Only People Who Give a Damn About the Planet Do 20 of These 30 Things


By: Livia van Heerde

Think you’re an eco-warrior? If you’re doing 20 of these 30 things you can officially call yourself an Oxygen Project-approved saviour of the planet. You go Glen Coco!

1. Meatless Monday

You give up meat for the environment. Your favourite dish is plant based, you get excited over vegetables, and pray for the day your local café has vegan cake.

2. Calculate that footprint

You’ve used a CO2 calculator before to calculate your carbon footprint. The outcome shocked you and you made actual changes to reduce it.

3. Bye-bye carbon

You offset your airplane travels and support projects that reduce, avoid and remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

4. Totes b(r)agging

You haven’t owned a plastic bag in years and always carry a tote bag. You never know when you’ll need it, right?

5. Recycle

Recycling was one of the first changes you applied to your life when you got interested in sustainability, so now it’s like breathing…but it doesn’t stop there…

6. Recycle for your friends

When you and your friends are at lunch, you make sure they put their food packaging in the right bin. Your nickname is “the Recycle Nazi.”

7. But first – (sustainable) coffee

You always carry a reusable coffee cup and would rather skip coffee for a day than use the wasteful disposable cups.

8. BYOL – Bring your own lunch

It’s cheaper, probably healthier and more sustainable than using disposable cutlery and eating food wrapped in extra packaging.

9. Ride a bicycle

That Queen song is your go-to when you use your bike to get from A to B. Cold and rain don’t stop you from using this infinitely sustainable transportation.

10. Zero-emissions vacay

Saying no to air travel was high up on your new resolutions list and you took a no-fly holiday instead.

11. Local and organic everything

You look forward to the Sunday farmers market to get your local and organic produce, and your favourite restaurant only uses local ingredients. Your supermarket cart is full of products from the organic range.

12. Planet Earth II

You watch documentaries about the environment and sustainability and even organise viewings with reluctant friends and family.

13. Put your money where your mouth is

You’ve donated to environmental NGOs before and supported sustainability projects.

14. Clean it up

You’ve participated in a clean-up before. Whether it was on the beach, the park or the forest. You saved those animals from entanglement and swallowing plastic pieces!

15. Kick butt(s)

You don’t smoke because of the environmental impact obviously, but when you hang out with your smoking friends/ colleagues, they know they better throw that cigarette butt in the trash and not on the streets, or else they’ll feel your angry stares. You have picked up their cigarette butts from the street before and thrown them in the trash.

16. That non-toxic life

Your bathroom and kitchen are filled with non-toxic beauty and cleaning products. Sustainably packaged, non-toxic, organic, natural and cruelty-free are the only labels you care about.

17. <3 Public transportation

You avoid cars like the plague. Public transport is your jam, and you always encourage your friends not to take Uber and opt for the bus or train after that night-out instead.

18. Sustainable hydration

You’ve been carrying a water bottle with you for years. Why trash the environment with plastic water bottles when you can refill your reusable bottle? Duh!

19. Package-free

You’ve been to a package-free grocery store before and tried that Lauren Singer zero waste lifestyle thing.

20. Social media heroes

You follow eco-warriors on social media platforms to learn more on environmental topics. Greta Thunberg’s Twitter is the highlight of your day.

21. Use every trick in the book

You own books on environmental protection and sustainability and get excited over eco-book gifts from your friends and family.

22. Have fashion sense

You boycott fast fashion and love to go thrifting. Your favourite fashion piece in your closet is either second hand or from a sustainable fashion label.

23. The 3Rs

You avoid new purchases whenever possible. You repair and reuse the things you already own and take care of your possessions in general.

24. No straw, please

People have lived without straws for most of humanity’s existence. You don’t need a straw in your cocktail or orange juice. In fact, you automatically add “No straw, please” to every drink order.

25. Green energy

Your energy provider is green, and your home is powered by renewable energy.

26. Eco-student life

You studied an environment-related subject or are currently a nature-loving student. Whether it’s environmental science, climate change, environmental law, geography or biology – your university experience is all about protecting our planet.

27. Strike!

You’ve been to a Fridays for Future strike and other demonstrations to protect the environment.

28. Go child-free

You made the decision not to have kids. While your mum is very unhappy about that decision, you’re okay with cool aunt status. You told her it’s better for the environment and those kids wouldn’t have a stable climate to grow up in anyways.

29. Work in sustainability

Living sustainably isn’t enough for you. You went the extra mile and committed yourself to a job in the sustainability sector. You work on saving the environment on and off the clock.

30. Vote, vote, vote

The environment was an important factor when you voted in your local elections. You checked the electoral manifestos for environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation commitments.

On a scale of Trump to Thunberg – how well did you do? We all can try to live a bit more sustainably in our everyday lives and help mother nature out a little. Don’t get discouraged and start acting!

Eco-Warriors Around the World