Taking care of your health includes taking care of your environment. What does our environment entail? It’s our surroundings and conditions that we live in. This includes the natural environments such as the mountains, rivers, forests, beaches, rocks, soil, vegetation. We encourage you to practice sustainable living. This means understanding how our lifestyle choices affect our environment and impacts the world, and how to find ways to live better and lighter.
For example: Reduce food wasted at home; Share food with neighbors; Measure how much food is being wasted in your home and find opportunities to save food; Purchase from local farms; Avoid single-use paper and plastic; Use reusable dishware and decorations at events. Celebrate wellbeing, live lighter, and practice meditation; Spend time in and connect with nature.
What pollution affects our environment?
- Air Pollution.
- Water Pollution.
- Soil Pollution.
- Noise Pollution.
- Plastic Pollution.
We’ll delve more into this because its affecting air, ocean, and land. It takes hundreds of years for plastic to degrade. And it degrades into microplastic which is disastrous for the planet and its inhabitants’ health. Throwing some stats at you now:
- 70% of plastic is not recycled.
- 5 trillion plastic pieces float in the ocean.
- 80% of all marine pollution is plastic waste.
- Dolphins, whales, turtles, and other marine life are dying from our plastic use.
- Microplastic can’t be seen but infiltrate our ecosystems.
But wait, there's hope! 🙌🌏
Call to Action: Become Planet Heroes and...
- Swap plastic bags for fabric or cloth bags.
- Try not to use plastic disposable cups, plates, wrap, coffee-cup lids, bottles, or cutlery.
- Choose metal or glass containers for storage instead of plastic.
- Avoid use of cosmetics with plastic microspheres or microbeads.
- Recycle. The majority of plastic used is not recycled.
We’ve interviewed MTO Sustainability for their expert advice on caring for the environment and living lighter:
MTO Tamarkoz Association: MTO Sustainability has partnered with many local environmentally minded charities. What would MTO Sustainability suggest as one step people could take towards being more conscious about the environment?
MTO Sustainability: First, start with very small but regular and consistent actions in your daily routine. This ultimately leads to powerful results that makes a great difference.
Plastic consumption right now is such a big issue in California. Invest in a reusable water bottle, but use it daily, so it’s not just a one-day effort. Keep your reusable water bottle somewhere visible so you are always reminded of using it rather than a plastic bottle. Encourage your friends and family to start using reusable water bottles.
Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are also a significant issue in our environment right now, however, we can make a difference through a very simple solution, which is carpooling for a greener planet! Let's break it down together, when multiple people share a ride in the same vehicle to a destination, it lowers the number of vehicles on the road, which translates to reduced pollution into the atmosphere, which is one step towards improved air quality. We want to see a prosperous and healthy earth for our future kids and grandkids to live in. These small but powerful steps can actively restore our environment.
MTO Tamarkoz Association: What suggestions could be provided for families to be more conservative about food waste?
MTO Sustainability: Before you go grocery shopping make a list of all the things you need. Sometimes when we go to the grocery store, especially when we are a little hungry, we tend to buy much more food than we need for home. Unfortunately, due to this habit many food items will be wasted at home because no one is eating them. Freeze extra food you have before it spoils. This is a simple way to conserve food.
A little tip and trick: If you love avocados as much as I do, here's a little tip to preventing an avocado from being wasted and keeping them fresh. First, make sure to thoroughly wash the avocado. Then submerge it in cold water and place it in the fridge. They can stay fresh in water for much longer than not being in water. If you have half an avocado and it is turning brown, just place it in water and in the fridge overnight and it will be fresh in the morning!
MTO Tamarkoz Association: Given the convenience of single-use paper plates and plastic utensils, what are some realistic suggestions for families to reduce single-use paper plates and plastic utensils?
MTO Sustainability: Invest in reusable alternatives. Try your best to not buy plastic utensils for the house because then you will not be using them as often.
MTO Tamarkoz Association: Is there anything else we could share with readers to beat plastic use? Any specific take-aways?
MTO Sustainability: It’s easy for someone to tell themselves “Oh I am just one person, what difference would I make to be more sustainable?” Let’s highlight that one person really can create a huge difference and cause a fascinating domino effect. For example, if after today you decide to just change one thing in your daily routine to live more sustainably, and you keep this going every day, you will make a great contribution to saving the planet. Your regular and consistent action to be more sustainable can lead you to want to be more environmentally friendly in other aspects of your life. Your actions can inspire others to take action too. Ultimately, transforming the world’s environment is a big task, however, each small step you take is more powerful than you know.
MTO Tamarkoz Association: We’ve heard that MTO Sustainability has been working with the Heal the Bay for almost 3 years in Beach Clean-Ups. Could you share more about that?
MTO Sustainability: We are in the process of becoming part of the Adopt-a-Beach Program run by Heal the Bay. Our beach is the area by the Santa Monica Pier. We use eco-friendly trash bags to clean up plastic and waste off the beach shore. And we report it to Health the Bay, and they have the counts on pick up wastes that range from cigarette butts to large-to-go containers. It’s very easy for a person to say there is so much trash it won’t make it a difference. The small things we do with consistency in our regular routine make a difference. It’s so simple. For example, I have a coffee every morning and I used to use a cute, plastic coffee cup at home. One day I decided that I will use a glass cup and made this huge difference in our house. The plastic cups are now eliminated from our home. This is very important, because it leads to a domino effect for future changes and other routines. So perhaps reconsider using that plastic straw or any other one-time use plastic item.
MTO Sustainability has contributed significantly to promoting the planet’s health. For more information about MTO Sustainability, check out their website. Make sure to watch their brief, amazing video on their 4 sustainability goals by the year 2030!
Check out these activities in honor of our world's environment.
DIY Compost: If you’d like to skip using harmful chemical fertilizers for plants, try making this DIY compost bin. It’s very simple, and your kids will enjoy making it.
What You Will Need:
- A plastic bucket
- Fruit and vegetable peels and scraps
- Used tea leaves
- Coffee grounds
- Loose soil
- Something to drill holes with
- Drill holes on the base and sides of the bucket.
- Layer it up with vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and used tea leaves.
- Add the loose soil on top.
- Sprinkle water and cover the bucket with a lid.
- Swirl around the pile every now and then and let it sit for 4 weeks. Your compost will be ready.
Birdhouse in a Shoebox: If you’ve got a shoebox lying around the house, don’t throw it in the dumpster. Here’s how you can teach your kids to make a birdhouse out of it:
What You Will Need
- A shoebox
- String threads
- A pair of scissors
- Cut a 3-inch diameter hole in the middle of the shoebox.
- Fill in the hole with some grass and tiny rocks to make a nest, or do anything that will make birds feel welcome.
- Tape the edges of the box to make sure they are held in place.
- Suspend a string in the air and connect it to the top of the shoebox. This will let you hang it wherever you like.
We’ve included pictures of nature by some of our team members that have inspired them to take care of our environment. Tag us on social media with pictures of the natural environment that inspire you.