Updated: Mar 8
3 Positive Changes we can make to help the Climate Crisis
The fact that the world, our home, is slowly deteriorating due to self-inflicted human activities is gradually starting to become common knowledge within developed countries. The media repeatedly display to us the effects of the climate crisis, as well as the numerous causes of the climate crisis, but we have never been given a grounded solution to the problem. This is because there is not one direct solution to the complex problem we all face. It is simply the act of altering our lifestyle and routines that will eventually limit or avoid the affects that our world is being weighed down by currently. However, a lot of us feel as if we are too small of a number to make any drastic changes in our lives to directly save this planet. We continue with our life-cycled routine, cycling away from any responsibility or idea that anything could be our fault, as we wait for a more direct, easy solution to the problem. We may feel too distant to the problem, too busy to change or just too lazy to alter our life for the lives of the future. So, we continue to consume as we worry about consuming, and continue to live with a blind eye expecting our neighbours to live more economically, so we don't have to. Unfortunately our neighbours are relying on us and suddenly we are battling a circle of us all relying on each other to change, as we forget that time is limited.
As we run through our lives day to day it is difficult to find the time to think up the ideas of what we can do to have a more sustainable approach to life. Here, we have created a few very simple ways that you can alter your lifestyle to unknowingly create a positive effect to our world. We hope this ensures that no one is left on earth doing nothing for this earth. Small environmental changes, through mass of numbers, can make large environmental results, and this is the only way that we can make a difference.
1. Reducing Food Waste:
We can all help climate change by reducing the unneeded food we buy to not consume. By living a more intentional, frugal way of life we can reduce waste, world resources and our money when shopping. By using what we have left over before buying new products, by not over serving food to create food waste and by storing food mindfully to keep for longer are all ways to ensure we are doing our bit for the environment. Creating a food budget or shopping list before leaving your home can be a great start to ensure that you only buy the food that you need. Globally, we throw away 1/3 of all food produced, that's 7.2 million tonnes of food waste a year, and more than 1/2 of this waste is perfectly edible. When we waste food, we also waste the energy, water, transport, packaging, time and money that has gone into that food to be sold. Then, if the food is wasted and left to rot in the landfill, it produces methane (which is 20X more harmful to the planet than carbon dioxide). Our food waste produces 10% of greenhouse emissions globally that play a large role in climate change. By ensuring we only buy what we need, checking sell by and use by dates, and being mindful about our food purchases we can slowly reduce the world's food waste, resulting in a positive impact to our world.
2. Eating More Plant-based: Vegetarianism and veganism is becoming more mainstream day to day. This is with the help of journalism, social-media, and campaigns such as Meatless Mondays or Veganuary. By adopting a more plant-based diet we can not only reduce the carbon dioxide emissions, but also free up land and reduce deforestation. 18% of all global greenhouse gasses are directly produced through the combined mass of animals being bred for meat, this is more than global transport emissions put together. Currently, the world is eating 320 million tonnes of animals a year, which is twice as much as we ate 30 years ago. Each animal bred requires a vast amount of energy to be put into the process before it can be produced into meat on our plates- the production of 1 hamburger has the same amount of emissions as 200 mile drive. This is due to the fact, 1 cow requires 13.5 pounds of feed (which is grown on 64.5 square feet of land that is usually deforested to be used), 3000 litres of water is required to water the food eaten by the cows and used as drinking water for the cows, and from start to finish of one hamburger production, 4 pounds of carbon emissions is produced. This displays the journey that is taken by the quick thought of us buying and eating a burger from one of our favourite fast-food chains. By being more thoughtful and reducing meat intake we are reducing water usage, deforestation, animal cruelty, human diseases and carbon dioxide/ methane emissions to our planet.
3. Being Mindful about Packaging:
Most products, whatever it may be, is sold in some sort of packaging, usually to protect the item, ensuring high quality and safety before consumers purchase it. Unfortunately, whilst we look through the packaging, seeing only the product within it, the packaging itself has a huge damaging effect on the environment. Plastic is the most significant material used in packaging products, with 300 million tonnes of plastic produced annually, and 50% of that produced for single-use purposes only. Plastic is a material which can not always be recycled, and if it can be, it isn't always, where it will then stay on earth for 1000 years before it starts to decompose, clogging up every street we turn. Not only this, 8 million tonnes a year is dropped into our oceans, ruining habitats, wildlife and ecosystems. All in all, buying items with less, or no packaging can reduce the waste in landfills, the pollution in the water and soil and carbon dioxide emissions in the air. In many cases, you will also save money, as the manufacturing of the product will be cheaper, and therefore so will the product on the shelf. By voting with your money and buying sustainable alternative products with little or no packaging used, the products which are being produced with excessive packaging will be bought less. Therefore, the high packaging companies will have less demand from us (their consumers) and will be required to alter the way they produce and package their items to gain custom. Through us making a small alteration whilst shopping, we can slow down the production of harmful materials whilst we slow down climate change on the way.
We hope that we have opened your eyes to living a more intentionally sustainable lifestyle. The world does not need a handful of people trying to live perfectly sustainable, but millions of people imperfectly living more sustainable. Small actions in mass number can become a large action.