If you’ve been paying attention in 2019, you would have most certainly overheard, or even taken part in the growing conversation on climate change.
In a year that has seen all-time global temperature records broken, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and coral reef bleaching; 2019 also witnessed the first ever global climate protest movement lead by school students seeking greater action on climate policy.
There’s now indisputable evidence that Earth has been getting warmer, in some cases rapidly. The growing consensus from scientists is that human activity such as the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as being the primary driver of this trend. All of this points to the obvious fact that, collectively, we need to start paying closer attention to the footprint we leave behind.
You may think there’s little you can do to make a difference, or that the problem is too big for any individual to solve. But if there’s anything we can learn from How to Start A Movement by Derek Sivers, it’s that momentum occurs when individuals have the courage to follow, and in turn show others how to follow.
Every small action or decision added up over time, across the planet, has a compounding effect that helps to reduce our impact on the environment.
Here are 8 simple steps you can take to lessen your impact on the environment:
Wear conscious threads
While previous generations may have opted for the convenience of fast fashion, environmentally-conscious millennials are choosing slow fashion. And clothing labels are listening – improving labour conditions, using eco-friendly materials, and employing greater transparency around their practices.
Suggested Read: 7 Ethical Fashion Brands You Can Wear Forever
Exercise on the way to work
Why burn gas when you can burn calories instead? If you’re a city-dweller and live close to your workplace, then you might want to consider ditching the car or public transport and walking instead. This is a great option if your workplace has facilities for you to freshen up before you start the work day. Simply strap on a pair of sneakers or hop on your bike, and you’re good to go!
Bonus points for getting your colleagues to join you.
Ditch the traditional chemical-filled products for greener alternatives. Choose cruelty free and natural makeup and toiletries. When it comes to cleaning your home, swap out classic cleaners for eco-cleaners that contain all-natural ingredients and are manufactured in a way that is better for the environment. If you have a house or commercial cleaner, ask them to make the switch to green cleaning too.
Make the most of the share economy
The growth of the share economy has seen not just seen the disruption of the transport and accomodation industries, but a new generation of eco-conscious startups focusing on more sustainable business models.
Electric car rental service Evee enables the owners of Teslas and other EVs to rent out their cars to environmentally conscious drivers. The company has announced plans to expand it’s EV sharing model into five Australian capital cities and offer a broader range of models for customers, including popular Tesla models.
One of our favourite excuses for a weekend adventure, Riparide is a holiday bookings website with a focus on sustainable wilderness escapes. They offer unique accommodation, experiences, vehicles and outdoor equipment listed by the owners themselves. So instead of going straight to Airbnb for your next weekend away, why not check out their listings, book an outdoor adventure and live life to the fullest.
Waste not want not
Instead of just throwing out unwanted items in the trash, think about how you can recycle or up-cycle. This could be as simple as putting the right items in the recycling bin, gifting clothes to a friend, or passing on your pre-loved clothes to an op shop. When it comes to food scraps, you could implement a composting system. And when it comes to your daily coffee, swap the cafe’s coffee cup for a ceramic keep cup. Some eco-conscious cafes will reward you with a sweet discount for bringing your own cup.
Suggested Read: 30 Sustainable Living Tips That Will Transform Your Life
Scrap the plastics
While we’re talking about removing waste, let’s turn our attention to plastic. Plastic is one of the most harmful materials because it ends up in waterways and landfills. Even the process of manufacturing plastic is bad for the environment because it omits destructive pollutants into the atmosphere. Avoid plastic by using reusable canvas shopping bags instead of single-use bags, use aluminium sports bottles instead of plastic ones, trade in your plastic straws for metal straws, and use ceramic or porcelain plates instead of vinyl.
Suggested Read: 6 Lifestyle Hacks For Going Plastic Free
Get creative and think of ways that you can remove plastic at home and in the workplace. If you use an office cleaner, ask them to get on board by switching out plastic bags, gloves and cloths for more sustainable solutions.
Try a plant-based diet
It’s time to be mindful of the food on our plate every day, where it comes from and what it takes to get it there.
There is mounting evidence to support both the health and planetary benefits of the whole-food, plant-based diet. One online resource worth checking out is Plant Proof, which offers a wealth of information on the topic.
On the Plant Proof blog, you will find an ongoing evolution of work addressing different topics ranging from nutrition to sustainability which are relevant to people with different health and performance goals. At its core, each post aims to summarise complex and sometimes confusing nutritional information in a simple way.
Of course, we encourage you to conduct your own research as your diet must be suitable to your specific health needs.
Need more inspiration?
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