Let's be honest here for a minute, we all know someone who can be a little bit lazy when it comes to trying to take care of the planet. Or maybe even a lot lazy - point is, there is someone in our lives who just cannot be bothered to actively try to care for the environment.
Does it make these people monsters? No. Well, maybe.
But does it mean they don't care about the future of the planet? Of course not! It just means they're unbothered. But that's fine. Because even for people who don't have the time to separate their glass, plastic, and paper products and recycle them appropriately... well, there are certain tiny, microscopic things they can do to help out anyway.
True, there are certain initiatives throughout Canada aiming to shed some light on all the things (small and big!) we can do to make our planet a whole lot better. Like Waste Reduction Week, for example, going down October 16 - 22. Waste Reduction Week aims to raise awareness to Canadians about issues around sustainability in every day life.
1. Instead of trekking it to a regular supermarket, get yourself to a zero-waste grocery store.
Since you have to buy groceries anyway, you might as well do it in the most eco-friendly way possible... AKA by popping into your local zero waste grocery store and picking up your food, sans all that pesky and earth-damaging plastic packaging.
Although it's not super popular just yet, more and more zero waste grocery stores are popping up - so if you make a habit of picking up your avocados there now, once they're the in thing, you can say you were officially ahead of the trend. Oh, and, you know, that you played your part in starting to help the environment.
2. Or at least hit up a farmer's market.
Sure, zero-waste grocery stores might not be as accessible as regular grocery stores. So it's understandable that you might not 110% be down to go out of your way to get to one.
But there are farmer's markets literally everywhere, so instead of picking up your fruits and veggies at a chain grocery store, maybe hit one of these up instead. The good news is that not only will you help out the environment (because the packaging at farmer's markets are a whole lot more sustainable than at most other food shops), but you'll be eating local, and supporting local growers too. Win-win-win.
3. Grab your next burger and drink at A&W.
They serve up their drinks in frosty glass mugs and use metal utensils and trays, ceramic plates for breakfast and reusable wire baskets for their fries and onion rings. Which, FYI, has resulted in 42 million paper cups, 31 million paper bags, 7 million paper plates and 14 million utensils NOT put in landfills every single year. And if you're on the run? Well, their takeout packaging just so happens to be compostable, too!
Oh, and protip: by skipping the straw and stopping by the condiment station for bulk ketchup, vinegar, and other condiments, you can do your part in making your A&W trip even more earth-friendly!
4. Ditch the disposable coffee pods for your morning coffee ritual, and go with one refillable one instead.
Honestly, we're all out here drinking 3-10 cups of coffee a day. It's okay. Coffee is the sweet sweet nectar of productivity.
But when your plastic coffee pods start taking up way too much space in your garbage can, that's when you might want to consider switching to a reusable cup. You can find tons of brands on Amazon, so these babies will come right to your door. And you can forever sip your coffee happily knowing you're helping out Mother Earth. Hooray!
5. The next time you treat yourself to a new beauty product, try to make it eco-friendly.
Beauty products are life, true, and no one's ever going to come at you for spending just a bit too much on a brand new liquid lipstick or face oil.
But the next time you're feeling a new shade, try to make sure the brand you're buying from takes the planet into consideration just as much as everything else. Try choosing products that are good for both for you and for the planet, like water-saving dry shampoo or baby powder, for example!
6. On that note, go for bath and body products that are as eco-friendly as possible.
Showering, brushing your teeth - basically anything that involves being a hygienic human being takes a serious toll on the planet. Not only does it use a lot of water, but all those chemicals swirling down the drain? Yeah. No good.
Luckily, you don't have to stop taking care of yourself altogether. Instead, you can just switch to less impactful products. Or whip out your DIY skills and create your own super effective beauty and package-free products, like a super nourishing homemade avocado hair mask!
7. When you get the urge to wash the dishes, attempt to use green dish soap instead of regular dish soap.
Let's be real, here: no one's telling you to grab some bleach and start cleaning your toilet, or do your dishes IMMEDIATELY after eating. But for when the mood for cleanliness strikes, it's worth noting that cleaning products in general are kind of bad for the earth.
And if you're going to use things like window cleaner and dishwashing soap anyway, it might as well be eco-friendly. Thankfully, green cleansing brands have become more mainstream in recent years, so you can probably find something that's not harsh at all right next to the products you might normally go for.
8. Stop digging around the house for a plastic bag to use when you walk your dog, and use biodegradable bags instead.
Walking the dog might be a totally unavoidable task, but that doesn't mean you have to bring the planet down along with your motivation to actually get up and do something.
Instead of using a plastic bag to pick up your pet's business - which will totally end up in some landfill for the next 100 years once you're done with it - try going for biodegradable pet waste bags.
Not only will they decompose, but you can also easily store them in your bag or pocket. So you're doing your part to help the planet (without really even doing anything super different at all), and you'll never be caught in a terrifying moment of realizing you don't have anything to pick up your dog's waste with.
9. And, when all else fails, remember you can always re-gift things you don't use (or like) anymore instead of throwing them out.
Regifting: the ultimate lazy person hack. Sure, it's a form of recycling. But if you're going to a party and have to bring a gift, and have something you KNOW your host would love just lying around the house... might as well regift it instead of just tossing it away.
Oh, and if you've got some old clothes you're about to burn in a big cleansing bonfire (or however you get rid of your old clothes)? Don't. Sell them instead. You're not really doing anything out of your way; you'll be getting some money out of it; you'll be making someone else happy; AND you'll be the environment's next favourite superhero.
In fact, it's actually super easy to help save the world... without doing anything incredibly different than you already do. Things like going to a different spot to do your groceries or picking up different products can have a hugely positive impact on the environment!
And so can eating out with sustainability in mind! A&W Canada is hands down one of your best bets for staying eco-friendly while you eat. Plus, they fully participate in Waste Reduction Week, meaning your deliciously fresh meal at A&W won't just be a tasty choice, but a smart one too!