With Earth day passing on Monday, April 22nd, people have started more and more to buckle down on the message of trying to help the planet. As scientists have spread that we have 11 more years until climate change will be irreversible, everyday people over the internet have been trying to push to be better and do better for the environment. However, this is such a tiny fraction of people actually doing something- or spreading the word without following. While for some, it may seem like helping the world is something you don’t have time for, or can’t afford. It’s actually a lot easier to contribute as much as you can as a single human being. While we are not the sole creators and purpose to this change in the Earth (we didn’t all create plastic), we can each make motion to go against it, and in ways that make your life even more affordable than it is now. Here are just a few ways to do that easily in your life, as accessible as it may be.
Use reusable bags. This can work for anywhere that you shop to pick up things, and they’re easing to find- probably at the places you shop. Way too often are we using unnecessary plastic, especially in grocery stores. The amount of plastic bags that you end up having can be replaced by a couple of reusable bags for each time you or your family goes shopping. It does better for the environment, as only 2% of plastic bags actually get recycled, while the rest may end up in a landfill or even decompose in the ocean, filling both with toxins that could be avoided. A reusable bag can last you 15 years, instead of 5 plastic ones a week. This can also go for water bottles- you can get a lot more out of a reusable bottle for many years over a plastic one that won’t even keep your drink cold.
Have a few vegetarian meals a week. Even just decreasing by one or two meals would help. The less red meat the better, but by decreasing your meat purchases and intake by just a little bit you can contribute. The industry for killing livestock releases lots of greenhouse gasses into the planet’s air, as well as cutting down forests to create more space for their farming. Researchers have even warned that western countries need to drop the purchase and consumption of these meats by 90% to get out of the danger zone. The less each person purchases, the better we are doing.
Use gas transportation less-We all have to get somewhere, all the time. But with the gases and chemicals like carbon dioxide that our motor vehicles let out, road transportation is the biggest contributor to climate change. By doing things like carpooling with a friend when you’re both going to the same place or walking/biking more than you’re in a car, you can help the contribution.
Help clean up beaches! There are groups you can find everywhere online that go out to the beach and pick up the litter- but you can also do it with your own group of friends or family whenever! Picking up any litter that you see in the beach or on the street can do the world just a little better- and definitely don’t litter yourself. Putting everything where they should go and recycling, and just using less waste yourself can help so much
Conserve water! Runoff and waste that ends up in the ocean can come from the more water each person uses in their household. By keeping running water on only when it absolutely has to be on, or by taking quick showers instead of standing there and thinking for an hour, you can help. A lot of times, it’s just about acting less. Use less of everything. You can also buy organic products and soaps that contribute to helping the environment instead of putting chemicals into your drains. Soaps that are natural and use less packaging/damage in their ingredients help greatly- and are better for you in the long run. You can even make your own!
If everyone contributes to just a few simple things, we can all try to take a step further in helping the planet every day forward before it’s too late.