The pandemic has taken the world by storm. As a result, other global issues that are just as urgent, like climate change, have taken a backseat.
But just because global warming has not been in the headlines as much doesn’t mean we can’t do our part in saving the planet. Indeed, real and long-term solutions demand action on a global scale, but there are choices we can make in our daily life to lessen our impact on the environment. While living a greener lifestyle may seem like an inconvenient and demanding task, there are simple lifestyle changes we can make to help save Mother Nature.
Cut down on waste.
By 2050, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. That is an alarming statistic and one that we can prevent if we act sooner rather than later.
There are so many creative ways to reuse and recycle. Plastic bottles can be repurposed as plant pots, old jars can be used as candle holders, and leftovers can be used to create more interesting meals. Look up some ideas from helpful lifestyle websites like Pinterest. The sky is the limit!
Be mindful of what you purchase and consume.
A huge part of reducing waste is to be mindful of the things we buy and consume.
One simple thing we can do now is to explore products that use sustainable processes and packaging. It’s, indeed, hard to make the switch when we already have products that we have sworn by for a long time, but it’s always worth checking to see if there are similar products that adhere to more eco-friendly standards. Look for companies that have pledged to improve their environmental footprint and support them.
When corporations see that consumers care about the environment, they might be more likely to switch to more sustainable methods.
One upside to the global lockdown was the stark drop in pollution. A study found that carbon emissions fell 17% worldwide under coronavirus lockdowns. There is some hope that the pandemic may alter people’s behaviors more permanently.
One simple way to reduce your carbon footprint is to drive less. This is perhaps the easiest lifestyle change on this list. If you’re going a short distance, walk. Opt to bike to work instead of driving. Walking and biking are good for your health as they are also a form of exercise. Make use of public transport, especially if social distancing rules are followed.
If you must drive, do so efficiently. Take it easy on the gas and brakes—doing so can help reduce emissions.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, we can help reduce global warming pollution through water efficiency measures.
We waste water every single day. Thankfully, there are many simple choices we can make now to change this. These include taking shorter showers, taking baths instead of showers, turning off the water while brushing our teeth, checking faucets and pipes for leaks, watering our lawn only when necessary, and many others.
On average, houses with swimming pools use more than twice as much water as those without a pool. Households with swimming pools can consult with companies that offer solutions to recycle swimming pool water to reduce their water waste daily.
When it comes to climate change, knowledge is power. It will protect us from being swayed by false information and unscientific claims. Being informed also equips us to have polite conversations about our lifestyle and to graciously influence people to make the same responsible choices.
Donate and/or volunteer.
Organizations all over the world are doing their part in the fight against climate change. Look for reputable foundations and find ways to donate to their cause. Social media sites like Facebook hold birthday fundraisers; use these features to encourage your friends and family to give as well.
If your time allows, do some volunteer work. Use your skills to spread the word. If you’re a graphic designer, offer to make an infographic about the green lifestyle; if you’re a writer, come up with a persuasive and educational blog about the subject. There are many creative ways to use your gifts to promote sustainability and climate justice.
The nations of the world signed the Paris Accord in 2015, but just because governments and corporations have committed to combating climate change and its effects doesn’t mean we are exempted from individually playing our part. We all have a responsibility to the earth we live in. While it’s easier to avoid dealing with hard realities, we owe it to our children and their children to leave this world a better place than we found it. Making simple changes in our day-to-day lifestyle can contribute greatly to the difficult task of saving our planet.