“I want you to act as if the house is on fire because it is,” said the young climate activist Greta Thunberg to the decision-makers at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 24th, 2019. Could this call to being more environmentally responsible be directed at us ordinary people, too?
While it’s naïve to believe that one single person’s effort can compensate for the rest of the world, it is also foolish to think that your action or the lack of it doesn’t count. By making environmentally responsible choices, each of us can contribute to the fight against global warming and all the other after-effects of humankind’s irresponsible relationship with nature.
In this article, we’ll discuss just how critical the situation is and how we can get involved.
What’s the state of the environment now?
According to the sixth Global Environmental Outlook released at a U.N. environmental conference, the Earth’s condition is constantly deteriorating. There is a need for urgent action and environmentally responsible damage control. The planet suffers from biodiversity loss, land degradation, air, water, and land pollution, and the consequences of climate change. The extinction rate of a number of species is rising. This, in turn, affects everything from the climate and soil to natural disasters. There is a notable decrease in vegetation productivity, which threatens food security. Water quality has significantly worsened since the previous decades. The industry is constantly polluting the air despite numerous modern technologies that could prevent that.
Obviously, this is not just the world’s problem, but a threat to each individual life.
Should you act to prevent it?
Well, as we’ve suggested above, all of these events can directly affect your life, the one of your family, and, particularly, the lives of your descendants. So, we’re asking you: should you act to prevent it?
Of course, you should. But can you prevent it?
Well, you can definitely play your part. In fact, Dr. Peter Newman of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute in Perth claims that ordinary people can make a huge difference in preserving the environment.
“There are things you can do with electric cars, but you can also change to using more public transport, or biking, or walking more, or reducing the need for heating and cooling,” he explained to the reporters before the U.N. summit.
He gave various examples, including using solar roof panels and eating less beef.
Things you can do to be more environmentally responsible
So, to elaborate more on what dr. Newman was saying, here are some things you can do to be more environmentally responsible from now on:
Join the tiny living movement
The Tiny house movement is based on the idea that we will accumulate less stuff and spend less energy if we are occupying less space, which makes perfect sense. Many people are downsizing and moving from large suburban homes to small apartments and houses.
One of the popular ways of changing the way you live and being more eco-friendly is to opt for cargotecture. This means building creative living spaces out of shipping containers or, at least, using shipping containers as additional amenities instead of constructing a shed, garage, or similar structure.
Recycle, reuse, repurpose
This is the golden rule of environmentally responsible living. You can use it in almost every aspect of your life – from furnishing your home to the way you drink coffee. Since we’ve already mentioned buying or building a house, if you’re opting for a shipping container, you can purchase a used one (which is more affordable). You can also equip your property with repurposed or secondhand furniture. Finally, the least you can do is to renounce plastic bags when going grocery shopping.
Don’t leave a paper trail
We’re entering the year 2020, really, who is using paper these days? Well, you would be surprised. You’re probably even using paper on a daily basis. But you don’t have to.
Some of the steps you can take include:
- using e-books for your reading
- using e-tickets instead of paper ones (e.g., for planes, concerts, etc.)
- advertising your business through the web instead of handing out flyers, etc.
Eat less meat
We’re not talking you into becoming vegan if you don’t want to, but meat-free days can strike a blow to the meat industry, which is one of the leading causes of climate change. This especially goes for beef.
Lightbulbs, electric appliances, and other elements of your home could be using more energy than they should. Look for energy-saving alternatives and try to opt for renewable energy whenever you can. Also, improve your home’s insulation so that you need less energy to keep it at the temperature you want.
Zero Waste Mini-Workshop
This 7-day project is perfect for individuals, families, and even classrooms. Anyone can implement the steps outlined in this starter project to reduce waste. In fact, it’s laid out in such a way that you can’t go wrong! I’ve eliminated the “where do I start” and will empower you to say, “I started my Zero Waste Effort TODAY!”
Parents teaching children at home will find this is an excellent Earth Day project. Just download the project plan, watch the video, and get started.
Every change starts with a small step. Try to contribute to a better and healthier planet by taking at least some of the steps we’ve talked about. Bit by bit, you’ll adopt more environmentally responsible habits. Eventually, the eco-friendly way of life will become more effortless for you. Remember, every single contribution to the fight for preserving our planet counts.
This article was originally published on Waste Free Tennessee.