As you likely already know, the Earth is dying and desperately needs our help. If you’re like me, you often find yourself feeling hopeless about the state of our environment. “Save the Earth” is a very open and overwhelming statement, and it can be hard to know where to start. These are five small things you can do right now to make a difference for the planet you walk on.
1. Recycle: This may sound obvious, but many people don’t recycle merely out of convenience. For example, every school in Forest Hills has begun providing students with small plastic Dasani water bottles since water fountains are closed due to the coronavirus. Along with the new water bottles, schools have lined the hallways with bins and boxes in order to encourage students to recycle these bottles. Remember: instead of throwing these bottles away out of habit, hold on to them for a little longer until you come across a designated bottle bin!
2. Switch to a vegetarian or a vegan diet: Eating more plants rather than meat has been proven to help combat environmental damage in the forms of climate change, pollution, and ocean dead zones. Raising livestock emits as much greenhouse gasses as cars, trucks, and all automobiles combined. Switching to a vegetarian diet can help combat this damaging industry.
3. Use reusable bags and bottles instead of single use plastic: Plastic takes over hundreds of years to “decompose.” Even then, it never fully decomposes: plastic break down into tiny pieces that can easily spread throughout a multitude of ecosystems while harming a variety of wildlife. One easy way to combat this is to bring reusable bags to a grocery store instead of bagging with single-use plastic ones. Furthermore, instead of buying plastic water bottles, it is worthwhile to invest in a durable, reusable one.
4. Watch what you buy and consume: Next time you’re out shopping, consider these questions: Do you know where the things you’re buying come from? Does the company test on animals? Are you shopping from companies that are worth your public support? If not, start shopping more mindfully. Remember, your consumption directly contributes to the creation of environmental problems caused by the use of goods and services. Do some research, look into company policies, cut back on impulsive purchases, and think before you buy!
5. Stay educated: The most important part of caring for the environment is to continue learning more about it everyday. Environmental education is imperative because it deepens your knowledge on the world’s most pressing issues. The more educated you are, the more likely you are to take part in safe environmental practices.
I hope that this article sparks someone to start caring for the Earth around us!