Whether we like it or not, we are still worlds away from winning the fight against climate change, pollution, deforestation, and many other environmental threats that plague our planet. If we don’t start doing something about it, Mother Nature is definitely going to do something about us. So, to protect our planet for more generations to come, here’s a quick guide to help you achieve a greener lifestyle as a community and as an individual.
Drive Less, Walk More
Urban sprawl, or the unplanned and rapid expansion of a city into a surrounding area, can cause issues that can affect the environment. These issues impact the community by increasing traffic, affecting our social lives, and causing health and sanitation problems. What we can do at a community level to ease is this problem is to reduce the number of trips it takes to do your everyday errands.
If you need to make a quick stop to get a few grocery items, and it’s only a 10-minute walk to the store, consider walking instead of driving. If you need to run errands, don’t space them out and only do one of your errands per day. Instead, plan your route so you can do all your errands on the same day. You’ll save on time, reduce the number of cars on the road, and help out the environment all at the same time.
If you’re headed out, you might think about grabbing a bite to eat at the nearest McDonald’s or Taco Bell in the middle of your trip. Instead of relying on fast food to satiate your hunger, bring a water bottle and pack yourself a light snack that you can munch on while you’re on the road. Doing this before leaving the house can save you money and help you avoid unhealthy fast food meals.
If you need to eat out or have food delivered to your home, avoid single-use containers and utensils. Some businesses might even give you a discount for using your own mug. However, since we’re in the middle of the pandemic, it’s best to ask the staff if you can still use your reusable containers.
Consider using that reusable grocery bag you always forget to bring out for trips to the grocery store. Some grocery stores offer a bag refund, so making use of your reusable bags is a great way to save a bit of money. If you need to remind yourself to bring your bags before your trip to the store, write yourself a note or set an alarm that says “BAGS” or, better yet, leave your reusable bags in the back seat of your car.
While you’re at the store, you can reduce the amount of waste you’ll produce at home by buying items that have less packaging or, at the very least, recyclable packaging. You’ll not only have less to throw out, but you’re also doing the Earth a favor by not adding to the amount of waste that fills up landfills around the globe.
Consider Using Public Transit When You Can
Vehicles are one of the major contributors to pollution. Try to use public transportation whenever possible. Just make sure you’re wearing your mask and social distancing. If you’re still a little iffy about riding the public bus or train, consider biking to wherever you need to go. You’ll save on gas costs, avoid polluting the air and get a good workout in too.
Coming up with new outfits to show off on your Instagram story is hard, but you don’t have to make your way to those fast fashion brands to make a statement! This year, fast fashion is out, and sustainable fashion is in. Creating a sustainable wardrobe might seem intimidating, but there are many sustainable brands out there with all the kinds of clothes you need, from dresses and coats to sportswear and lingerie. You can also scour thrift stores to find unique and budget-friendly pieces to add to your wardrobe! Just remember that you’re doing it to dress sustainably and not for the sake of buying new clothes.
Find Your Fruits and Veggies at the Local Farmer’s Market
Buying products from your local farmer’s market is a win-win situation: you’ll be getting fresh ingredients, and you’ll be supporting the local farmers in your community. Most stalls don’t rely on a lot of packaging, so the next time you go back to the market, return your used basket or egg carton. They’ll be happy you did so. If you want to use even less packaging, bring your own containers the next time you visit.
These changes might seem small on paper, but if everyone takes part in this movement and strives for becoming a greener community, you’ll see that simple actions add up. Do your part and help protect the place we all call home.