Here are 55 things you can do to save the planet

Or at least try not to make things worse for it.

by Amanda Margiaria, Carolina Davalli, and Benedetta Pini
25 September 2020, 12:12pm

This article originally appeared on i-D Italy.

Although the biggest culprits of the climate emergency are multinationals and, in general, the global production system, there are a lot of small things we too can do to save the planet, or at least not contribute to killing it further.

We have selected 58, but if you know others write us in DM on Instagram, where you can find us as @id_italy .

  1. Stop buying basil in sad plastic packets and try growing a seedling instead. It will probably die soon, but at least you can say you tried.
  2. There’s nothing wrong with drinking tap water instead of buying it bottled! It’s the same water! It simply makes no sense!
  3. Okay, fine, if you really don’t want to give up your bottled water addiction, at least buy a reusable one and FILL IT with tap water?
  4. Quit disposable cling film. Cover food with reusable beeswax film instead. Environmentally friendly and cottagecore-approved!
  5. We all have at least 30 tote bags we got for free lying around our house, right? Well, it’s time to start using them for real. The trick is to keep one in your main bag at all times, so you’ll always have it when you need it.
  6. Also, to compensate for the resources used in the production of a single canvas bag, you would have to use it about 7,000 times. Yep.
  7. As well as your tote bag, why not bring along a reusable takeaway cup with you? Preferably a thermal one. Every minute, just Starbucks alone gives out 8,000 disposable cups. Bringing that down to 7,999 wouldn't be so bad, would it?
  8. Put a faucet nozzle on the tap. You’ll save a lot more water than you might think.
  9. Question what you think you know about eco-sustainability. Here’s a short list to start with.
  10. However, everything starts with the 3Rs: Reduce, reuse, recycle. That's it.
  11. Become a vegetarian.
  12. Or, better yet, go vegan.
  13. If you do want to keep eating meat, stick to quality over quantity; maybe buy one portion less per week than you normally would, and try to make sure it’s locally sourced.
  14. Avoid single portion food products. Pre-made soup pollutes, and it’s not even that nice.
  15. Buy your fruit and veg seasonally, from a local market if you can.
  16. For the lazier among you, there are websites that can put you in touch with these local sellers.
  17. If you’re UK-based, you can try Big Barn. In the USA, Local Harvest.
  18. Try to waste less food, and remember that many foods are edible past their expiration date.
  19. Set a timer for your showers. Two songs on Spotify should do the trick!
  20. And of course, turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or soaping up.
  21. The best body scrubs can simply be your used coffee grounds. You save money, help the planet AND smell great.
  22. If you menstruate, try to cut down on sanitary pads and tampons by switching to a reusable cup, or investing in some period underwear.
  23. Use. That. Damn. Bicycle.
  24. Alternatively, consider car-pooling. But if you live in a city, do you really need your own car?
  25. You can provide environmental data via your phone that can help support important legislation, from eliminating plastics to monitoring the progress against the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  26. You don't need to wash your jeans every couple of times you wear them, quite the opposite actually.
  27. The same goes for many other garments. Jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, trousers and even pyjamas can all be worn several times before you put them in the wash.
  28. Learn to sew, so you can make your own clothes or accessories, or customise the ones you already have.
  29. Cancel any subscriptions you have that are still sending you letters in the post.
  30. In fact, put out a ‘no flyers’ sign at your building’s entrance.
  31. Don't print anything unless it's really essential. For important documents, create a digital archive and save it on at least three different devices.
  32. As beautiful as they are, disposable cameras are not a sustainable item. If you are that committed to nostalgia, buy yourself a film camera.
  33. We know you don't anyway, but it's good to remember: the less you iron your clothes, the better.
  34. If you have a business, build a system that sends digital receipts via email.
  35. While American Psycho has made it a cult item, ask yourself if you really need a paper business card? A link to your online portfolio is more accessible and less wasteful.
  36. An e-book reader, although not as romantic, is a preferable option -- from an environmental point of view -- to paper books.
  37. Replace easily-broken plastic items that break with counterparts made of glass, ceramic, bamboo, iron -- any other material that is more durable and less brittle.
  38. Throw away expired medications in a bin intended for them. Every pharmacy has one!
  39. Ditto used oil and batteries.
  40. If you can, make a donation to a few environmental organisations. Here is a handy list.
  41. Calculate your carbon footprint, and set regular goals to reduce it.
  42. Use search engines like Ecosia. It's like Google, but they plant a tree for every few searches.
  43. If you take a flight, calculate how much CO2 you will use. You can offset the emission by making an equivalent donation!
  44. Learn how to compost at home. If you have a garden, even better. Here is a useful guide.
  45. If you don't have a garden, get an organic waste dehydrator and donate your waste to those who need natural fertilizers.
  46. Purchase a solid, reusable kitchen cloth. If you think about it, disposable wipes are just really useless.
  47. You don't really need every household cleaning product advertised to you at the supermarket. Often, ammonia or bleach diluted in water is enough to clean and disinfect any surface.
  48. To unclog your sinks, all you need is vinegar, baking soda and hot water. Cost? More or less zero. Waste? Nada.
  49. When you ask for a drink at the bar, specify that you don't want a straw with it.
  50. If you’re going into the office, leave a bamboo lunch kit, glass cup, and cloth napkin in your desk drawer so you don't have to use disposable items when you treat yourself for lunch.
  51. Always throw your cigarette butts away properly. Not on the ground, come on!
  52. Speaking of waste, sorting it is great, but the real solution is to produce less of it.
  53. Use solid shampoo and toothpaste so you won't waste plastic containers.
  54. Familiarise yourself with supermarkets that sell products in bulk. Often you save money, as well as the environment.
  55. Learn how to make cosmetics at home, it's much easier than you think.