The facts supporting human-induced climate change continue to pile up, and they strongly suggest that an increase in carbon dioxide and greenhouse gasses have directly contributed to the global warming of our planet. The earth is our only home and we need to treat it like so.
Here are three strategies you can use that will help to reduce your ecological footprint.
1. Say NO to disposable containers and plastics
At first glance, disposable plastics are cheap and convenient, but upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that they are very damaging to both our health and the environment. Reduce your use of disposable containers, and place a strong emphasis on eliminating plastic waste throughout your daily life. If you follow the tips below you can make an impact almost immediately.
- These bags will improve your shopping experience and free up space in your cupboard that is currently home to countless plastic bags (Don’t believe me? Go take a look for yourself!)
Purchase a reusable water bottle and use it religiously.
- Disposable water bottles are unhealthy for you, and they make up a huge percentage of the plastics that end up in landfills. In addition to the environmental benefits, having a water bottle with you at all times will encourage you to drink more water. This will improve your health and reduce your reliance on other types of drinks.
- Some water bottles have great insulation qualities, my Klean Kanteen is able to hold ice cubes for over 12+ hours, and can keep tea or coffee hot for about the same amount of time. Let’s see your Aquafina water bottle do that! Did I mention that water is free when you have a container for it?
Be conscious of the amount of waste you’re creating
- It’s easy to become accustomed to trash in a world of thoughtless consumption. Break this cycle and think twice when using single-use and disposable items.
- Order less take out, pack your lunches in reusable glass containers,
and don’t use paper plates or plastic utensils.
- Cooking your meals at home and meal prepping for the week is almost always a cheaper, healthier, and more environmentally friendly practice than eating out.
- Remember not to get overwhelmed, and don’t worry about trying to eliminate all disposable containers from your life. Start small and focus on reducing your waste over time.
2. Decrease your meat consumption
Raising meat is an extremely inefficient use of energy, and decreasing your meat consumption is one of the best ways to reduce your ecological footprint.
- I strongly encourage vegetarianism or veganism, but any decrease in meat consumption will help.
- A good way to begin your transition towards a meatless diet is to take part in “meatless Mondays”.
- This will start to change your eating habits and let you taste a variety of new meatless options (which are delicious by the way!).
3. Buy Local
The items around you have most likely traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to make it to their current destination. While some items are primarily made overseas with no local alternatives, many items can be purchased within your local community.
- Purchasing your vegetables from a local farmer’s market rather than having them shipped from across the country is a great example of this.
- Purchasing locally helps to reduce your ecological footprint and strengthens your community.
Following these strategies won’t save the world overnight, but every action counts! These tips will improve your health and quality of life, and may also start a shift in your mentality.
Becoming aware of your surroundings and thinking about the true effects of your actions will help to remind you what is truly important in this world.