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Eco-Friendly Changes You Can Make Right Now!

Over quarantine, I found myself reflecting on the amount of waste produced each day around the world, the ridiculously high carbon emissions, and how we, as humans, are effectively killing our only home. I wondered, “Why can’t everyone recycle? Why can’t everyone switch from single-use to reusable items?” For as long as I can remember, my family has recycled more than we throw away, used lunch containers instead of Ziplocs, and reused whatever we can. Here are some simple ways you can reduce your waste and help save our beautiful Earth!

1. Eat less meat. One easy way to limit your carbon emissions is to eat less meat. The Sierra Club Organization reports that over 70% of methane emissions in 2016 were caused by meat production. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to stop eating meat altogether; cutting your weekly meat intake in half is enough to cut the carbon emissions of your diet by 40%, according to the BBC. If you’ve decided meat is something you can live without, there are countless meat-free protein substitutes, ranging from meat-less meat to tofu! Beyond Beef and Lightlife products are affordable and delicious, and as a vegetarian myself I highly recommend you try them!

2. Limit the amount you drive your car. Cars are a necessity in modern life, but driving your car less has a serious impact on your carbon emissions. The BBC reports that getting rid of your car reduces about one-fourth of your average yearly carbon emissions. It may not be feasible to get rid of your car completely, but you can limit how much you drive by walking or biking when you can, carpooling or taking public transport, and condensing all of your errands into one trip.

3. Set up a compost bin in your kitchen. All you need is a small trash can with a lid and compost bags, which are meant to break down faster than traditional garbage and plastic bags. Some things you can compost include eggshells, nut shells, and fruit and veggie peels, skins, and scraps. Composting is great, especially if you have a garden. When the can is full, scatter the contents in your garden or in your bushes, flowers, and trees. Compost is an excellent fertilizer, and it limits the amount of trash you produce.

4. Shop with reusable bags. Instead of using plastic bags when you buy your groceries or hit the mall with your friends, bring a reusable bag (or two or three!). I recommend always having at least one medium sized reusable bag with you, just in case your morning walk into town turns into more than just window shopping! You can find reusable bags at almost every grocery store, as well as from independent artists and different organizations.

Sources:

  1. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20181102-what-can-i-do-about-climate-change

  2. https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/what-you-can-do-to-fight-climate-change

  3. https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/does-knowing-carbon-footprint-meat-make-us-eat-less-it#:~:text=Meat%20production%20is%20the%20primary,another%2025%20percent%20that%20year

Grace is a Zoology major with a pre-veterinary concentration. She plans on becoming a Zoo Veterinarian, preferably at Disney's Animal Kingdom or the Australia Zoo. She enjoys activism, exploring nature, thrifting, and consuming excessive amounts of iced coffee. Grace likes to paint, watch anime, take care of plants, and obsess over frogs, cats, raccoons and possums in her free time.
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