More and more people are realizing that the impact they have on the planet and environment is a lot larger than they had initially thought. We tend to think that since we are just one person, we don’t make much of a difference either way, so it doesn’t matter what you do. This is far from the truth, but the thought process to get to that conclusion makes a lot of sense. The truth of it is that we all have a similar mindset. And we make up all the people on this planet. And all of these people, doing whatever they want thinking there will be no consequence, make a very big impact. You may be just one person, but making small changes to reduce your impact on the environment actually make a big difference.
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Cut back on meat consumption
Probably one of the biggest ways you can positively impact the environment is to cut back on your personal consumption of meat. No, this doesn’t mean you have to go vegan! A vegan lifestyle isn’t attainable for everyone, but cutting back on animal products is attainable for absolutely everyone. Start small, no one can comfortably become a vegan overnight. Start by switching to a plant based milk. Oat and almond are delicious alternatives! Cut meat out a few days a week, it doesn’t have to be every day. If you are going to eat meat, chicken is a more sustainable meat than beef is. And when you purchase meat, go through local butchers and farmers that you know take care of their animals in humane ways without growth hormones. This way, even though you are eating meat, you are contributing to the ethical side of the business.
Choose sustainable products
The products you use every day have an impact on the environment! Chemicals in products you use, such as cleaning products and paint, let off emissions that enter the atmosphere. Switching to natural cleaners is easy and honestly much less expensive than you’d think. Companies like Public Goods create sustainable products with surprisingly low prices (sometimes cheaper than if you purchased them at a store!). When you buy these products, try to shop at places besides big box stores and websites like Amazon, because they aren’t as ethical in their production.
Cut out unnecessary plastic usage
A lot of us use plastic in ways that we don’t even realize! Think about all of the plastic you use just when you go grocery shopping! Bring a few reusable canvas totes with you to bag your groceries with, to avoid using those flimsy plastic bags that are so horrible for the environment. You can also purchase reusable produce bags, to completely cut out the need for plastic when you are grocery shopping! Replace your toothbrushes with bamboo ones (that are recyclable), and when you buy something new online, ask for minimal packaging to be used.
Buy things second hand
The world of fast fashion has been really harsh on the environment. Thrift shopping gets a bad rep, and a lot of people think it will be gross or dirty. However, thrift shopping is a great opportunity to get clothing at incredibly low prices, as well as find absolute gems you may not be able to find elsewhere. This is true of not only clothing, but of furniture as well.
Find alternate ways to recycle
As long as there is a recycling symbol on your packaging, you should make efforts to recycle it. But recycling goes beyond that. Gather up your glass, and take it all to a recycling plant, as most cities won’t accept glass in their regular recycling receptacles. There are other items that are made of recyclable material, but are hard to recycle due to other reasons. Applesauce pouches, plastic snack bags (like jerky), and other items like that. There are companies out there that will accept these items and recycle them for you. Terra is a great one to use! They pay for the shipping, and you simply have to save up the items, and send them over, and they’ll do the rest.
Drive a little bit less
We spend a lot of our time in cars. Idling, driving, waiting at stop lights. All of that time spent in a car, creates pollution that is far from good for the environment. Often, this is somewhat unavoidable. In most places, taking a car is going to be the best option. So, don’t try to cut out driving completely(unless that is not a difficult task to do), but try to cut back. Maybe carpool to work a few days a week. When you arrive at your destination, turn off your car immediately, don’t let the engine idle. Run all of your errands all at once, instead of spacing them out.
Guest post by Aurora McCausland
What are your favorite ways to reduce your impact on the environment?
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