5 Easy Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day
The environmental news can feel overwhelmingly bad if you're paying any sort of attention at all. Though massive change is only going to come by lobbying for a shift in behavior in the 100 most polluting companies, making small changes in your own life has huge benefits as well. The largest of which is that you will feel like you have some control over the situation. Cognitive science clearly shows us that feeling like you have some control helps you actually take more control. It's a positive feedback loop.
Here are 5 things that you can easily incorporate into your routine.
- Carry your own beverage cup all the time. 16 billion paper cups are used for coffee every single year. That's 6.5 million trees cut down, 4 billion gallons of water and enough energy to power 54,000 homes for a year. Worse, only 1% of cups are recycled. Use glass instead and you can be having a positive environmental impact in as few as 6 uses.
- Quit single use plastic water bottles. There are so many reasons to never buy another, but here are my top three: A. They are a scam. It's not "special" water. B. They have a use life of minutes and a waste life of millennia. C. 91% are not recycled. When you carry your own cup, ditching bottle use is even easier.
- Become a flexitarian. Start with just one meat-free meal a week. You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to make a difference. By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet's carbon footprint by more than 40%.
- Dump (or greatly reduce) your fast fashion habit. With the recent emergence and growth of fast fashion, the clothing industry is the second largest polluter coming in just behind the fossil fuel industry! Here are some pointers.
- Talk to people about your efforts. Social scientists have found that as communal creatures we are consciously and subconsciously influenced by each other. When one person makes a sustainability-oriented decision, other people do too.
Leave your favorite tip in the comments here or over on Instagram.