It’s easy to look at climate damage reports and feel hopeless. The Polar ice caps continue disappearing at a dangerous rate, and we’re losing millions of acres of rainforest every year to deforestation. Climate scientists are all sounding the alarm bells about how we need to change our ways, particularly the biggest polluters, usually the most prominent industrial manufacturers in the US and abroad.
If the average citizen focuses on the big picture, though, that’s when you might start to feel like there’s nothing you can do. That’s far from the truth. The reality is that if everyone takes small but meaningful steps, then collectively, it can have a significant impact.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few things you can do in your daily life and in general that can help the environment.
You Can Drive a Hybrid or Electric Car
America’s reliance on fossil fuels is one of the things that makes us one of the biggest polluters. We have an oil and gas infrastructure that not only pollutes, but its age makes it dangerous. For instance, the Texas Eastern pipeline is 8,835 miles long, and we built it in 1943. At that age, it’s no wonder that the pipeline often shows erosion signs and explodes in different sections, injuring many.
We can use hybrid vehicles and electric ones to reduce our oil dependency. If you need a new car, you should look into electric or hybrid options.
You might not be able to afford an exclusively electric car when the time comes to replace your current vehicle. If it turns out that you can’t, though, a hybrid is likely to be in your price range. You can get used ones that don’t cost much more than used gas-powered vehicles.
As the nation continues to build more electric car charging stations all across the country, we should see more and more hybrids and electric vehicles. You can be part of the solution by taking this critical step right now. If you drive to and from work each day, this is a way to make a measurable daily difference.
You Can Recycle
Recycling is another one of the simplest and most basic ways you can make an impact every day. You can pay close attention to the recyclable items that you use, and you can put them out at the curb for the recycling trucks instead of throwing them away.
If you recycle your plastic takeout food containers, that makes a difference. You should also recycle things like paper and cardboard, gallon milk jugs, TV dinner trays, pop cans and bottles, and so forth.
You can try to reuse any suitable containers. If you buy some plastic water bottles, and you drink the water that’s inside, you can reuse those instead of throwing them away and purchasing entirely new ones.
You Can Eat Less Red Meat
Many studies indicate that eating less red meat helps the environment. Beef is tasty and a good protein source, but raising cows for their meat hurts the planet. The amount of water and land it requires to raise cows is a significant issue.
You can eat artificial meat instead. There are tons of options you’ll find on the market right now, such as the Impossible brand meat that Burger King is using to make its Whoppers. You can also buy Impossible brand ground meat in your grocer’s freezer.
It’s plant-based, and it’s lower in both total and saturated fat than real beef. You can do most of the identical things with it, like make taco meat, burgers, meatballs, etc.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, there are soy-based products you can try as well. You can find soy-based chicken nuggets, meatless crumbles for tacos or chili, and all sorts of other delectable options. Eating less red meat and less meat in general means colon cancer is less likely.
You Can Take Public Transportation
You can take the train or bus rather than drive to and from work, the grocery store, or anywhere else you need to go. If you live in a larger city like New York, this is easy enough to do. In smaller communities, you won’t have as many transportation options, but you can use them wherever they exist.
By doing this, you won’t add to the gas emissions if you drive a gas-powered vehicle. The more people take public transportation, the better it is for the planet. If you can do away with your personal vehicle altogether, that’s going to save you some money too, since you won’t have to pay for car repairs and insurance.
You Can Walk or Ride a Bike
You can also walk to work or ride your bike if the weather is nice and you live close enough to do that. If you walk or cycle to different places to which you need to go, that helps the environment, but you’re also getting some much-needed exercise. There’s no need to head to your local gym if you’re burning off plenty of calories during your day.
All of these suggestions can help the planet, and none of them will disrupt your life very much. That’s the way we need to approach climate change: we have to each make small efforts that can contribute to the larger whole. When you do all the things we’ve suggested, you’re also showing your kids a good example, and hopefully, they will follow in your footsteps.
You can also vote for politicians who emphasize a suitable climate plan. Anyone who stresses green initiatives is a better choice to represent your city or state than someone who caves to the large corporations that are the biggest polluters.
You might consider boycotting these large corporations as well. Coca-Cola is one of the biggest polluters, so you can voice your displeasure with your wallet by not buying any of their products. You can also contact your local lawmakers so they can hear your voice.