We each make thousands of decisions every day. From the moment an alarm goes off in the morning, a decision is made to either turn it off and get up or snooze it and get some more sleep. Every action has at least two options, if not many more, and the collection of these decisions makes up your life. Yet not all are created equal.
When it comes to protecting the planet’s environment, it’s up to each of us and our decisions. While big global policies, technology, and regulations need to happen, so too does a mass change in behavior. Going all the way down to the individual level, we find many ways that sustainable living can be at the forefront of decision-making and not only make your quality of life better but make the quality of the Earth better as well. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways sustainable living can play a part in countering the climate crisis.
Consuming Less, Reusing More
Around the world, a culture has developed that is focused on buying and consuming a lot. Technology is advancing at a faster rate than ever before, offering a newer version of technology all the time. Things get better, faster, and smaller almost constantly. Marketing and advertising make you feel like you need the latest and greatest version, even if your older model still works fine.
Beyond just technology, we are also programmed to consume new clothes, food, internet applications, games, health and beauty products, and pretty much anything and everything you can imagine. A great way to avoid this is by only buying things when you need them and trying to buy something used or secondhand. Places like thrift shops, online thrift shops, or internet groups that exchange goods are a great way to get what you need without contributing to unnecessary manufacturing.
Growing, transporting, and preparing food is responsible for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, we need to eat to stay healthy and alive. Yet by eating healthier, we are able to not only benefit our own bodies, but we can contribute less to planetary warming gasses as well.
The meat industry is responsible for a lot of methane emissions, a gas that is up to 80 times worse than carbon. Thus, choosing plant-based options is a great sustainable swap. Additionally, by eating foods that are less processed and made or grown locally, you can reduce or eliminate emissions that are from the manufacturing or transportation of these items to your location.
Choosing Better Transportation
We have the incredible fortune to be able to travel anywhere in the world thanks to cars, trains, and planes. Yet not all transportation is created equal.
When it comes to the environment, public transportation is always the best option. These vehicles that can hold dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people, such as buses and trains, greatly reduce the planetary impact of your travels. Unlike cars which can only transport a few people, or planes, which emit a massive amount of fuel, buses and trains are increasingly more efficient.
Electric cars are better than combustion engine vehicles if you do need to drive, and public transit is not always available unless you live in a major city. Yet as more people live a sustainable lifestyle and choose better options for the environment, the chances of electrifying these vehicles and building more of them will only increase.
Investing In The Right Places
One of the best things we each have complete power over when it comes to sustainable living is how we spend our money. Every dollar spent is a vote either for or against a product or service. By purchasing goods and services that are helpful to the environment and support important causes, you are making it clear that you are a fan of making the right choices.
Even the money you have but aren’t spending plays a part. By having your savings in a bank or an investment fund, you are helping out specific companies. Some of the biggest banks in the world use your money to invest in fossil fuels, often without your knowledge or permission. Thus, making your investments with the planet in mind help you make the right choice without much effort.
Helping Those Around You
Some people have a lot more knowledge and access to making the right decision than others. Perhaps you’re reading this article not, but your neighbors won’t come across it. Or you follow certain news sources or social media accounts that should be seen by the world. By promoting, sharing, and educating yourself and those around you on important topics like living a sustainable life and combating climate change, you can help make the world a better place.
When it comes to sustainable living, there are some low-effort and simple ways you can help revert the damaging effects of climate change.
The money you spend has immense power in the fight against climate change, and spending your dollars wisely is a great way we can all join the fight.
Some Earth-damaging practices may not be very clear or obvious such as passive investments, and thus staying educated and informed and helping those around you are important.
Despite the enormity of the problem, each and every one of us can take action in our daily lives and do our part to stop irreversible damage and secure a livable future.