10 Things We Can Do To Help The Environment
With the population at 7 billion people and counting, preserving the environment should be a high priority for everyone living here. But, even with all of those people filling this gigantic world of ours, we can still do some small things every day to help preserve our planet, and make it a better place for generations to come.
Environmental destruction is a complex topic. In the past, it was easier to ignore because we saw it as someone else’s problem. But now that weather patterns are affecting more people than ever, we can no longer ignore the earth’s problems. Everything from droughts to tsunamis affect all of us. And when I say everything, I mean it — even your daily cup of coffee impacts negative environmental change.
There are plenty of ways you can help your household become more environmentally friendly. Whether it’s installing a solar panel, turning off the lights or taking your bike instead of the car, there are lots of ways you can do good without diminishing your quality of life — in fact, quite the opposite.
- Feed the Bees
Sheesh! That’s the sound of your neighbor murdering the life out of a thousand green warriors, again. The easiest and most rewarding green makeover is to replace your mower with a rake and… well, that’s it. If you do absolutely nothing else then you’ll dramatically increase the survival rate for nearby bees and other beneficial insects.
Feed the pollinators. Let your lawn live and resist the temptation to poison your dandelions into submission. Bees need more food in a warming world, not less.
2. Stop Plastic Waste
Gone are the days of ordering take-away with a brown paper bag. Used for consumption once and thrown away, disposable utensils and containers are made out of plastics that will be on this earth for thousands of years.
“In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight)” – Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Reducing our plastic footprint is only a few easy changes away. Wherever possible we should bring our own reusable containers to takeaways and put pressure on retailers to cut down on the amount of disposable packaging they use in the first place.
3. Eat Sustainably
Green issues are getting so crisis-y at the moment you almost want to retreat into the farmyard and grow a beard. Or at least get yourself a nice organic tempeh sandwich.
A diet high in meat and dairy is not good for you or the planet. The evidence that a food’s global warming impact depends on what it is fed, how far it travels, and how efficiently it is produced is there for all to see. Eating less of the high impact foods – meat and dairy – is one thing we can do to help our planet.
4. Watch the Dishes
You have dirty dishes. How dirty? Who knows. Set some on the side in a pile. Leave them there for a few days, maybe even up to a week.
The basic idea here is that your dishwasher or rather, how often it is being used, can make or break your green footprint.
5. Reduce, Re-use & Recycle
In terms of carbon emissions, re-using an item has the greatest benefits for the environment. Not only does it save on manufacturing but it also saves on distribution and shipping etc. Reducing, re-using and recycling are key to reducing the amount of “stuff” we consume.
6. Shop Online
Online shopping is easy, and currently far more efficient than shopping in stores. Today, one of the biggest advantages of online shopping is the variety of eco-friendly online shops.
7. Travel Responsibly
We all love holidays and with the rise of budget airlines, it’s getting cheaper to travel further. But how much does travel account for in your carbon footprint? It can be hard to know exactly how far your holiday will go on hurting the environment but thankfully analysts looking at the data have done the work for you.
8. Support Clean Energy
A short haul return flight is about 10% of your yearly carbon footprint, whereas a regular two-way trip from New York to Sydney could make that figure astronomical.
Renewables are starting to overtake fossil fuels. The industry is growing by staggering amounts every year. From solar to wind and hydro, there’s a renewable energy plan that can power your world.
It’s the easiest way to help the environment and reward yourself with cheaper bills.
9. Use Your Voice
You may not realize it, but we are living in an era that has the potential to become the most environmentally damaging period yet. Heart-wrenching images of dying forests and bleached coral ecosystems have made their way into our living rooms, exposing us all to a reality we cannot ignore. So what should we do? Write to your MP. Tweet your favourite politician. Protest outside government buildings. The more noise you make, the more likely they are to listen.
Each year thousands of people speak out, joining with hundreds of thousands of others to urge their elected representatives to take action on climate change. Hundreds of MPs from all political parties agree that climate change is a problem that needs action.
10. Be Inspired and Inspire Change
There is no doubting the impact that we as humans have had on the planet. The damage is both physical and mental, and perhaps far beyond what many of us envisaged. We can all do out part to inspire others to see the value and beauty of nature and its wildlife. Begin the work by understanding how our planet’s wildlife connected to your own health and well-being.