10 Easy Lifestyle Changes To Help Protect The Planet
Come on, you know you want to.
Sometimes, the problems facing not only our global society, but also our planet, feel overwhelming. And sure, you care - but what can you, as one tiny little person among 7 billion, actually do?
Well, quite a lot actually. In fact, it’s essential that we realise we’re all very important cogs in this huge machine we call life - and even the small changes CAN make a difference.
Here’s 10 easy peasy changes you can put into practice right now. Mother Nature will thank you.
1. Green your commute.
Climate-polluting emissions are a big problem, but you can reduce in one big way - transportation. Cycling and walking to work are obviously the greenest options, but if that’s not possible, take public transport as much as you can. If that’s not possible, consider car-sharing, or switching to an electric or hybrid vehicle. Bonus of the cycling/walking option? Getting in some exercise without having to endure the hell that is the gym. Just saying.
2. Switch to energy efficient LED light bulbs today.
It sounds simple, because it is - and LED bulbs are up to 80% more efficient than other types. They’ve come a long way since the ugly ‘harsh white light that burns my retinas’ days too - you can get nice soft, glowy LED bulbs that still keep a room feeling cosy now. Promise.
Did you know that leaving your electronics plugged in when you’re not using them - TV, chargers, laptop etc., wastes a whole lot of energy? Well you do now. Uplug and you'll also save yourself some $$$ on your energy bill while you're at it.
4. Keep your clothes cool.
Choose a cold or warm cycle on your washing machine - it’ll still clean your clothes just as well as a hot cycle, but with considerably less energy.
5. Hang it up.
On the subject of laundry, dryers are a huuuuuge energy suck. Use a drying rack where you can - yes, it takes longer, but hey - you’re helping to save the planet.
6. Cut down on meat.
Before you start raging, nobody is suggesting you go vegan. But simply cutting down how much red meat you ingest can have a huuuuge impact. Cows produce crazy amounts of climate-changing gases such as methane, not to mention the amount of land that has to be cleared to make room for their grazing, or the water resources it takes to raise and care of them. How about eating red meat just once a week? Try it and you might just realise that it’s not as essential to your diet as you thought.
7. Keep track of your trash.
If you notice you’re always throwing away a load of veg, or only getting through half a carton of milk before it goes bad, adapt your shopping habits to avoid food waste. Think how much energy and resources went into growing and producing that stuff, only for it to end up in the bin. As a certain Mr. Trump would say (although definitely not in relation to this): sad.
8. Keep it loose.
When you hit up the supermarket, choose plastic-free wherever possible - especially when it comes to those tiny little plastic bags you’re encouraged to put all your loose veg in. They don’t need it. They will literally be fine - their skins are natural packaging. That plastic is doing nothing to protect them. You will wash them before eating anyway. What is the baggy for? No idea. Stop using.
9. Get thrifty.
Choosing used is always the best option - because buying a used product instead of brand new means reducing your carbon footprint, not only in terms of making the new product, but also the packaging it comes in. This applies to clothes too - thrift stores have some amazing finds if you commit to really having a search, and nobody else will be wearing the stuff you find either.
Yes, individuals can have an impact, but it’s the government that are really going to be instrumental in the future of our planet. Luckily, you live in a democratic society, and you can speak with your vote. At all levels of elections, do your research and find out which candidates or parties are aligned with your views when it comes to the planet. Use your power!
- Words by Lizzie Cox.