Don’t be fooled. Caring for the environment is not about buying products marketed as eco-friendly, organic or sustainable. It’s about producing less crap. And to produce less trash we should consume less. That simple and that hard. Then, whatever you end up buying should be mindful, should be sustainable, but that’s another topic and, in my opinion, of secondary relevance. Besides, a lot of eco-friendly products are not much more than marketing and a green tag. Without more ado, here you have a list of 5 things that, in my opinion, are only useful to create more CRAP.
1 Bottled water
Because if you are lucky enough to be living in the developed world, tap water is more than fine to drink in the vast majority of places, regardless the taste. In fact, if you don’t like the taste, you can always investigate the wide range of filters that there are (activated carbon, and such), which last for several months eliminate the solutes that give water its taste. And, if you want to carry water around in your backpack/bag, reusable water bottles and flasks exist. Google “best reusable water bottle” and you’ll be amazed by the choice.
2 Air fresheners/scented candles
Hint: if it smells bad, it’s probably dirty. Besides, who wants a bunch of irritating volatile gases and smoke flying around? Not me. Cough, cough.
3 Coffee capsules
What can I say about this? The mere fact of generating a small aluminum ball per coffee cup made should be already giving you a rash. Ok. Those Nespresso machines make a hell of a good coffee, but my Italian coffee maker does too. You only need to learn to use it properly and find the sweet spot when you need to take it out of the hob.
4 Kitchen foil and plastic cling film
Super polluting, super disposable and thoroughly unnecessary. Need to wrap something in foil for oven cooking? Pyrex (or other oven resistant material) pot with a lid. Need to use foil or cling film to pack your lunch? Lunchboxes, the same you use for storing food in the fridge. Do you put foil in the base of the oven tray to keep your food from sticking? Try baking sheets instead. Yes, they are disposable too, but less contaminant.
5 A thousand jeans
Let’s be honest. You don’t need a pair of jeans in every single shade of blue because they all look more or less the same. If you compare your darkest and your lightest wash then, ok, it might make a difference in your look, but the rest are basically the same story if the cut is similar. I’ve seen wardrobes with so many similar jeans it looked like Pepper Ann’s.
I know it’s hard to consume less, but these 5 things are fairly easy to eliminate or substitute. But I get it. I’m not a minimalist at all myself. For example, I think having a capsule coffee machine in the office is kinda cool, but in the end, I restrain from buying such a thing and bring my own coffee from home in an insulated cup.
That’s it! Being a bit more environmentally friendly is easy. It’s not like you are going to save the planet on your own, but little efforts made by lots of people really end up making an enormous impact.