5 Tips to live eco-friendly

We may not be able to reduce global warming, end oceanic pollution and save endangered species single-handedly, but we can at least do our bit by choosing to live an earth-friendly lifestyle. Here are five ways to live more sustainable in the Algarve.

See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine February 2016

 

1. Organise a beach clean up

Needed: a bin bag. That’s all. Gather some friends, go for a walk on the beach, collect any rubbish you might find and dispose of it properly. Even the smallest village in the Algarve has recycling bins. At this ecoponto, put cardboard and paper in the blue bin, throw your glass in the green one and fill the yellow bin with plastic bottles and metal packaging.

No beach nearby? Organise a field, forest or city clean up. Or pick up three pieces of rubbish from the streets a day and put them in the bin. One year later, you’ve helped cleaning the planet by disposing over a thousand pieces of rubbish.

 

2. Support an organisation

No time to clean the beach or the streets, but plenty of money instead? Donate to an organisation that protects the environment.

In Portugal, there are GEOTALPN and Sciaena. International organisations include Seas at riskGreenpeace and 5Gyres, which especially focuses on plastic pollution.

Don’t agree with oil drilling in the Algarve? Sign the petition.

3. Think before you buy

Most cosmetics, shampoos and toothpastes contain microbeads. Microbeads suck: they’re tiny plastic particles that are one of the most dangerous sources of marine pollution as you wash them directly down the drain and into the water system.

Now we’re not saying you can’t wash your hair or clean your teeth anymore (that’d be a bit gross), but next time when buying shampoo or toothpaste, look at the packaging and avoid ingredients like polyethylene and polypropylene. Go for a natural variant instead.

 

4. Enjoy nature

This sounds like an easy one, doesn’t it? It is. Enjoy the sea for example: take a surfboard and go for a paddle. Go on a coastal walk and observe the tides. Wait for wind and step in a sailing boat. Try scuba diving. Put on your bathing suit and jump in.

Whatever you do, have fun. The more fun you have, the better. Because then you’ll realise, having fun is only possible in a clean ocean (fancy swimming in a stinking sea full of plastic bags? Don’t think so!). Lightbulb moment.

 

5. Reduce, reuse, recycle

How to use this environmentalist slogan in your daily life?

Reduce: use less stuff. Eg: When choosing between a cucumber wrapped in plastic and one not wrapped in plastic, go for the one without packaging.

Reuse: use the stuff you already have, again. Eg: When your radio breaks, repair it instead of buying a new one. (In the future, consider not buying crappy radios in China shops in the first place. They break).

Recycle: use the stuff other people don’t use anymore. Eg: When shopping for clothes, buy them at a second hand store instead of new (this will also save you money which you can then donate to eco-protecting organisations, see point 2).

 

 

See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine February 2016

Posted in 5 algarvy things.

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