Scientific evidence has shown time and time again that humanities habits, and treatment of the natural world is unsustainable. Not only has humanities actions begun to increase global temperatures, destroyed habitats and threatened wildlife extinction, it is well on the way to causing irrevocable and lasting damage to the planet, which will lead to the planet becoming uninhabitable for even humans. There are many ways in which individual people can begin to think about and incorporate eco-friendly living into their everyday lives, from large changes to the small. Here are some small sustainable adjustments you can make to help save the planet.
Choose to walk or cycle
Although sometimes, using the car is unavoidable, there may be small trips that you can make via a bicycle or simply by walking. By doing this on a regular basis, It will also be a great way for you to stay fit and healthy – so win win! Cycling requires no gasoline, (neither does walking) and therefore does not emit any carbon emissions into the atmosphere whilst you are getting from a-b. Opting to trade the car for a walk or bike-ride every now and again, is a simple way of reducing your carbon footprint. (Plus it will save you money on gas).
Consider increasing your plant-based foods
One major factor of climate change has been indicated as the farming industry, in particular the meat industry. It is estimated that over 50% of the world’s accessible landscape is being used for farming. The farming industry utilizes about 70% of freshwater. According to Harvard Health publishing in 2019: ‘About 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food production. About half of this is from the livestock sector alone…’ Therefore, many experts have urged people to consider reducing their meat intake and looking into a more plant based diet. Although this does not necessarily mean that you have to go vegetarian or vegan, as an indication The Independent reported that ‘researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent.’
Think about purchases
From switching to eco-friendly lightbulbs the next time you have to replace a blown light, to opting for products which contain less plastic. The choices you make when purchasing goods are extremely important in your eco-friendly lifestyle. Small changes such as opting for shampoo or soap bars for your shower, instead of liquid soaps that come in plastic bottles. Can you re-fill water bottles instead of throwing them away, or store food in re-usable containers instead of food bags?
There is also a lot to be said for re-using, perhaps look at your consuming habits and see where you can be more sustainable. Can you swap paper towels for re-usable alternatives? If you menstruate, would you consider looking into sustainable menstrual products and underwear? If you are fashion conscious, can you purchase more eco-friendly items, or purchase less overall? Can you reuse what you already have or make more meaningful purchases overall to reduce your consumption of goods?
One easy way to be eco-friendlier is to simply waste less, which will also probably be beneficial to your pocket too! Try to be more mindful of the food you are wasting, looking into whether you can make meals out of leftovers, or simply buying less to account for what you don’t eat. Try to only buy what you need and make meals out of what you have rather than let it go to waste!
Stylist reported: ‘It’s probably not news to you that food waste is an absolute killer for the environment, but the scale of the problem is pretty shocking. Around one quarter of the calories the world produces are thrown away, with that wastage accounting for 6% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.’
For the organic foods that you do need to throw away, consider keeping a compost heap, instead of sending food waste to landfill. This is fantastic if you like to garden too, as it will produce great compost for your plants.
Many companies are offering the opportunity for their customers or clients to go paperless. Some banks have made this move, so rather than sending statements to your home in the post, you can look at your outgoings online. Other services may offer a paperless option, even some subscription services are online. Look into how you may be able to reduce the amount of paper you are using by opting for paperless options.