It’s a very scary time if you’re concerned about the environment. The effects of climate change are becoming more dangerous, and the cost in damage and lives is catastrophic. An article from Fast Company gets into the numbers and facts around climate change, and it’s not happy news.
Over the last few months, several major reports came out linking climate change to disastrous social, environmental, and economic consequences. The United Nations, for instance, brought together 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed 6,000 scientific studies and concluded that many earlier predictions were wrong. If we continue at our current pace of greenhouse gas emissions, we will face a full-on crisis by 2040, including massive food shortages, wildfires, and the end of the coral reefs. If you are the parent of a toddler right now, that is the year your child will be entering the workforce.
Then, in November, the Trump administration released a separate climate report that made it clear that the United States is already facing the deadly and devastating effects of climate change. Wildfires, hurricanes, and heat waves are already affecting large swaths of the American population, and these disasters are only going to become more frequent and severe.
The world is changing at that means we have to change along with it. Fortunately, some simple adjustments to your habits, you can be a force for good in the new year. Here are a few tips, pulled from the Fast Company article above.
Two Day Shipping is not always necessary. There’s a lot that goes into the delivery industry, from the packaging to the fuel used in flying and driving all those Amazon Prime boxes around. The convenience is undeniably nice, but a more sustainable choice is to batch items together or have the delivery set to “no rush.” It takes some of the pressure off for non-essentials.
Buy fewer fast fashion clothes and shop environmentally conscious brands. I remember the first time I found something really cool at H&M and was gobsmacked at how cheap it was. But that savings comes from cheap labor and low quality material. There are brands out there like Dai and Allbirds that use bamboo fibers and other environmentally conscious material.
Keep shopping bags wherever you go. One of the biggest consumer waste products out there is from plastic shopping bags. A simple remedy is to bring your reusable bags, but people tend to forget them at home. The easy solution is to keep them handy. My mom keeps them in the trunk of her car and a small one folded in her purse.
Make more meatless meals. Look, I love a good burger or juicy steak as much as the next joker, but the meat processing industry is one of the biggest polluters out there. It takes an awful lot of land to house the cattle and their, uh, fumes pump a lot of methane into the atmosphere. If people switched to a diet that wasn’t all meat all the time, it would have a tremendous positive impact.
Use recycled paper towels in your kitchen and bathroom. Seventh Generation has become one of the biggest household brands out there. Their recycled paper products have helped cut down on the deforestation that other brands require for their products. Keep these products handy and you’ll be doing some small part to help.
Ditch the ziplock bags. One of the classic hippie things was washing out and reusing old ziplock bags. Well, there’s a company out there called Stasher that makes high quality reusable bags. I have a bunch and I love them. Use these. They’re great.
Use glass soap bottles. These are actually pretty cool. Rather than constantly using and throwing away plastic bottles, you can get a cool glass bottle. I like using old apothecary bottles.
Use reusable straws. They’re small, they’re metal, they fit easily into your bag, and they do a lot to mitigate the waste left from the iced coffee drinks we’re all sucking down just to make it through the day.
So that’s a great place to start. And if you want to know more about the environmental cost of our diets, watch the video below.