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By Ecologists in Action
How to reduce the negative environmental impact that we produce when we eat, do the shopping, clean the house or wash. 60 points where we can take care of the environment from our daily consumption habits.
1. When choosing between similar products, choose the one with less packaging. Avoid consuming excessively packaged products. Keep in mind that you also pay for these containers, sometimes the price of the packaging exceeds that of the product.
2. As a general rule, cardboard or paper wrappers and glass containers are the least harmful. Do not forget when having to choose between products.
3. When you go shopping, do not forget to bring your shopping cart or the canvas or mesh bag. Ultimately, reuse the bags you've already been given. Reject bags you don't need, even if they insist on giving them to you.
4. Insist the clerk not to wrap the objects you have bought, unless it is essential.
5. Family-size products, whatever they are, generate less waste per unit of product. Keep that in mind.
6. Before buying something, pay careful attention to the labeling, which warns of some risks and precautions to take, but not all dangers!
7. It is necessary, especially in relation to paper and cardboard, that we put into practice the rule of the three R's: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Let's avoid the unnecessary consumption of paper and cardboard, let's reuse the papers and cardboard that we have for other uses and, only when they no longer serve us at all, will we have to take them to a container to recycle.
8. Reject the publicity they offer you on the street or invade your mailbox. Sign up for the so-called "Robinson List", so that its associated companies do not send you advertising by mail, writing to the Direct Marketing Association.
9. The papers that are impossible or difficult to recycle (laminated, waxed, fax, etc.) should only be used when there is no other less impressive possibility.
10. The saying "cheap is expensive" is used many times. From shoes to household appliances, choose those that will last longer and that can be repaired in case of breakdown or breakage ... and have them fixed when necessary!
11. Medications that have expired or that you will no longer need, deliver them to the pharmacy.
How to reduce waste in food
12. Whenever you can, buy food produced as close to your location as possible. You will save packaging and transport.
13. When possible, buy in bulk. This way you avoid unnecessary packaging and decide the quantity of the product that best suits your needs.
14. Refuse outright food presented in white cork trays.
15. In many places the tap water is of good quality, do not consume bottled water unnecessarily.
16. In beverages and liquids, opt for large containers and, when possible, glass; if it is returnable, better.
17. Avoid "brics" and plastic containers as much as possible.
18. Do not buy anything that comes bottled in PVC.
19. Do not consume "cans" of drinks, buy reusable glass bottles.
20. Refuse foods that come in "individual bags" in a larger package.
21. Declare war on "designer foods": They are not nutritionally good and usually come over-packaged.
22. Buy fresh food, in addition to avoiding packaging and packaging, your health, your palate and your pocket will appreciate it.
23. Sometimes the containers (plastics, cans, tetrabrics ...) indicate that they are "recyclable", that only means that they could be recycled, not that they will be.
24. Do not use aluminum foil and "plastic wrap" without rhyme or reason. When you can reuse them.
25. Avoid "ready to heat in the microwave" food as much as possible.
How to reduce waste in cleaning
26. Use detergents without phosphates or surfactants.
27. "Refillable" detergents reduce packaging impacts.
28. Cleanliness and "whiteness" are not improved by using more detergent than the minimum necessary.
29. For the cleaning of many surfaces and fabrics, natural or neutral soaps give optimal results.
30. Softeners are very powerful, reduce the life of clothes and can affect the skin. Do not use or use them only once in a while.
31. Vinegar is used as a detergent, scrubber, color fixer for wool garments, and degreaser.
32. Sodium bicarbonate and borax are universal detergents and serve to whiten laundry.
33. Avoid buying air fresheners. It is best to ventilate the rooms and, if necessary, place aromatic plants, "potpourris" or essential oil vaporizers.
How to reduce waste in toiletry and cosmetics
34. Reject overpacks. Packaging usually represents more than half the price and is a great source of waste of all kinds.
35. Choose the stick presentations (deodorant, shaving cream ...) and manual sprayers.
36. Pads and tampons should never end up in the toilet, much less thrown in the field or on the beach!
37. For hair, use mild herbal-based shampoos or neutral soaps.
38. Do not use anti-dandruff made from selenium sulfide.
39. For skin care use natural or neutral soaps, they are generally healthier. But do not buy liquid soap, but in bars.
40. To clean your teeth, use gel based on medicinal plants or, even better, dental perborate.
How to reduce DIY waste
41. Find out and calculate well the amount you need, you will avoid wasting and generating unnecessary waste. The jars and cans of paints, varnishes and other DIY products are difficult and problematic to maintain once opened.
42. Water-based paints are much less toxic and polluting. They are currently available for almost all types of applications.
43. Aerosols waste a lot of product.
44. Whenever you can apply the products with a brush, brush or similar.
45. If it is essential, use mechanical guns or sprayers, but never aerosols.
46. The residues of these products, including those from cleaning brushes and brushes, those from sanding treated surfaces, etc., take them to "clean points".
How to reduce waste in batteries
47. If you can avoid it, do not use battery-operated devices. The best watches are automatic and solar calculators.
48. The mixed devices (batteries and network) plug them whenever you can. Keep in mind that battery power costs up to 450 times more than what is supplied by the network.
49. Use rechargeable batteries. They cost more but in the medium term they are much more profitable.
50. Avoid button batteries and, if you have to buy them, choose lithium, zinc-air or silver oxide batteries, which have little or no mercury.
51. To dispose of batteries, always deposit them in containers and at collection points.
How to reduce insecticide and herbicide residues
52. Never use aerosols for these purposes either, in any case sprays.
53. For the pests of your house plants there are many specific home remedies that are much more effective than generic insecticides. Resort to popular wisdom.
54. Half a lemon to which cloves have been inserted or a few pots of basil in the windows are effective repellants.
55. Spreadable insect repellants can cause skin problems and other health damages. It is better to give yourself rubs of reduced vinegar or, if you prefer, of essential oil of lemon and lavender mixed with cooking oil.
How to reduce waste on clothes
56. Remember that natural fabrics (wool, cotton, linen ...) are much easier to recycle and less polluting, both in their production and in their conversion into waste, than synthetics.
57. Buy second-hand clothes.
58. Do not throw away clothes or shoes in good condition simply because "it is no longer fashionable."
59. Clothes that no longer fit you can come in handy for other people. Give it away or give it to charities.
60. Reuse your useless clothing for other uses, such as kitchen towels or a thousand other things that can be made with scraps.
Ecologists in Action