Did you know that Saturday 21st September 2019 is the United Nations International Day of Peace? Even more significant is that this year marks the 20th Anniversary of this global celebration and day of education.
To mark the significance of this milestone the United Nations has declared this year’s theme for International Day of Peace to be Climate Action for Peace, in order to “draw attention to the importance of combating climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world.” 1
While Climate Action probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think about Peace, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reminds us that Peace means “more than a world free of war. It means resilient, stable societies where everyone can enjoy fundamental freedoms and thrive”. 2
When we look at it from this perspective, we can understand why this important issue is being raised as 2019’s global theme. We all know that populations continue to grow, and more resources are needed every day to support this growth, but we rarely think about the everyday things we do or use and how this impacts our planet and the lives of people who are the most vulnerable to climate change.
At ethos we’ve heard the message loud and clear – now is the time for everyone to take action when it comes to looking at our own daily habits and how we can reduce our impact on the environment. We’ve included some ideas to get you started on your journey towards making a difference when it comes to Climate Action.
Don’t brush to the tune of the tap
Did you know we use up to 7.5L of water when brushing our teeth if we leave the taps running!? Even worse, if we brush our teeth when we’re in the shower we could use well over 100 litres of water! In fact, Australian’s are some of the most carefree water users on the planet despite living in one of the driest countries! We use on average 341,000L of water per year, per person. That’s up to 8 backyard swimming pools each. While we may take it for granted that we have fresh, clean water available for our use directly from the tap, there are many places around the world and throughout Australia that sadly don’t have this access. If we simply turn off the tap while brushing we’re not only saving a precious resource, but we’re also ensuring we give our teeth the time and attention needed to ensure they really are clean, instead of quickly brushing to the tune of the tap.3
Look for sustainable options
We all know how exciting it can be to select our new toothbrush – there’s nothing like fresh bristles and a new colour or design to get us motivated when it comes to taking care of our dental health. But did you know that if every Australian just used one plastic toothbrush every year we would still have roughly 350 tonnes of toothbrush waste going to landfill? The plastics used will not break down in a single lifetime, and this is the issue. Masses and masses of plastic being sent to landfill, and leaching into the ground. While Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrushes might not be as cool and colourful as the newest plastic design with the cooler bristles, they still provide effective cleaning. Even better is that Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrushes are becoming more mainstream so you can often find them in local supermarkets. Combine these with our recyclable ethos picks and you’re on the way to making a difference to our environment!
Consider buying bulk
Although not as common, if you can find quality toothpaste & mouthwashes WITHOUT the excessive packaging you’ll be going a long way towards reducing the amount of plastic being sent to landfill. There are some great low & non-plastic options on the market at the moment, but they do take a little researching and might not be as readily available as the local supermarket.
Buy products that are eco-friendly
Everyone needs to floss to maintain their dental health and while there are ways to conquer this during your ethos orthodontic treatments (hello recyclable pick!) there are also zero waste and eco-friendly flossing options too! Again, these ones aren’t as readily available as some others, but their feel-good factor is off the charts! Just think: You’re protecting your dental health AND reducing your impact on the environment!
Think about your habits
Do you buy a bottle of water on the way to work every day? Perhaps your weakness is coffee or tea? Or maybe you just HAVE to use a straw with your favourite smoothies to avoid the pits getting wedged in your brackets? Whatever your weakness, making a conscious small change to these habits could see a huge reduction in the number of plastics & non-recyclable items going into landfill every year. The best ways we’ve found in changing these habits is by picking a practical water bottle, reusable coffee or teacup and recyclable or reusable straws that can fit in our purse or backpack. As Paul Kelly sings, “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”.
Consider the environment
Get used to recycling whatever you possibly can. Simply taking a considered approach to your lifestyle habits and becoming more mindful about your waste will make a huge impact on the environment. Imagine if we were a little more aware of the endpoint for all the things we use and discard during our days?
Head to the markets!
Like everyone we know, we’re always on the go! This means picking up ready-made meals, snacks and drinks for lunches, dinners and in-between times which are often a time (and sanity!) saving option. However, it’s also a good idea to visit local food markets and enjoy the perks of living a slow and seasonal food lifestyle. This might mean we don’t always have access to our favourite fruits & veg, but it also encourages us to try new flavours and experiment with our cooking. Hello, new recipes! Better still, fresh fruits and veggies are good for our overall health and in the process of giving our bodies the essential vitamins and minerals they need, you will also be giving the planet the help it needs!
We’d love to hear your tips on how you are celebrating and taking action this International Day of Peace. Let us know by dropping us a line or visiting us on Facebook!