As Global Warming becomes an ever-present threat on my mind, I’ve started to reconsider some of my daily habits that contribute, even slightly, to climate change. Every time I empty the garbage in my room, or get another package from Amazon, I’m creating trash that contributes to humanity’s growing burden on the planet.
There are a lot of easy ways to try to eliminate your carbon footprint. From avoiding bottled water, to recycling properly to eating less meat, there are many simple ways to live more sustainably. Living sustainably isn’t just great for the environment, it helps make you into a more informed and active citizen.
#1: No More Bottled Water!
Bottled water is not only bad for the environment—it’s a ridiculous concept. Why would you pay for water you can drink free from the tap? Instead of paying money for a bottle of water that will likely end up floating in the ocean, harassing a family of turtles, why not bring a water bottle from home?
The water bottle industry is huge, and water bottles that end up in landfills can take centuries to decompose, according to a Huffington Post article. Even though some water bottles are recyclable, 80 percent of them still end up in landfills.
Bottled water clearly costs too much not just environmentally, but out of your personal pocket. But reusable water bottles come in all shapes and sizes, and are great for everyone’s hydration needs. Even a plastic reusable water bottle is better, and most water bottles can be easily attached to your backpack or bag for transport.
#2 Recycle Right
A lot of people don’t know about how to properly recycle. For example, you can’t recycle a pizza box with oil stains on it, and if you incorrectly recycle something that actually belongs in the trash, all of the recyclables usually have to be thrown out.
The Environmental Protection Agency provides a useful guide on the top ten items that can be recycled, which include cardboard, paper, food boxes, mail, beverage cans, food cans, glass bottles, jars, jugs and plastic bottles and caps. But each community has different rules on what can be recycled and what can’t, which is why it’s incredibly important to research your community’s recycling rules. The EPA recommends going to this site to find your town’s recycling rules!
#3 Eat Less Meat
Eating less meat can be incredibly helpful to the environment. The meat industry is largely unsustainable, and pollutes the planet. By eating differently, and encouraging your friends to eat differently, you can play a part in a changing, more environmentally conscious, culture.
Also published on Medium.