Image Source: JSTOR
Sustainability is a core value of 12 Tides. Our efforts to maintain the functions of the earth’s systems and natural resources for future generations include sourcing of kelp from regenerative ocean farms, helping to fund kelp restoration projects off the coast of California and sourcing 100% compostable packaging for our snacks.
We want to share with you various options to change your everyday actions that will be rewarding for you and the environment. Not only can you make a positive impact on the environment by supporting ocean-friendly brands like 12 Tides, but you can also make a difference by transitioning to a sustainable lifestyle. Join the 12 Tides team in participating in these 15 easy, sustainable actions!
- Buy items in bulk and choose items sold in paper, tin cans, or even better, compostable packaging.
- 45% of the materials in U.S landfills are from food and packaging/containers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Buying in bulk reduces the amount of packaging you use. You can also support businesses, like 12 Tides, that use plastic-free packaging. Don’t forget if you go to the grocery store bring your own bag or container.
- Purchase paper and wood from ecologically certified sources
- Brands with the Forest Stewardship Council labels ensure that the products are sourced from managed forests that provide environmental, economic, and social benefits. This label would be found on items like furniture, paper, egg cartons, paper boxes, or lumber.
- Support local farms and small businesses.
- Instead of shopping at a large grocery store, choosing to go to a local farmer’s market reduces the number of food miles, the distance a food item travels from the producer to the consumer. Therefore, a smaller carbon footprint is achieved!
Image Source: The World Tourism Organization
- When doing a full load of laundry run it in cold water
- 90% of the energy the washing machines use goes towards heating the water. 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide a year would be eliminated for every household that switches to cold water washing.
- Unplug unused electronics and appliances
- This eliminates vampire energy, a device that drains power even when turned off, saving energy and your money. You can also buy a powerstrip for your electronics to make this process easier. 10-20% of an average household’s annual electricity use is from standby power. Also, by unplugging electrical devices, fires can’t be started, and it increases the life of your belongings.
- Change your light bulbs to LED
- LEDs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than other bulbs, especially if they are ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). LEDs will save you money and energy.
Image Source: Martha Stewart
- Start your own small garden
- Gardening takes a little more time and effort, but the benefits are worthwhile. Organically growing your own food reduces the harmful chemicals polluting our waterways and environment, improves your immune system, and reduces the carbon footprint because of decreased food miles.
- Put up a bird feeder
- Becoming closer to nature fosters our biophilia, the emotional-need of humans to affiliate with nature and other living organisms. Biophilia reduces stress, enhances mood, and improves cognitive function. Putting up a bird feeder in your backyard is an easy way to get closer to nature!
- Plant native plants
- Filling your backyard with plants is another way to strengthen your biophilia! We recommend you buy native plants because they are adapted to local environmental conditions, so they require less water and don’t need fertilizers. You are also restoring natural habitats and reducing air pollution by planting native flora!
Image Source: LawnStarter
- Eat or freeze food before it spoils
- When food is wasted, so is the water and energy that was taken to transport, grow, and be manufactured. However, what’s even worse is the fact that methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is emitted as food rots. Food waste is responsible for 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- Use reusable cloths instead of paper towels
- Examples of reusable cloth are old t-shirts, cotton dishrags, microfiber towels, and sponges. 51,000 trees are cut down every day to supply paper towels for North America. 254 million tons of paper towel waste is accumulated globally every year.
- Compost your food and yard waste
- Composting your food waste, grass clippings, and leaves is so important because it enriches the soil with nutrients and moisture. This process introduces beneficial bacteria and fungi to decompose your food and yard waste. If you have or are going to start a garden, compost is the perfect fertilizer to improve plant growth and soil stability! Click here to understand what is compostable.
Image Source: Ocean Conservancy
- Install a low-flow showerhead to save up to 15 gallons of water a day and a toilet tank bank to save 0.8 gallons of water per flush
- Water is a renewable source, however, it is important to conserve water because we are taking water from the hydrological cycle faster than it can replenish. We suggest you take shorter showers in general, but having low-flow showerheads can save 1.5 gallons of water per minute. Both are less than $30 to buy!
- Turn off the faucet when washing dishes, brushing teeth, shaving, shampooing/conditioning, and washing hands
- Turning the water off for one minute saves 1,024 gallons of water a year. Turning the water off for even ten seconds goes a long way.
- Switch to reusable water bottles
- Each year, about 8 million metric tons of plastics end up in the ocean. By 2050, it is predicted that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce America’s demand for plastic water bottles. You can help by using one-time purchasable reusable water bottles.
About the Author: Chanel Bullock is currently a junior at Santa Clara University pursuing a degree in psychology with minors in sustainability and entrepreneurship. She is passionate about incorporating sustainability into her lifestyle and spreading environmental awareness to others. Chanel also loves to surf and anything to do with the ocean!