Missed the Climate Strike? Here’s How To Help!

On September 20th, thousands of young people marched from Foley Square to rally at Battery Park for the Climate Strike, fighting for their future before the United Nations met for their Climate Action Summit of 2019. Whether you saw it on the news, social media, or marched, the strike was impossible to miss. But…what if you did miss it? Or what if you went, now what do we do? There are personal lifestyle changes that can decrease our individual impact on the environment. They’re easy and since they’re reusable options, it’s a one time purchase! Here are some manageable ways to start holding yourself accountable for your everyday habits:     

1. Eco-Friendly Eating 

Packing your lunch or dinners for busy days (and to save money!) can end up producing a lot of plastic waste if you’re using plastic utensils, bags, or bottles. I use these bamboo utensils everyday and take them with me everywhere. It even comes with a clip to make it easy to transport, and they’re dishwasher safe! They really make it so easy. I’ve also been using reusable snack bags this year and not only have they helped me better plan out my meals for the week, but they’ve been a frequent conversation starter at lunch time. I haven’t thrown out a single plastic snack bag this year and it feels amazing. Challenge your friends, roomies, and family to Meatless Mondays. If you really wanna get competitive, up your game to Meatless Weekdays. You’ll be surprised how easy it is. 

2. Practice Healthy Hydration

I know how tempting it is and how much easier it is to buy single-use plastic water bottles with a busy lifestyle, but there’s too many fun and functional reusable water bottles out there today to pass them up. This water bottle collapses when there’s no more water in it, so if you don’t have a ton of room in your bag, easy solution. It’s also dishwasher safe! Then there’s the straw situation. One of the best on-the-go options out there is the Koffiestraw: it’s flexible that you can fold it up and fit it wherever you want it. In addition, the company explains that when you’re done using the straw you can burn it. The ash is completely biodegradable. What’s even cooler-- you can buy it from packagefreeshop.com and get it without plastic packaging (check out the website, it’s a great place to find natural, eco-friendly products that come without the plastic packaging).

3. Plant A Tree

Volunteer your time and plant a tree. On the Million Trees NYC website you can register to participate in different events when they need help planting trees in New York City. It could be a great thing to do with friends, and it’s a great way to contribute in a more hands-on way. If you really don’t have time to either plant a tree of your own, download Ecosia, a search engine that plants trees in accordance with the time you spend on it. It’s a free download as an extension to your Google Chrome browser, and they use the money they generate from ads to plant trees. It cannot get any easier than that. Wait! I’ll make it a whole step easier...download it on chrome right here.

4. Donate! 

If you don’t have the time to go and plant a tree, consider donating to a charity like the Environmental Defense Fund. Remember, any small contribution always helps!             

I understand that figuring out what you can do to help the climate crisis can feel daunting. It has made me feel helpless at times, and I know that these small steps are not groundbreaking and I am in no way an environmental expert-- but change begins with what we as individuals hold ourselves accountable for. Reducing my plastic waste and making small changes in my everyday routine has encouraged me to start taking larger steps to become as eco-friendly as I can. I hope you do the same if you are able. 

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