Humanity has damaged the planet: this is not upfor debate. We even experience the devastating consequences. But instead of feeling hopeless about it, each of us should do our part in protecting the Earth from further ruin. We can start by making better and more sustainable choices in our daily lives, such as doing the following.
Every product we buy leaves an environmental footprint — from the raw materials needed in creating it, to the pollution the factory emitted during manufacturing, and the packaging it came with that takes hundreds of years to decompose in landfills. So before purchasing any product, ask yourself if you really need it or just want it, and if you can recycle or reuse anything you have in hand to serve the purpose of what you were planning to buy.
If you do need something, choose gently-used options as much as you can. Hit thrift stores, vintage stores, or secondhand shops. Clothes, in particular, are among the products you should absolutely avoid buying brand new, because the global textile and clothing industry has severe negative impact on the environment. Secondhand shopping is also a lot less expensive than buying brand new items, so you get to help the environment and your wallet, as well.
Automotive companies are now producing more energy-efficient vehicles. However, driving will always come with significant environmental consequences, which we can mitigate by limiting the use of our cars.
Avoid making short trips with your car. If your destination is under a mile away, you can take public transportation, carpool, ride your bike, or simply walk instead. Implement car-free days in your family. Consolidate your shopping trips by keeping a list and waiting until it is long enough to hit the mall or grocery. This way, you can save upon fuel costs (which seem to be forever on the rise, anyway), and prevents impulse buying.
Plastic waste is one of our major environmental problems. Almost every product in the market uses plastic, most of which we throw away almost immediately after buying. To avoid adding to this problem, choose to live a plastic-free life.
Use reusable shopping bags, and refuse plastic bags as much as you can. You can use a canvas tote bag, a backpack, a messenger bag, an old grocery bag or whatever works for you as long as it is not a plastic bag.
Give upon bottled water, and carry your own mug or water bottle instead. Metallic mugs and reusable water bottles are a great option, and you can even laser engrave stainless steel tumblers to personalize them.
Always carry reusable utensils and drinking straws, as well, to use whenever you eat out.
Grow your own
Being sustainable means building a healthy relationshipwith nature, and an extremely sustainable way to do this is to grow your own produce. Set upyour own vegetable garden. If you have a yard, set aside some space to grow vegetables and get your entire family involved. If you live in an apartment, you can do the same with a small garden planter or a couple of pots
Aside from adding flora to your area, the food you grow will be free of fertilizers and pesticides that are harmful to the environment. And you do not have to buy them wrapped in plastic. Gardening also improves our mental health.
While we are not the mass-producing industrial pollutants of the world, even our small daily choices to consume the products of these industries affect the environment. By doing our part and choosing to live a sustainable lifestyle as individuals, we are starting a domino effect that will eventually stop our collective environmental damage altogether, and save the planet we call home.