When One Person and One Person and One Person Become Many
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Politics and Activism

When One Person and One Person and One Person Become Many

How changing our consumption practices can help combat climate change.

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When One Person and One Person and One Person Become Many
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

This is a response to 3 Ways You Can Help the Planet, One Day at a Time.

“When one person and one person and one person become many, they can change a planet” – To Change a Planet by Christina Soontornvat

The issue of climate change and the degradation of our natural environment is one that should concern everyone.

Not only does it (and will it) affect every person on Earth, but it is intertwined with just about every other issue facing societies today (e.g. racial inequities, food insecurity, water and air pollution, extinction of species, etc.). This being said, it can be overwhelming.

I know that I , for one, wake up every morning and think about how the actions I take over the course of the day will affect the planet and how I can minimize or even avoid harm. That can be a lot for a human with a busy life to hold onto every day. It took its toll on me, and I see it taking its toll on friends, family, and people I meet.

It can feel extremely difficult to control something as big as climate change and you can feel very insignificant in the grand scheme of things. You might even catch yourself getting anxious and thinking, “what can one person truly do?? Do my actions matter?!”.

To that I say, absolutely.

But you don’t have to go out to climate strikes and protests every weekend to make a difference. You don’t have to donate money or volunteer your precious time to organizations that are fighting on the front lines of climate change. You don’t have to completely change your diet overnight. You don’t have to quit your job to spend every waking minute combating this issue.

It would be awesome if you feel empowered to do these things (and are privileged enough to do so), but I don’t want people to feel powerless to do anything to help if they aren’t able to make rather big life changes.

I have struggled a lot with this lately.

That being said, I truly think the most accessible way for people to get involved in fighting climate change and doing their part to ensure the environment is preserved for hundreds of generations to come is with their grocery lists.

I spent a lot of time researching more sustainable swaps for products that I use frequently, and I came to find that environmentally-friendly products have gotten a lot more budget-friendly and human-health-friendly as well.

For example, I’ve switched to using refillable and natural products, such as the ones at Blueland, to clean my apartment. Not only are they better for the planet, they’re better for me too because they don’t have chemicals and nasty stuff (and I’m not using single-use plastic that will pollute the Earth and, in effect, me). I switched to refillable candles from Arbor Made since I LOVE candles and the cozy atmosphere they create but I HATE the glass containers that are left behind. You can reuse them of course, but how many glass jars can you really turn into cotton-swab holders?! I’ve switched to refillable and natural deodorant from Wild so I don’t have to feel bad about polluting while trying to maintain good hygiene. I switched to toothpaste bits from Bite instead of traditional toothpaste tubes (if you haven’t tried them, do it. I was wary at first as well but they genuinely make brushing teeth so fun and their compostable floss is actually high quality and doesn’t break). And I switched our necessary paper products (like a small stash of paper towels for cooking, tissues, and toilet paper) to recycled paper/bamboo paper from Who Gives a Crap (they also have rather funny/witty marketing which is a plus).

I’m not getting paid to write these things, and there are a TON of other companies that I’ve been researching/trying on my journey to run an eco-friendlier household, but they are a few of my favorites.

The reason I’m advocating for changing how you shop and the brands you buy from is because it takes relatively little effort to do this and it can make a big difference. You need to do all these things anyways, (clean your house, clean yourself, brush your teeth, etc.) so you may as well find a way to do them in a more sustainable manner.

Don’t feel like just because you have a full-time job, bills to pay, and other varying responsibilities on your plate that YOU can’t make a difference in the climate fight.

When we evaluate our daily habits and consumption practices, we can change the world. Companies create products that we demand and we can demand cleaner and more sustainable products. I still feel a good amount of climate anxiety, but I also feel hope and empowerment that I can make efforts every day to truly contribute to a better planet for us all.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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