Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Make A Difference To The Environment

It is easy to feel a sense of powerlessness when it comes to the environment. While reforms undoubtedly need to be made at the central, state and local government levels, our individual actions, at least in the aggregate and at community levels, can help make a significant difference. Here are some useful suggestions that can reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change:

Avoid all single-use disposable plastic items

Plastics help protect and preserve goods while reducing weight in transportation ― but the benefits pretty much end there. Plastics originate as fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases from creation to disposal, according to a May 2019 report, “Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet,” released by the Center for International Environment.

Recycling plastic alone will unfortunately not cut it; you have to stop buying it, too. Avoid single-use disposable plastic as much as you can. For instance, you may buy in bulk rather than purchasing packaged foods. Eliminate your takeout plastic waste by carrying your own non-plastic mug, water bottle, utensils, straw, food container, reusable bag. Try living a zero-waste lifestyle ― new zero-waste bulk stores are popping up all over to help you out.

Ditch the car

The decision to drive somewhere is a mindless thing for most of us: We hop in, maybe put our destination in Google Maps, and head from point A to point B. Over time, though, all those miles rack up. It is time to be more mindful of your driving and to avoid all unnecessary car trips and cluster errands for efficiency. Non-driving options like walking, biking, and making use of public transportation can help create a huge difference. 

Give composting a chance

Composting is considered as one of the most effective tools in the ‘save-the-world tool’ belt. That is because people waste an unbelievable amount of food and most of it ends up in a landfill. While one may think food would break down upon being dumped into a giant hole in the ground, it does not because landfills are not aerated for proper decomposition. On the contrary, all of that oxygen-deprived organic matter releases methane, which is 30 times more powerful and destructive than CO2. Composting, thus, is a good way to combat wastefulness. It can be done via tumbler bins, worm bins, trench composting, bokashi bins, electric composters etc., depending on whether you have a backyard or a balcony.

Opt for sustainable fashion

The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, according to the World Bank. The water used to manufacture clothing has drained rivers and lakes around the world, destroying ecosystems. Rectify your fast-fashion buying ways by wearing the clothes you do have instead of running out to purchase a new outfit for every occasion. If you are really yearning to shop, consider going secondhand. By doing this, not only are you reducing demand and stemming the flow of new stuff but are also helping keep existing items in use for longer, maximizing their potential and making the best use of the resources that were used.

Conduct more meetings online.

Quarantine has made work-from-home and online meetings the norm. But this has more benefits than just that of social distancing in these times. It will help cut down on the carbon footprint left behind by frequent travels to and fro, be it by road or by air. Conduct virtual meetings instead and save trips for once or twice each quarter. 

Engage family and friends in this discussion

Talk to your friends and family about these topics that need awareness. Personal stories are often the most effective in persuading others to give change a chance. Encourage your family, friends, acquaintances, and even the locally elected officials to implement bigger, more substantial changes in your city or district. You will feel less overwhelmed by your awareness of the problem when you each recognize the power to collectively solve it, share the tasks, and enjoy working together for our common good!

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