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19 Tiny Changes You Can Make To Help The Earth

Here's how to care for the Earth without having to become vegan or grow all your own vegetables.

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1. Shop at farmers markets where you can.

Not only will this help support local farmers, but you'll also be buying food with less plastic packaging. Your body will love eating produce that has been grown much more organically than grocery store food.

2. Set up your own little herb garden.

This'll save you money, reduce waste, and also make you feel like such a damn grown-up. If you don't have a garden or anywhere you can plant them, try planting them in glass jars. That way you're also gaining sustainable points by recycling your jars.

3. Avoid plastic cutlery.

That's just unnecessary plastic right there. If you're ordering food in, tell the restaurant you don't need cutlery. If you're eating out, maybe considering carrying around a reusable set like these bamboo ones.

4. Use less energy at home.

There are a lot of little things you can do to save energy in your house, which will also save you money when it comes to paying your electricity bill. Replace your lightbulbs with energy-efficient ones, only use your dishwasher when it's really full, and turn powerpoints off overnight when you're not using them.

5. And seriously, stop using your dryer.

That thing eats up so much power. Sure, if you're in an apartment and have limited drying space then it's unavoidable at times. But if you can, make the most of the free heat from the sun and dry your laundry on the washing line or a clothes rack.

6. Recycle!

I'm sure you already recycle your paper, glass, and cans, right? Well, you should also be recycling things like batteries, old mobile phones, broken appliances like computers and TVs, and mattresses. Just have a google and you'll easily be able to find a place near you that'll take your junk off your hands.

7. And resell or donate things that still have life in them.

If you're getting rid of old furniture or you're updating your TV, sell your stuff on Craigslist or other classified services instead of just chucking it out. Or do the noble thing and donate it to charity. There's also something called Freecycle where you can give away things you don't need anymore.

8. Drink tap water.

Changing your water-drinking habits will truly cut down on so much waste, especially if you only drink bottled water. Invest in a nice reusable bottle, like these ultra-trendy S'well bottles, and refill from the tap. It won't kill you, I promise. If you prefer the taste of filtered water, you can get a bottle that'll do it for you.

9. Try to use less water at home.

Investing in a water-saving showerhead will help you save money on your water bill. Wash your dishes in a sink with a plug rather than using running water, and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and washing your hands.

10. Buy smart products.

When time comes to buy new appliances for your house like a fridge, washing machine, or TV, make sure to look at its energy rating. The more stars, the better. This choice will do favours for both the environment and your electricity bills.

11. Remember your reusable shopping bags.

Keep them in your car if that makes it easier for you. Also, you can get reusable produce bags rather than using the store-provided plastic ones.

12. In fact, start replacing everything with reusable items.

Instead of cling wrap, get some beeswax wraps. Use washable "paper" towels and cloth sandwich bags. Find out about more reusable products here.

13. Source your meat sustainably.

I'm not telling you to become a vegetarian or anything, but be a little more mindful of where your meat's coming from. Instead of getting it at the supermarket, do some research about butchers or farmers markets in your area that sell ethical meat.

14. Learn about natural cosmetics.

There are some great brands out there that produce everything without chemicals and are packaged in more environmentally friendly ways than the standard cosmetics out there. Here are some ideas to get you going.

15. Explore ethical fashion.

Rather than shopping at chain stores, opt for stores that support fair trade and use high-quality materials. It might cost you a little more, but you can be sure those clothes will last a hell of a lot longer than a $7 T-shirt from H&M. Here are some great brands to check out.

16. Make the most of all your products.

A lot of the time, we're throwing out almost-empty tubes and tubs that still have perfectly good product in them! Cut open the end of your toothpaste tube when you think it's empty and you'll see what I mean. Make sure you're getting every last drop out of all your bottles, and you'll save money, too. There are special spatulas that can help you with this.

17. Make your own cooking essentials.

Did you know that you can make your own vegetable stock using all your old offcuts and veggie peels? Here's a video that shows you just how easy it is.

18. And learn how to cook up all that leftover fridge food.

We've all been at that point where our fridge is half-full of leftover ingredients and veggies that are almost too ripe. Instead of leaving them to get old and eventually throwing them away, perfect the art of a fridge dump meal. You can turn anything into a stew or soup if you just believe!

19. Get yourself a reusable coffee cup.

If you buy a coffee every day, that's a lot of empty cups over the span of a year. Invest in a reusable one that you can take to your fave coffee shop every day. Some places even offer discounts if you BYO cup!