The state of our planet is one of the most immediate, dangerous and yet underrated threats our society faces today. With the conversation surrounding climate change centering on the idea that it is some thing of the future that we can wait to address, the everyday crises that our environment is CURRENTLY experiencing have been ignored.
With populations of animals dying out, weather and climate reaching unprecedented extremes, there is no more time to wait. Our generation can be the one to take action and, realistically, it’s not as difficult as many think. Saving our planet doesn’t take a huge amount of time or effort, unless you want it to. Personally, I love finding new ways to reduce my use of energy and resources. That being said, even taking small steps will change your life and the earth’s. Check out these five easy steps to start making a difference!
Switch from plastic to glass or ceramic
According to EatRight.org and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “the U.S. only recycled about 14 percent of plastic containers and packaging in 2012. Nearly 12 million tons was disposed! This can contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, impacting the health of the environment.” Also, plastic containers can distribute harmful chemicals into food and drinks when stored. Glass or ceramic containers last longer and eliminates the risk to the planet and you!
Switch your bulbs to CFLs
A quick trip to the store, a few minutes swapping out bulbs and boom, you’ve just helped cut down your energy usage on lighting by about 66 percent. CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs last at least four times longer than incandescent bulbs and are a more cost-efficient option, requiring a larger investment upfront but making up for it with their long life-span and effect on energy bills. According to “The Green Book” by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen, “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an energy- efficient one, we would save enough money to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly eight hundred thousand cars.” I’d say that’s worth a few minutes of your time and a few twists of your wrist.
Switch from new to used
Repurchasing new products can get costly and dangerous for the planet. With thrift-shopping becoming as trendy as it has, it isn’t unheard of to rock something that may have been pre-owned. Utilize local consignments shops, resale apps like Vinted or Depop or even host a clothing swap with your friends (Moda just threw their Swap & Shop event for UW Fashion Week and we loved it!).
Switch from inside to outside
This has got to the most fun and most doable way to save the planet, at least in my opinion- get outside! That’s right, it’s that easy. Take a walk, sunbathe, sight-see (Bonus points if you go without your phone). The point is, you’re enjoying yourself without having to use any electricity. Taking advantage of natural light and unplugging yourself for an afternoon can be an extremely easy way to be environmentally-friendly without even trying.
Check out “The Green Book” by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen
I’d say this little book really jumpstarted my environmental awakening. A New York Times Bestseller, “The Green Book” is “the everyday guide to saving the planet one simple step at a time.” With chapters broken up into different environments you can help be green (i.e. home, school, technology, vacation, etc.), each section offers a list of tips to saving the planet that can be implemented into your daily life easily. Even after just skimming the first few pages of this book, I found myself remembering the simple steps and making a habit out of implementing them. For anyone wanting to be an ally to the planet, I’d highly recommend starting with “The Green Book.”
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