1. Don’t use toilet seat covers
Strange as it may sound, but these wafer-thin little pieces of paper do nothing for your touche. While they give you a feel-good barrier between you and a public toilet, it is basically only that. According to Dr. Sherry Marts, scientific director of the Society for Women’s Health Research, “It’s OK to sit down. Most organisms that cause STDs will not survive for long on a toilet seat.” When you really think about it, when else has a piece of paper that thin ever saved you from anything?
How much good would it do? I haven’t been able to find any definitive answer, but I would feel comfortable throwing out a number in the area of 50,000 trees a year.
2. Wash your hair less
Ask your hairstylist about this one, and you may be surprised what they tell you! Washing your hair everyday can actually be damaging and cause it to start out dry and quickly become greasy. Slowly begin to extend periods between washing so your scalp and hair can adjust until you reach 2-3 washings a month. Soap seems harmless enough, but with the amount we use and dump in our waterways today, it can be downright harmful to those little fishes. Given all that is in shampoo these days, I wouldn’t want to drink it.
3. Pee in the shower or outside in your garden
I’m sure we are going to ruffle some feathers with this one, but we are going to emphasize that urine is sterile! By reliving yourself in the shower, you are saving a toilet flush and the urine is going to the same place anyway (unless you have a specific greywater system, even better.) If you choose to pee outside, you are replenishing nature! Be sure to dilute it with water and hit different spots in your garden or it could be a bit too much fertilizer for your plants (try peeing directly on your compost if you have one to enhance it.)
4. Turn your pool into a pond
The thought of turning your sterile crystal blue chlorinated oasis into a green stagnant cesspool sure sounds unappealing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Turn your backyard pool into a natural ecosystem that is self-regulating without the use of chemicals. Natural pools have been around for awhile and they keep getting better. This doesn’t mean abandoning your pool to turn into a mosquito breeding ground, there are ways to do it right. Not only are you eliminating the harsh chemical use, but you are also providing habitat for flora and fauna, and you can still swim in it!
5. Eat Insects
That’s right, I said it – eat insects. Not only a great (and abundant) source of protein, you reducing your impact on the environment in a big way. A popular way to supplement protein intake in many other countries, it hasn’t really taken off here in the West. Start small with some chocolate covered grasshoppers, maybe a few ants here an there before you graduate to beetles and grubs. Introduce them to salads, stews and stir-fry to help disguise them, they don’t have to be raw. With so many varieties, colors and textures, I’m sure you will find a favorite.