Unfortunately, we live in a world where climate change hovers over our head. Nobody truly knows what to expect in the future; however, scientists have made many predictions of what's to come. According to the 2018 October report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, based on observations and model projections, scientists concluded that if there's an increase at least of 2.7 degrees in the atmosphere by 2040, severe environmental consequences will occur regarding an increase in sea level and extreme droughts.
Climate change may seem like a daunting problem that's too big for one person to tackle. Nevertheless, it's important to realize that even our small actions can make a difference. When we readjust our life to be more environmentally friendly, we're helping the cause and we may even inspire others to do the same. As more people begin to join the movement, the bigger the impact will be.
In this article, I'll be providing simple tips to be more green. There's a common misconception that people have to perform extreme actions or major life adjustments to be eco-friendly (i.e. going vegan, not driving, etc.) This obviously isn't practical to do overnight. While some people may go to the extreme, it's important to be realistic, as well. Little actions still do justice, and I believe that these simple tasks can contribute to the bigger picture.
1. Have a recycling bin
We see recycling bins in many places, but not in our own home. Instead of throwing everything in a trash can, try to separate your waste. Have a second bin or large bag to throw away bottles and paper. This can easily be done in a home or in a college dorm.
2. Purchase reusable shopping bags
When people go shopping, especially grocery shopping, so many plastic bags are wasted. Using a large reusable bag, which can be bought at your local grocery store, will reduce the usage of plastic bags and it might even save you money. In places like Long Island, stores charge 5¢ per plastic bag used as a way to convert people to reusable bags.
3. Purchase a reusable water bottle
This one is not only an easy tip, but it saves you money, as well. Buying a reusable water bottle stops you from purchasing plastic ones. You can fill them up with whatever, wherever, and continue the rest of your day. Most colleges have filtered water fountains anyways, so this would also be doing your wallet a favor.
4. Switch up your mode of transportation
When you're going somewhere, try to pick an option that won't contribute to more air pollution. If your destination is a short distance, try walking to the place. It's a greener and healthier mode of transportation. For farther travels, try to resort to public transportation or carpool. The fewer cars there are on the road, the better it is for the environment.
5. Try to eat less meat
Like I said earlier, it's impossible to make drastic changes overnight; however, a small change is still a change. Readjusting your diet to consume less meat slows down animal agriculture, which is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. So, instead of going for a meat dish, try opting for the vegetarian one.
6. Don't litter
This should be common sense, but unfortunately, there are people in the world who still throw away garbage on the side of the highway. If you ever find yourself wanting to throw away items in your car, during a road trip, etc., please wait until you find the nearest exit. Keep a bag in your car to collect any waste you may have and when you finally pull up to a pit stop, then you can get rid of your waste.
7. Purchase reusable straws
While reusable water bottles do a great job, sometimes devout iced coffee and iced tea lovers need to purchase their drink from Dunkin' or Starbucks. If you're going to buy a drink that requires a straw, don't head for the plastic option. Purchase yourself some metal straws and use that instead. It's a better alternative that decreases pollution in the ocean.
8. Turn off lights and running water
If you're not using something, you should always turn it off. When you're leaving a room or you're not currently using the running water in your bathroom sink, you should turn off your light and water sources to reduce the amount of energy used.