One of the most important pillars in reducing our carbon footprint is decreasing our individual and collective use of raw materials and natural resources.
This post contains ideas and tips on the many ways we can lessen raw material usage by refusing. Remember, refusing means choosing to say no and not accepting the status quo when it comes to plastic packaging and single-use items that quickly turn into trash. Refusing is a way to reflect on our habits as consumers and stop the demand for disposable products
Note that this is different from reducing, which refers to minimizing our purchase and use of materials as much as possible, while still using them. We'll soon be posting a companion article on the many ways to reduce!
* Refuse plastic bags for your purchases. Bring your own canvas bags when you go shopping or at least opt for a paper bag.
* Refuse waste-generating products unnecessarily wrapped in plastic. Whenever possible, buy from the bulk and produce sections of the grocery store instead of buying processed food. Use your own bags and containers.
* Refuse plastic straws and plastic lids or styrofoam cups when ordering drinks from a cafe or restaurant, Bring your own reusable mug to the coffee shop.
* Refuse to buy drinking water or other beverages sold in plastic bottles. Carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go.
* Refuse plastic or styrofoam to-go boxes for take-out or leftovers. Bring your own reusable containers to restaurants.
* Politely refuse unnecessary things such as advertising leaflets, free samples, paper receipts and single-use plastics when a business or individual offers them to you.
* Refuse disposable feminine health products (pantiliners, pads, tampons with plastic applicators) and instead opt for reusable feminine products like a moon cup or washable cotton cloth pads.
* Refuse to continue burning fossil fuel in your home or car. Instead, drive an Electric Vehicle. (ChargePoint reports saving 65.7 million gallons of gas.) Consider powering your home with renewable energy with Arcadia Power.
We challenge you to start implementing at least three of the practices from this list.
Check out our Green Tips page for more great ideas!