How To Lower Your Carbon Footprint As A Male In A Female Dominated Niche
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You don’t need to be a specific gender to live a more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle. Although, it does seem as if green living is depicted as more of a women’s niche.
Online advertisements, television commercials, and even social media posts—all seem to target the female population as if that specific gender is the only one that cares about the environment. Well, men do too.
Despite of how society paints the picture, more and more men are seeking to lower their carbon footprint and become more sustainable. The question is, will brands step up and put more effort into marketing more masculine products that are geared toward males as opposed to just focusing on the female consumer.
The desire is there, men just need guidance.
What Is Sustainable Living
With that said, we need to define what sustainable living means. What does it entail?
Sustainable living simply means that you’re prioritizing natural and renewable resources over actions and single use items that create waste.
Choosing recycled and ethically manufactured clothing over fast-fashion is one example of sustainable living. Growing an outdoor vegetable garden or an indoor herb garden is yet another example. Even being an eco-conscious traveler falls into the realm of sustainability.
To put it simply, a sustainable lifestyle involves being a good steward of the Earth and choosing reusable and renewable products over disposables; and opting for nontoxic and biodegradable products that are healthy for both you and the environment.
With that said, below are 5 tips for sustainable living that any beginner can ease into.
1. Avoid Plastic And Invest In Reusable Products
Disposable plastic is everywhere. It’s in the form of a toothbrush that’s perched on your bathroom sink, the case of bottled water in your pantry, and in the form of a straw that’s given to you at your favorite drive-thru restaurant.
With that said, one of the best ways that you can be more sustainable is to swap and avoid disposable plastic products. Some easy beginner changes that you can make consist of:
Swapping your plastic toothbrush for a compostable bamboo toothbrush.
Swapping your plastic shampoo bottle for a shampoo bar.
Investing in a reusable water bottle.
2. Shop For Sustainable Shoes And Clothing
You’d be surprised how many men are ditching fast fashion and opting for sustainably and ethically made clothing brands.
Sustainable fashion consists of organic and recycled fabrics that are ethically and sustainably manufactured in facilities that treat factory workers in the most humane way possible and are void of child labor.
The benefit of buying sustainable clothing over fast fashion is that you’re buying quality fabric—an item that’s going to last. Sustainable clothing is also great for the planet—the manufacturing process uses less chemicals and less water.
From organic and recycled t-shirts to sustainably made shoes, swim trunks, and wooden fashion accessories like sunglasses, watches, and bow ties, ethical fashion is the new trend that’s only going to become more popular in the coming years.
3. Ditch The Laundry Detergent
Traditional laundry detergent is packed full of synthetic chemicals that can irritate skin, are bad for the environment, and they’re packaged in bulky plastic containers.
There are several benefits to this swap: eco strips and eco pods are zero waste, they’re perfect for travel, college and small apartments, and they’re hypoallergenic and non-toxic because they’re made from plant-based ingredients.
4. Start Composting In Your Kitchen
One of the best ways to lower your carbon footprint is to start composting—which can be accomplished even in the smallest of kitchens.
Food scraps like vegetables, egg shells, hair and paper can all be placed into a countertop compost bin, transforming said items into nutrient rich compost that’s excellent to use on potted plants, herbs and vegetable gardens.
Kitchen compost bins are typically about the same size as croc pots (or coffee pots), and come with liners and charcoal filters that prevent odor and fruit fly infestation. It’s definitely a great way to be more sustainable and zero-waste in the kitchen.
5. Switch To Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
A great way to make your home more eco-friendly and non-toxic is to ditch traditional cleaning products and swap them for non-toxic, plant-based brands.
Traditional cleaning sprays contain harmful chemicals that linger in the air and can be toxic to both humans and pets. Plant based solutions, on the other hand, are gentle yet powerful, and you don’t need to worry about inhaling anything dangerous.
Another alternative to traditional cleaning products is to create your own cleaning solutions using everyday pantry ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, essential oils and certain fruits like lemons and oranges.
If you’re curious about your carbon footprint and would like to know how to manage your lifestyle better, there’s a cool carbon footprint calculator on The Cool Climate Network, which is a research consortium at the University of California, Berkeley. They research and develop cutting-edge carbon footprint management tools for households, small businesses, schools and communities in the U.S. and Internationally. The estimate is totally free! Check it out!