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How to be More Environmentally Conscious

by Jasmine Wu & Ann Zhang

Our planet Earth is quite literally one in a quadrillion. It is important that we put in effort to take care of her as she takes care of us if we want to make sure that our future generations have the planet as we know it to live on. If you’re sick of living a wasteful lifestyle or you want to put in some extra effort into being more aware of your actions, this article is perfect for you. Here are 5 ways that you can be more aware of your carbon footprint and make sure that the planet we live on continues to be beautiful and remains an amazing place for ourselves and our future descendants!

Be More Conscious of Your Eating Habits

Okay, we all love our animal products. After all, who doesn’t love a good burger or a refreshing milkshake after a hard day at work? It’s totally understandable to not want to go cold turkey with your eating habits but even if you reduce your meat consumption slightly, you’ll be making an impact. Animals consume an astronomical amount of our planet’s freshwater, water that could be going to other better and more sustainable things such as growing more crops to feed more of the world’s population. In fact, it can take more than 100x the amount of water needed to grow a pound of veggies to raise the equal weight in meat. You could quite literally be saving thousands of gallons of water by choosing to opt for a vegetarian meal occasionally instead of a meat meal. You don’t need to be making a complete lifestyle change overnight, but going for meatless Mondays or Wednesdays could do wonders for our environment!

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/9-reasons-why-veganism-can-save-the-world/

Recycle More

Recycling is perhaps one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to make sure that the lifestyle you’re living is more environmentally sustainable. Recycling not only reduces the amount of waste that is sent to landfills and is then burned but also conserves more natural resources such as trees and minerals. It saves energy and can even help polluting by making it so that the need to constantly farm new materials is reduced and thus prevent the chance of foreign substances entering our ecosystem. According to the United State Environmental Protection Agency, recycling can even promote our domestic GDP by creating new jobs and supporting our manufacturing industry.

https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics

Start Composting

Composting is adding leftover food or organic material to soil to allow plants to grow or decompose naturally. Food scraps make up a significant portion of what we throw away, and composting allows these scraps to stop taking up space in landfills and reduce the amount of methane emissions that comes from our actions. Composting not only benefits the soil by giving it new nutrients and materials that enrich the soil, but also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers in our life that could possibly create runoffs into bodies of water. Composting is a quick and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint and make it so that your lifestyle is more sustainable long term.

https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home

Use Less Plastic

Plastic is perhaps one of the most pervasive materials in our life. It can be found quite literally anywhere, from our homes to our beaches to our oceans. You’ve most likely seen some news or articles regarding the detriments of excessive plastic use and the ways it affects our marine life, which is why it is so important to limit our plastic use. For one, plastic is non biodegradable and is made of crude oil which heavily contributes to pollution. The plastic that is made in our world will never go away unless it is repurposed for something else (see recycling above!). Plastic also often finds its way into our oceans and lakes, bringing dire consequences to any animal that may find itself trapped in a plastic cage. Microplastics are also a byproduct of our world’s plastic use and it can even be found in our food and drinks. If you want to reduce your plastic consumption, you can replace your plastic bags and bottles with reusable ones, which can save a significant amount of oil.

https://nonplasticbeach.com/blogs/latest/how-does-plastic-harm-the-environment

Drive and Fly Less

With our loves becoming ever more complicated and interconnected, driving and flying become essential in getting us from one place to another. This, however, does not mean that our actions come without consequences. Flying is extremely taxing on our world, using significant amounts of energy and releasing more carbon dioxide into our world than almost any other activity. In fact, a quarter of all carbon emissions in the world is expected to be from flying alone by 2050, and will most likely continue to grow after the fact. If you must fly, fly commercial and not private (not that it is a concern for the majority of us) and try to limit your rendezvous to foreign countries to once or twice a year. Driving, like flying, makes up a significant portion of the world’s carbon emissions. Cars and trucks release greenhouse gases which essentially trap our planet in a heat bubble that gets perpetually warmer. If you must drive, try to limit it as much as possible and occasionally choose to walk or bike if the distance is short enough.

https://sciencing.com/effects-car-pollutants-environment-23581.html

https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/air-travel-climate-change/

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