14 tips to reduce your footprint

Usually, being vegan is not just about the food we eat, but also about the environment. I’ll be discussing some of the things I do to reduce my ecological footprint. There are always some other things that you can do, so, if you use or know about other methods to reduce the waste we generate, feel free to leave a comment and share them!

Flow reducers

At home, we already use flow reducers for quite some time, and we’re very happy with the result. We have it in the showers, kitchen and bathrooms. It reduces the supply of water by adding a small amount of air, and in the end, these small appliances can reduce water consumption up to 50%! Fantastic isn’t it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-nH_o2JGoM

Bath water collection

Do you know when you turn on your shower and it takes too much time to warm up the water? This cold water must be kept! We use a bucket (which is inside the tub) to keep that cold water. When the bucket is full, it gives (at least) 2 toilet flushes. This way, you use your “cold water” to your toilet flushes. Easy, isn’t it?

IMG_20171110_115242

Photovoltaic and solar thermal panels

Is there anything better than being able to produce electricity and to heat the water from the sun? While photovoltaic panels produce electricity from solar energy, solar thermal panels allow the heating of water for the baths, for example. With these panels you can avoid/reduce the consumption of electricity or gas. 

Evergy-saving lamps

This one everybody knows. By the end of the month, you will notice the difference 😊 Energy-saving lamps can reduce electricity consumption by up to 80% compared to normal bulbs. Nowadays energy-saving lamps already exist in all shapes and colors and are much cheaper, so there are no excuses!

estudo-de-eficiencia-energetica
https://positiva.eco.br/projetos/eficiencia-energetica/

Collection of water from the rain and from the vegetables washing  

Who has a garden, or a vegetable garden, needs plenty of water to keep everything alive. And what is the best way to have free available water? There are 2 major sources of water: rainwater and water from the vegetable washes. Those who follow a vegetarian diet know perfectly well that vegetables need to be washed and this water can be reused! Just wash for a bowl and then pour it into a watering can or other container that is out of home. To save rainwater we have 2 tanks that collect water from the gutters.

http://blogs.gazetaonline.com.br/dicasdalucy/2012/04/24/frutas-e-legumes-como-lavar-e-higienizar/

Snack packages

I saw it on the net and I couldn’t resist. They are super soft and easy to wash. With these, you don’t need to use plastic bags, films or aluminum foil. Another advantage is that as it has velcro closure, it fits well to the shape of your food 😊 There are models for the kids teenagers and adults. I leave you below the video and the link 🙂

bocnroll-2
http://www.pegada-verde.pt/index.php/boc-n-roll-essential.html

Water filter

One way to reduce the amount of plastics is to consume tap water and use reusable bottles. Here at home we use a filter jug instead of buying bottled water. To carry water with you, use those stainless steel bottles, they are light and much safer for health 🙂

https://mediamarkt.pt/products/brita-jarra-marella-branca-2-filtros-maxtra

Composting

This one is not properly linked to the ecological footprint but has to do with the use of resources. Once again, those who follow a vegetarian diet finish their day with big amounts of peels and pieces of vegetables. What to do with them? Composting to fertilize the land where your new vegetables will grow 😊 We have 2 composters: one active and one that is resting. 

compost
https://calorganic.org/2016/01/26/composting-class-fullerton-arboretum/

Vegetable garden and fruit trees

One way to reduce the ecological footprint is to be as self-sustaining as possible. And  there is nothing better than going to the garden and having your own food. On the other hand, it is healthier to only eat the seasonal food 🙂

horta
https://inibloglhoo.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/aquaponik-gaya-hidup-berbasis-pertanian-erin-destri-14027/

Menstrual cup

This was a change I made almost 2 years ago. I stopped using pads and tampons (absorbents) and began to use the menstrual cup. About 30 absorbents are consumed per month, 360 per year and 3600 in ten years, depending on the intensity of the flow! Across the globe, 13,699 absorbents are used per second in urban areas. A menstrual cup lasts more than 7 years and costs between 20€ and 30€. It’s super practical, it doesn’t cause any discomfort (if it is well-placed) and there are no leaks: neither sleeping, doing Pilates or any other activity 🙂 The best part is that you only need to wash and put it back 2x a day: at bedtime and when you wake up 🙂 I liked this option so much that I became a MeLuna reseller (link in the photo caption). If you just want to ask questions, speak to me with no shame!

menstruation cup
https://www.tuasaude.com/copo-menstrual/; http://www.meluna.pt/melunaweb/

Reuse + Reduce + Recycle

This one is obvious isn’t it? It’s very important to recycle and treat correctly the huge amount of garbage we produce. On the other hand, it is extremely important to consume products that come with few packages. Most food comes packaged at least twice, with various types of material. This garbage is unnecessary. It’s preferable to buy loose food and to avoid using plastic bags. Whenever you go shopping use reusable bags, such as tote bags or the large ones that supermarkets sell. Besides grocery shopping: whenever I go to the mall to buy clothes (for example) I refuse the bags. I use a reusable one (those that fold and fit anywhere). The bag is great and everything you buy will fit in there 🙂

Free-EMS-DHL-100pcs-Eco-Nylon-Bag-36-52cm-Foldable-Countryside-Shopping-Bag-Storage-Handbag-Shoulder.jpg_640x640
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Free-EMS-DHL-100pcs-Eco-Nylon-Bag-36-52cm-Foldable-Countryside-Shopping-Bag-Storage-Handbag-Shoulder/603244_32432611551.html
best_b38e64d220a258d685cf_93ca71a1cb1a9f16bc32_Recycle_3
https://www.tapinto.net/towns/livingston/sections/community-announcements/articles/livingstons-recycling-collector-reminds-resident

Clothing donation

The clothing industry has a huge ecological impact. One way to try to lessen our impact is by giving new lives to our clothing, by donating to those who need it, selling it secondhand or making it into a new piece! Attention: it is preferable to donate clothes directly to the people in need 🙂

donating-clothes-to-charity
https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/donate/give/clothing

Collection of used oil

Lots of people pour the used oil  to fry down the pipe, polluting the water. There are collection points that can be used to treat this type of waste correctly! Just store it in a bottle and put it in the collection point.

csm_descarte_20cea70383
http://www.atribuna.com.br/noticias/noticias-detalhe/cidades/oleo-de-cozinha-usado-pode-ser-reciclado-veja-onde-descartar-o-material/?cHash=fada0cd37f0a17c4526e1705beb68fe0

Don’t leave the plug in the socket

This is such an obvious tip that we sometimes forget to take into account. How often do we leave the house or sleep with the plug plugged of things that we don’t need to be plugged? I will give you some examples: television, consoles, computers and small appliances. There is a solution so that you don’t have to remove the plug and that allow you to avoid electricity consume: sockets with the switch. This way, whenever you leave home or no longer need to use the device, simply turn off the button. Easy and economic! 🙂

adaptador-tomada-benjamin-extenso-regua-4-saidas-c-fusivel-D_NQ_NP_866710-MLB25566532284_052017-O
https://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-826965461-adaptador-tomada-benjamin-extenso-regua-4-saidas-c-fusivel-_JM

Do you want to calculate your ecological footprint? 

http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/

O que achaste? Conta-me tudo!