’s time to lather on the product right? There’s another opportunity to save the world (and not just by looking your best). While recent legislation banning microbeads makes it easier to implement, try to avoid personal care products that use microplastics. They may be small, but microplastics are major for our environment and our health. They easily slip down the drain and into our water systems to contribute to floating rafts of plastic waste twice the size of France in the Pacific. These tiny plastics absorb other toxins in the water (for which you can also thank your shampoo), are ingested by marine animals and resurface on your dinner plates. Karma with a capital k.
3. Now that you’re clean and ready to throw on some clothes, you might find that some of your closet’s fashion crimes are also complicit in crimes against the earth. Last year, three hundred thousand tonnes of clothing in the UK was sent to landfill sites. So, instead of heading to your nearest fast fashion retailer to expand an already maxed-out wardrobe, try vintage shops, eBay, or any of the hundreds of ways to find great second-hand clothing. It’ll reduce your environmental impact and make you a sure shot at exuding unique style.
4. Beside the fit of your sartorial choices, it might also be worth considering their make. That pile of waste in landfills will definitely outlast your time on earth if it consists of artificial fabrics that don’t biodegrade. Environmentally friendly options to opt for while shopping are items cut from fabrics like wool, silk, cotton, and linen. Synthetic fibers created in labs, like polyester and nylon, involve petroleum and other chemicals in their production. Essentially a plastic, these items will then shed microfibres when washed. And worse for you, they limit the circulation of air around your body, leaving sweat stains a plenty. But not all newfangled productions are felons. Organic materials and viscose are both Vogue approved and great alternatives for an easily biodegradable and fashion forward fabric.
5. Into the final stages of your morning routine: it’s time for breakfast, the most important meal of the day. And that’s not just true for your health, that meal impacts climate change too. Reducing the amount of meats in your breakfast can reduce the amount of emissions produced to create your meal. Emissions related to food production (gasses like water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane) are said to account for half of the world’s available carbon budget. The increased presence of these gasses in the atmosphere allows the air around us to hold more heat. So, by cutting down meat consumption to within accepted health guidelines your breakfast alone can make a dent in climate change, reducing emissions by nearly two thirds. Now that’s an easy tip to digest.
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As simple as these may sound to implement in your daily routine, there’s definitely a degree of planning and commitment involved in it. And that can be daunting. Especially when we put our actions into perspective in the grand scheme of 7 billion people’s workings on this earth. But, know that your actions, regardless of how small, will have an impact on our one and only earth. No snowflake ever feels that it’s responsible for starting an avalanche.
Well, that’s if there are any snowflakes left post climate change anyways…