12 SIMPLE STEPS

Footprint

Everywhere we go and everything we do has an impact on our planet. We call that our footprint. Rethinking what we eat, drink, wear, use on our bodies and how we commute and travel can all reduce the strain on our planet’s limited natural resources.

Action
Become informed about the true impact of your daily actions. Click here to measure your global footprint and develop ways you can reduce it.
Waste

Collectively, the United States produces around 254 million tons of waste annually – that could cover Texas, TWICE! While our trash is taken out, those discarded coffee cups, packages, and food waste never really goes ‘away,’ it’s only take out of sight and out of mind, encouraging us to continue consuming single-use items.

Action
>Pick one action each day for a week that you can shift to be zero waste. For example, try buying bulk instead of single serving packaged snacks, get acquainted with a reusable water bottle or travel mug. Check out this link for ideas.

 

Meatless Monday

This is exactly what is sounds like — dedicate one day a week to plant-based eating. The U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) attributes 14.5% of global emissions to the world’s livestock farms. Not to mention, reducing your meat consumption isn’t just good for the planet, it’s also great for your health because 80% of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for livestock! Hamburger with a side of oxytetracycline? Hmm… we’ll pass.

Action
There are loads of delicious protein alternatives that make it easier than ever to go meatless on Mondays (at least!) Start by try one of the many meatless recipes out there. How do you feel? Tell you friends!
Organic

Why organic? At the most basic level, organic means that a product was produced without harm to soil, water, air, humans and all species (like honeybees!)–– promoting ecological health and biodiversity. Buying certified organic also means you’re supporting farmers and businesses that are placing human and environmental health before profit.

Action
Replace one thing in your home or grocery list with its organic version – USDA certified organic. TIP: for organic produce, look for barcodes that start with the number nine (9).
Body

No governing body, not even the FDA, conducts pre-market safety testing on the ingredients in our personal care products. If you’re wondering how your conditioner promises silky hair and your deodorant pledges 18 hour staying power, the answer is those unregulated chemicals. Our skin absorbs 60% of EVERYTHING we put on it. We have to be our own judges of safety when it comes to what we put on our body. Opt for products that are free of toxic ingredients and hold themselves to higher standards than the FDA.

Action
Watch filmmaker Annie Leonard’s “Story of Cosmetics” and then use the Skin Deep Database (we should use the one in the challenge this year … not lovin skin deep) to see how the products in your morning routine measure up. Ready to make some swaps, here are our favorites.
Wellness

To take care of the planet, you must take care of yourself. Making wellness a part of your lifestyle helps to guarantee that you have the energy and stamina to be an effective and enduring changemaker.

Action
Go to a quiet place that you love, set your timer for 15 minutes, and spend as much of it as you can being present. Take some deep breaths, listen to the sounds around you, and push the thoughts of your day out of your mind for just 15 minutes. Now, how do you feel?
Outdoors

Outdoor adventure is endless and scalable to fit whatever mood, season  or location you are in. A great way to develop a deep love for our planet is to get outside and savor its beauty.

Action
Go for a walk, a hike, or do something outside in a place or setting that inspires you for an hour this week. Un plug, de stress!
Economics

The economy relies heavily on natural capital assets, yet all too often the economy is still seen as separate from the environment. There is also a common misconception that opting for green products is more expensive than conventional shopping. However, investing in zero waste reusable staples, shopping second hand and stocking up at the farmer’s market are actually much more affordable than their conventional counterparts.

Action
Take a few minutes to watch this video, featuring environmentalist and actor, Adrian Grenier, founder of #stopsucking.
Fair Trade

When you look at the products on your grocery shelves, there is little hint of their origin or the number of hands or resources used to get the food from the farm to your shopping cart. Have you ever stopped to think about how it was made,  by whom, and under what conditions? Many of the people who had a hand in getting your food to you are not paid a living wage, or working under safe conditions.

Action
Watch this video by the LA Times. Next, pick one conventional packaged product, maybe coffee, rice, or chocolate and seek out a Fair Trade certified alternative to incorporate in your shopping list.
Clean

Conventional cleaning products are laden with unhealthy chemicals. Cleaning may not be fun, but it’s even worse when the ingredients in your products leave harmful chemical residue in place of dirt and grime. You know it’s not safe to take a swig of that bright blue surface cleaner, but why are we okay to have it covering the space we come into contact with all day?!

Action
Start by swapping out one of your toxic cleaning products for one you make. Here are some key how to’s to get started with ingredients you might already have on hand!
Style

Your personal style is an expression of who you are, and your core values. Have you considered how your favorite fashion brands align with your social and political views? The $3 trillion fashion industry is the second most polluting, just behind oil. Did you know there are companies out there revolutionizing textile manufacturing to decrease natural resource use?

Action
Watch the trailer of a documentary a called The True Cost. You can stream the full film on Netflix.
Living Space

You spend about 50% of your life in your bed, not to mention many more hours in your other living spaces. Conventionally grown cotton or synthetics like polyester, increase your exposure to toxins. Though conventional cotton only accounts for 2.4% of the world’s cropland, it is responsible for 24% of global pesticide use.

Action
Curate your conscious bed. Peruse the internet for the best prices you can find for an organic mattress topper, organic linens and pillow. Set your sights on one change and work toward that.