We only have one planet. If we continue to behave like we have in the last years, this planet as we know it will not exist for our off-spring. If this misuse of the resources continues in the future, chances are that our planet might become like the other seven planets where life is not possible. To prevent this, we, as the residents of the world, should adapt our behavior to guard the uniqueness and beauty of our planet. Luckily, there are lots of simple, small things we can do to behave more environmentally friendly. Most of them will even save you money. So it is a win-win situation!
1. Educate yourself
“Education is the most powerful weapon we have for changing the world” – Nelson Mandela. This is really true when it comes to the environment. A lot of people are unaware of their actual environmental footprint. If you want to calculate your footprint you can go to this website. Also, sometimes it is difficult to see what behavior is detrimental. It is also important to learn about how you can improve yourself and by reading this blog you took the first (or second, third etc..) step! Congrats :).
2. Bring your own bag
It can be so simple but yet so impactful. Plastic bags are often thrown away and they end up in landfills or in other parts of the environment. In this case, they can suffocate animals who get stuck in them or may mistake them for food. Also, it takes a while for the bags to decompose (even the paper ones). So if your shopping for food, clothes or other things, bring your own bag! It is good for your wallet and the environment.
3. Buy second-hand clothes
The term vintage clothing has become trendy now-a-days. For second-hand clothing you can go to a popular vintage-store but you can also find (really cheap) hidden gems in your local thrift store. It is also a good idea to look into your (grand) parents’ closet if you have a similar size. Macklemore already said it: “I wear my grandad’s coat, I look incredible”.
4. Make sure waste is waste
A lot of stuff is thrown away when it can actually still be used. You should get creative with re-using certain products typically classified as waste. Sites such as Pinterest are full of good ideas. Or maybe take a look at this website.
5. Reduce your food waste
A lot of food is thrown away every day. The last years a lot of initiatives have started to combat this. Supermarkets have started discounting food that is close to its expiration date so you can look for these stickers or sections in the supermarket. There are also several apps trying to combat food waste form different locations such as bakers, butchers and restaurants. An example of such an app in the Netherlands is Too-good-to-go.
6. Rethink Transportation
I think nobody likes to cycle in the rain. But if we would all just cycle or walk the small parts a bit more, it could make a huge impact on an environmental level. On the other hand, most of us like to travel. But flying often increases your ecological footprint tremendously. ShamePlane.com can help you visualize the impact of your travels on the arctic, such as air travel and going car-free. Maybe it will inspire you to take the bus or the train to a location that is not too far from your home.