If you’re freaking out about climate change, it’s a fairly logical fear. We live in a world where climate change looms over us like a big scary monster. Each time a new scientific study is published we’re reminded that the world is heating up at an uncontrollable rate and our very existence is ruining everything. Pretty much everyone agrees that if we want to keep living on this planet, we should probably do something about it ASAP.
As part of the Paris climate change convention, 175 world leaders signed an agreement acknowledging that this thing is getting out of control and made a deal to work together to stop it. This is a positive change for everyone, but ordinary people like us need to do our bit too. And there’s lots of really simple stuff that we can do to help save the planet…
1. Eat more sustainably
A lot of resources go into the food we eat. We cut down trees to make space for farmland, we use massive amounts of water for crops and we use petrol to transport our food across the world. Did you know our stomachs actually use 20 to 40 times more power than our houses?! We can minimise our tummy’s environmental impacts by:
- Eating locally grown food that hasn’t travelled too far (healthy too). Get an epic veggie patch and the food will only have to travel from the backyard to the plate.
- Eating less meat – The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of worldwide greenhouse gases.
- Don’t waste it! After China and the United States, wasted food is the third biggest climate emitter.
Everyone loves a good road trip, but cars burn a lot of fossil fuels. One day, we’ll probably have solar-powered flying cars (not to mention hover boards), but if we’re going to get to that point we need to keep the world from turning into the wall from Game of Thrones (WINTER IS COMING). The bicycle is still the most environmentally sustainable way to travel. Get a sweet bike, take a walk or hit up public transport.
3. Get a reusable water bottle
The ocean is literally filling up with plastic from disposable water bottles, not to mention the petrochemicals that they’re made from. We’ve actually created something called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is like the Great Barrier Reef but made from plastic. The least you can do is get a reusable water bottle and a keep-cup for takeaway coffees.
4. Green your house
Solar panels and water tanks are amazing, but chances are you don’t have the money or time to convert your whole house into a green utopia. So take simpler steps. Start a compost for your green waste, install a water saving shower head and recycle your containers around the house.
Apart from all the super stylish and original fashion items, buying your clothes from op shops will significantly reduce your impact on the environment. The World Wildlife Foundation estimates that it takes up to 2,700 litres of water to make one cotton t-shirt. Fashionistas can check out sustainable clothing options while hipsters can go to Vinnies.
6. What do I actually need?
This one’s real simple but it’s worth mentioning. Why do we buy stuff that we don’t want and will never use? All that plastic junk from the $2 shop has a serious impact on the environment and will probably end up in landfill before you can say “planned obsolescence”. Get your family giftcards for Christmas, rather than crap they don’t want or need. And when shopping for yourself, go for quality over quantity.
Climate change is scary but there’s actually a lot you can do while living a normal life. Don’t freak out about climate change, just do your bit for the environment.
Written by Nat Kassel