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Four everyday habits with a huge impact

It’s never too late to make a New Year’s resolution – even if we’re almost through February. This year, I’m challenging myself to be more sustainable. What does that even mean? I’m glad you asked! Being sustainable means preserving the air we breathe, the ground we grow our food in, and the oceans, rivers and lakes we get our food and water from. By changing small daily habits in our everyday lives, we can have a huge impact! Here’s a few things I’m challenging myself (and you!) to do:

1) Buy local produce and/or eat locally – Supermarkets are convenient; that’s a fact. You can buy produce and fruits from all around the globe at pretty much any time of the year. However, shipping these products from all around the world to our local corner store consumes huge amounts of fossil fuel energy. By purchasing locally grown items, you can support reducing the energy needed to get products into your home.

2) Minimize waste – One of the biggest problems we have today is how we manage waste. Take a moment to look at what you’re buying and how you’re getting rid of it. If you haven’t already, give composting a try! Many cities (including Atlanta) offer composting programs for folks who don’t have gardens available at home. And let me tell you – homegrown strawberries are worth it!

3) Reduce or eliminate plastic – When you buy a new product, think of how long it will last and avoid anything single-use. And I challenge to you to avoid plastic straws! It turns out, in America we use about 500 million straws every single day. Unfortunately, most of these end up in our oceans. But it’s not just straws that are the problem. These days it’s more convenient to purchase single-use items – things we might not even think about as being single-use. Shampoo bottles, hand soap, plastic bags, plastic wrap (to name a few) can all be easily replaced with sustainable reusable, non-plastic items.

4) Pay attention to labels – Shop organic and look for the Fair-Trade label. Organic foods are grown without pesticides, which are toxic to plants, humans and wildlife. Fair trade supports companies with sustainable methods and pays laborers a fair wage. If you’re shopping for coffee, look for shade-grown coffee, which is grown while keeping forest habitats intact for migratory birds and other species.

I hope you’ll join me welcoming 2019 with these four challenges. Together we can change the world.
Nadia Miecznikowski
Keeper I, Hoofstock

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl