People are becoming more and more aware of our own impact on the environment. With Earth Hour and Earth Day coming up, it’s time to consider steps we can take to help the earth and our future.
Human activity has negatively affected the environment, so by each changing our behaviours we can collectively save our planet. While it can feel hard to change our habits, doing so can have a massive impact on the earth and our future generations. We found 11 simple ways to help save the environment, which you can start today.
Continue reading to find out our top recommendations for how to help the environment this year and every year.
Photo by NOAA on Unsplash.
11 Simple Ways to Help Save the Environment
1. Be aware and educate yourself.
The first step to helping the environment is to educate yourself and others about how the environment is impacted by human activity and how we can help prevent this. By asking and understanding topics like:
- How the environment is suffering.
- Why the environment is suffering.
- How this can negatively affect our future.
- What you can do to help the environment.
You can understand the issues the environment is currently facing. By expanding your knowledge on the issue, you will be able to understand the importance of our natural resources and encourage others to become aware, spreading awareness of the issue.
2. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Although we always hear the term ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, it’s easy to let it go in one ear and out the other. By reducing the amount of stuff (like clothes, furniture, accessories, packaged food, toiletries, etc.) you consume, you can help minimise waste and collectively demand.
Instead of buying more stuff, it’s better to purchase higher quality products and buy less often, as they’ll last longer and help you minimise waste. Furthermore, reusing items saves you money and saves the planet from using natural resources and energy, which goes into manufacturing new items.
Although it’s best to avoid plastics, if you do have any plastic ensure you recycle it to help prevent it ending up in our waterways. There are lots of businesses starting to use recycled plastic in their products, from teddy bears to furniture. This removes it from the environment and also reduces materials used to otherwise make that product.
3. Say “no” to fast fashion.
Fast fashion, or the overproduction of cheap clothes in response to latest fashion trends, is one of our world’s current leading causes of pollution. While making cheap but trendy clothes allows swift and easy access to desired clothing items, it is a massive issue resulting in waste.
Mass-market retailers can quickly produce large amounts of on-trend clothing at a cheap price using unfair working conditions and poor-quality materials. By buying from fast-fashion businesses, it supports the hidden production system behind the cheap prices.
Fast fashion has evolved and ‘trained’ people to be in the cycle of buying more clothes more often and throwing them away when they break or aren’t as trendy anymore. As a result, brands are supplying cheap, poor-quality clothes which won’t serve a purpose for very long, only to end up in landfill a few months later.
By understanding fast fashion, greenwashing and which brands are actually helping put an end to the issue, you can make thoughtful purchasing decisions to help put an end to fast fashion.
4. Support sustainable businesses.
Supporting sustainable businesses is another way to help save the environment. While buying less and not purchasing from fast fashion brands also helps, supporting sustainable businesses also supports the environment.
Besides clothing, there are lots of businesses which aren’t green or sustainable. Doing research takes a little bit of time, but helps the planet a lot. Before making a purchase, consider:
- Buying higher-quality items often last longer, and can save you money in the long run.
- Research your favourite brands to see if they’re actually sustainable (a lot of businesses use greenwashing to trick consumers into thinking the business is more green than they actually are).
- Do you really need the item? Will you use it in 5 years or do you only want it since it’s on sale?
- Are you supporting businesses who care about the environment and your future?
While it’s easy to buy more and more, assess what you actually need and what you can change to minimise consumption.
5. Alter your diet and change what you consume.
Diet is the easiest way to have the greatest impact on the environment. By eating less meat and dairy, or removing it from your diet completely, this reduces carbon emissions, water consumption, deforestation and more.
The meat and dairy industry is responsible for 14.5% of manmade global greenhouse gas emissions, so this is arguably the most impactful step you can take.
There are several documentaries investigating how diet impacts the environment and the importance of changing our actions to help the environment, such as the famed documentary, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet Life on Earth. These documentaries are a great way to understand the ways humans can alter their buying behaviours to help favour sustainable businesses.
6. Cut out single-use plastics.
Cutting out single-use plastics helps save the environment by reducing the amount of plastic being consumed. Additionally, single-use plastics can often be avoided with simple actions.
Ways to minimise single-use plastics and other unnecessary packaging:
- Always have tote or large bags in your car so you don’t need items bagged.
- Try to get items without packaging where possible, like saying no to having clothes wrapped in tissue paper and bags, or buying food from farmers markets, where it’s not wrapped in plastic.
- Use multi-use covers instead of cling wrap for saving food. You can use these covers with bag clips if they don’t perfectly fit items like lemons or avocados.
- If you use contact lenses, look at using fortnightly or monthly contacts rather than daily contacts.
- Buy in bulk with reusable containers.
7. Buy local, organic food.
Buying local and organic food supports small businesses and reduces plastic waste. By heading to your local farmers market, you can find local produce, which comes with less packaging, less carbon footprint and often higher-quality produce.
Not to mention, it also supports local families rather than big businesses. The food is not mass-produced, but locally sourced, which helps your local economy and will put a smile on farmers faces.
8. Reduce your carbon footprint.
Reducing your carbon footprint is another essential step to help save the environment. A report by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project found in order to hold the global temperature rise to 2˚C or less, individuals worldwide will need to average an annual carbon footprint of 1.87 tons by 2050.
However, in 2018 the average per capita carbon footprint was 18.3 tons, which needs to be lowered to 1.87 tons. Here are ways to reduce your carbon footprint to help reach this essential goal by 2050.
Human activity impacting your carbon footprint:
- Reduce or completely remove meat and dairy from your diet.
- Support green businesses, not fast fashion.
- Buy less, use reusable items.
- Do an energy audit to pinpoint where you can be more energy efficient.
- Drive less and consider hybrid or electric cars, as well as avoiding unnecessary braking and acceleration.
- Avoid flying where possible, take more local vacations, go economy class.
- If you must travel via air, pay for carbon offsets which reduces greenhouse gas emissions somewhere else.
9. Plant plants for pollinators.
Plant plants for pollinators at your home to help bees and butterflies. Gardens help combat air and noise pollution, so the more people creating their own gardens the more green your city or town will become.
This is a fun project for anyone, bringing colour into your garden and food for essential pollinators.
Volunteer at conservation centres and find other communities trying to fight climate change. Habitat restoration, animal rescues and beach clean-ups are a few not-for-profit organisations relying on volunteers to help them help the environment.
If you don’t have the time to volunteer, you can also donate to organisations helping the environment. Research which issues you find the most important and donate to organisations going out and solving the problem. From coral reef restoration to meat alternatives, there are so many businesses trying to help save the environment.
Looking to make your home more environmentally friendly? You can find renewable energy solutions on Localsearch.com.au!