It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the daily headlines on climate change, ocean plastics, deforestation, and the many other threats to our planet. It can be hard to know how to create an impact as individuals, but there are a number of easy things we can do to minimize our environmental impact. When we all work together, small changes to our daily routine can go a long way to helping the planet. Here are five easy ways you can reduce your environmental impact:
Ditch single-use plastics
Single-use plastics, such as plastic bags or bottles, are incredibly damaging to the environment. The UN Environment reports that just nine per cent of the world’s nine billion tonnes of plastic has been recycled. Most plastics are thrown away, ending up in landfill or making their way to the ocean. Plastics can take thousands of years to decompose, and during this time they release harmful chemicals into the earth and our water supply. Thankfully, many countries including Canada are introducing policies to reduce consumption, such as regulating plastic bag use. Buying reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and grocery bags can be a great place to start.
Eat less meat
Have you heard of ‘Meatless Mondays’? There are a number of reasons why eating vegetarian has a positive impact on the planet. The production of vegetarian food produces less carbon emissions than meat production, and it also uses considerably less water. By eating vegetarian for just one day a week with your family, you can have a positive impact on the environment. Another thing to consider is where your food comes from. Where possible, it’s best to eat local produce as it has a lower carbon footprint than food that has been shipped internationally.
Bike more, drive less
Driving less is a great way to reduce your carbon emissions. Where possible, cycling or walking is a great option and the best choice for the environment. If that’s not an option, then taking public transportation is a good alternative. Public transportation keeps less individual cars off the roads and, therefore, reduces the amount of exhaust emissions that are produced.
Many organizations run tree planting event throughout the year as a way to promote reforestation. For example, here in Vancouver, there are tree planting events in Stanley Park hosted by One Tree Planted. Planting trees is a great way to get your whole family outside and to reconnect with nature. It’s also a great way to learn more about trees and how deforestation is a risk to the planet.
Give to an environmental charity
If you care about protecting the environment and want to support an organization that works to take care of the planet, you could consider giving to one of the many environmental charities in Canada. According to Network for Good’s donation data, the average recurring donor will give 42% more in one year than those who give one-time gifts. With Charitable Impact, you can set-up a recurring donation straight into your Impact Account, to ensure you have the greatest impact. Charitable Impact is an online giving platform that helps you to create the change you’d like to see in the world. You can sign up for a free account to start giving to the causes that matter most to you.
How do you reduce your environmental impact? We’d love to hear from you, get in touch at @wearechimp.