The environmental issues plaguing the planet seem like insurmountable problems, but everyone can do their part to help the Earth.
It’s no secret that our lifestyle has had an impact on the environment. Our dependency on fossil fuels to power our lives and transport us to every corner of the world has been detrimental to our health. The increasing population and the demand to feed those hungry mouths have changed the landscape so that we can have homes, businesses, and places for crops and pastures for animals.
The future of our planet looks bleak. Global warming has already changed weather patterns, and the polar ice caps have shrunk. The amount of carbon dioxide in the environment continues to increase. Keeping track of these statistics helps us understand what we are up against and how the planet is being impacted.
It can be pretty depressing knowing what is happening to the world. It can be frustrating and overwhelming to hear that governments refuse to act to mitigate or reverse these impacts. But it’s not all doom and gloom yet. There are things we can do as individuals to reduce the environmental impact, help the planet and perhaps encourage others to follow in our footsteps.
1. Reduce Your Energy Consumption
We live in a technologically-advanced time where we can have light at the flip of a switch. We can connect with others around through globe through our computers, and we can be entertained by our favorite TV shows and movies with the push of a button. But all of these advancements consume energy, which impacts the environment.
To reduce the amount of energy you consume, reduce the amount of time you have your lights on in your home and at work. Open shades to let the sun in during the day. This will not only reduce your energy consumption, but it will also improve your health and boost your mood. If you’re close to a window at work, let the sun shine in there, too.
If you have gadgets at home that aren’t used daily, such as printers or appliances, unplug them until you need them. This will reduce the amount of energy used in your home. Don’t leave your TV on as background noise. Only turn it on when you’re ready to watch.
2. Reduce Your Dependency on Fossil Fuels
Reducing your energy consumption with electronics is part of reducing dependency on fossil fuels, but you can do more by taking alternative means to work, including carpooling, public transportation, walking, riding your bike or telecommuting (if possible).
Fossil fuels can also be reduced by taking fewer flights. Airplanes are one of the largest consumers of fossils fuels and one of the largest polluters. Technology has made it possible and economical for more people to fly than ever before, which means more flights and more pollution that impact the planet. Choosing different travel options or vacationing closer to home can help reduce the amount of pollution from airplanes.
Other ways to reduce dependency on fossil fuels include using less plastic. Plastics are often made from oil, which is a fossil fuel, so reuse or reduce the amount of plastic you purchase and use.
3. Shop Local
Buying groceries at a supermarket or chain store is convenient. It can also help stretch your budget further, but it impacts the environment. Food and products are often shipped from long distances away, which means fossil fuels are being used during transportation. Chemicals are also applied to fruits and vegetables to ensure they stay fresh during the commute, which affects your health.
Buying foods locally from farmer’s markets or local farms and ranches will reduce the amount of pollution and chemicals that find their way into the environment. It also means you’re supporting your local economy and getting fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and other products.
4. Plant a Garden or Some Trees
There are a variety of benefits to growing a garden, including to your health, your budget, and the environment. Plants are natural absorbers of CO2, but as we cut down rainforests to have land for grazing and crops and to build cities, we deplete the planet of its natural ability to rid the atmosphere of excess carbon dioxide. Planting a garden or trees will help offset some of these issues.
The environmental damage we’ve done to our planet is catastrophic, and it will have far-reaching impacts for everyone. We all have to do our part to mitigate these effects and change the planet for the better, but it’s not an impossible task. Small steps can lead to large ramifications. Taking the initiative on an individual level can and will make a difference.