Our lifestyle is slowly destroying the planet and the environment we live in. In the future, the planet is going to become inhabitable if we don’t make a change now. Oceans are already overflowing with plastic and killing sea life, while we’re using materials that just aren’t sustainable to create products that we regularly buy. If you want to make a difference, all it really takes is deciding to take action each day to save the planet. Here are ten things I’ve learned about protecting the environment:
- Stop using plastic. Plastic is overflowing in the ocean. It’s killing fish and other marine life. It’s even torturing them, as it can get stuck and change the way they grow, and do other unthinkable things. Plastic does not waste away like other materials we use. Sure, sometimes it can be recycled, but we should still use less of it if we can. Places are beginning to wake up to this now; restaurants and pubs have started using paper straws, and some have removed plastic straws altogether. Skipping the straw with your drink might sound simple, but it’s something you can do to work towards a better planet and future for us all.
- Always reuse your bags. Most people have a drawer dedicated to carrier bags these days, yet we go out, buy a few things, and end up bringing more bags home. Instead, set yourself reminder to take your own bags with you every time you go shopping. There are many reasons to go reusable, so make sure you start taking action. Leave bags in your car if you think that will help when you go to do your food shopping.That’s what I do, and I use them not just for groceries, but also for household purchases and much more!
- Pay attention to what you’re buying. Pay more attention to what you’re buying and the type of businesses you’re giving your money to. Are they helping to work towards a better future for us all or not? If not, do you really want to give them your money? Businesses make a huge impact on the environment, so it’s crucial they set out to make a difference. Who you give your money to will affect that.
- Recycle. Make a note of what can be recycled and make sure you’re vigilant. It’s easy to throw things in any old bin, but paying a little more attention can change everything.
- Eat less meat. Eating less meat has a plethora of benefits, not only saving the planet.Vegetarians tend to have fewer health problems than meat eaters and live longer lives. Studies have even shown that many vegetarian athletes perform better than their competitors. Just make sure you’re getting nutrients in your diet from healthy sources. For instance, you want plenty of vegetables, fruits, and things like nuts, nut butter, chickpeas, lentils, and similar food sources to make sure you’re getting healthy carbs, fats, and protein.
- Be aware of farming practices. So much pollution and waste is created by large-scale factory farming and meat production. Meat production can be inhumane, so if you are concerned about animal welfare this is something to explore. You may wish to introduce fake meat products into your diet to reduce your meat consumption. Shop at a farmer’s market, ask local farmers about how their food is grown and produced. It’s all too easy to remain disconnected from this issue as we often don’t see the suffering, but it’s being brought to light more often through the news and awareness campaigns. You don’t have to become a vegetarian right away, just eat less meat.
- Use less paper. You don’t need to receive bills or mail in paper form, so notify your providers that you’d like to have them sent to you via email. You’ll waste less paper and have less to shred/sort/recycle.
- Start carpooling. Carpooling saves money and gas and causes much less pollution.
- Avoid wasting water. Start walking or riding a bike to work, or wherever you can. This will help to reduce greenhouse gases, as well as making you healthier and happier in the long run. One person really can make a difference!
- Walk or ride your bike to work. Start walking or riding a bike to work, or wherever you can. This will help to reduce greenhouse gases, as well as making you healthier and happier in the long run. For most of my career, I have been fortunate enough to live close enough to work to bike, walk, or take public transit. I’m not in that situation now, and it’s probably the #1 thing I miss.
Start doing these things every day and you will be making a difference to the planet. Many will tell you that one person can’t make a difference, but nothing could be further from the truth. Start now and you’ll be healthier, happier, and saving the planet!
Note: this post contains contributed content.