"The Earth is what we all have in common." —Wendell Berry
With almost 7.5 billion people on this earth, you can only imagine how much trash is accumulating on the planet every single second of the day. One of my personal goals is to be more conscious of how my choices affect the environment, and now is a critical time for all of us to start taking action. Here are three easy things you can do to be environmentally friendly.
1. Donate Things You Don't Need + Stick to Minimalism
Throwing away items is a waste of money and resources. Instead of throwing away the things you aren't using, donate items to your local homeless shelter or thrift store. I like to go through my wardrobe at least twice a year to get rid of things that no longer bring me happiness. And why not try to limit the number of items you have by sticking to minimalism? One of the best ways to live a more minimalist lifestyle is by limiting the size of your wardrobe. Over the years, I decided that investing in quality pieces that I know I would wear for several years is way better than contributing to fast fashion.
2. Say "No Thanks" to the Paper.
When I moved into my new apartment, I was surprised by how much junk mail accumulated in my mailbox. I immediately switched to paperless billing and used an app called Paper Karma to stop receiving paper junk mail. Not only did this dramatically reduce my waste, but it also made paying my bills every month a breeze.
You can also cut out paper waste by avoiding receipts. Visits to the bank are one of the largest sources of litter on the planet. Simple steps like not taking an ATM receipt, not using checks, and requesting paperless paychecks and bank statements require minimal effort but make a difference. Also, many companies now offer email/text receipt options, so it is easier than ever to cut down on your paper waste.
3. Reduce Food Waste.
We've all probably heard it at least once while growing up; ''eat with your stomach, not your eyes." To minimize food waste, try planning out your meals every week to buy what you need. I tend to be someone who overbuys vegetables and often cannot eat them before they start spoiling. To solve this issue, I started freezing my vegetables in reusable pouches to minimize spoilage.
You can also embrace your leftovers! Netflix's new cooking show, "Best Leftovers Ever," features chefs who transform leftover meals into entirely new dishes. Nothing is worse than cold fries, but with creativity, those fires became decadent gnocchi and pierogis. Yum!
There you have it! Three easy ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. If you want more tips on reducing your carbon footprint, visit the Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty website and join their fight against climate change.