Experts say that the effects of climate change and the COVID-19 crisis have brought the world to a threshold, meaning we need to face what will be a turbulent next few decades. But in the same way that human activity has caused these problems, human activity will also be at the center of providing solutions.
While true and lasting change needs to come from world governments and the biggest corporations, individuals can still play a huge part in saving the world. Here are some ways you can go green and environmentally friendly in small and big ways.
Invest in a bicycle and use it more.
There is plenty of research and evidence that suggests that replacing vehicular trips with bicycle trips can significantly benefit our environment. One study concluded that if everyone chooses to cycle instead of driving, we can decrease carbon dioxide emissions from urban transportation by nearly 11 percent in 2050. Another study found that if 20 percent of commuters used bicycles instead of cars for short trips just in Madison and Milwaukee, almost 60,000 fewer tons of carbon dioxide would be emitted.
Go paperless in your work.
It may seem simple, but anything we can do to decrease the amount of garbage going into landfills will help reduce pollution and energy use associated with manufacturing and transporting paper products. If you must use paper, make sure it’s for something that others won’t throw away: Like writing personal hand-written notes. In your work or business, consider shifting everything to digital—it will help protect your data and files, too.
Eliminate single-use plastic in your daily life.
As of 2019, 60 countries have already banned single-use plastics, but there’s no denying that a lot of states and cities still get away with it. If you have food delivered, make a note to the restaurant that you don’t need cutlery or straws, especially if they’re made of plastic. Go zero-waste whenever you cook or have food delivered.
Conserve water as much as you can.
Even something as simple as turning off the water while brushing your teeth can help go a long way in helping to conserve water. Using less water helps our bays, rivers, and estuaries clean, which can help keep our environment healthy. It can also decrease wastewater treatment costs and the energy used to pump, treat, and heat water.
Going green also means being as energy-efficient as you can. This is because when we consume less power, we protect ecosystems from being destroyed, we decrease the number of toxic fumes released by power plants, and we help save the earth’s natural resources. Unplug appliances when you don’t need them, and turn off every light or lamp in your house that’s not in use.
Build an eco-friendly home.
If you’re thinking of building your dream home, consider going for the custom home building process instead of the traditional route. A custom home will ultimately be environmentally-friendly every step of the way because it will employ state-of-the-art green building techniques and science while still satisfying your requirements and specifications.
Going vegan or plant-based in your diet is the most efficient way to consume the earth’s natural resources because it entails much less land, water, and energy from fossil fuels. At the same time, when we eliminate animal products from our diet, we help reduce human activity’s harmful impact on the environment. You can also consider planting a home garden and growing your own produce so you can have a choice on the kinds of greens and vegetables you want to put on your table.
Support companies with green practices.
It’s hard to switch products when we already know the kind of brands that work for us and our bodies, but we as consumers must choose the brands we support because corporations play a major role in global climate change, accounting for about 71 percent of all industrial emissions ever since climate change and global warming were first recognized. If all consumers in the world pressured these businesses into doing right by the environment, we might just be able to slow down the effects of climate change. This 2021, consider only buying from companies that have pledged to protect the environment.
Going green in most, if not all, areas of your life is not only good for the environment; it can greatly benefit you, too. Going vegan in your diet will be good for your health, and saving water and electricity will be good for your budget. When we choose environmentally-friendly options, everyone—our wallets, our bodies, and the earth—wins.