5 Ways to Kick-Start Sustainable Living

Lately, Earth Day, April 22nd, has been converted to Earth Week around the world and this year OSU is taking the celebration to the next level by turning it into two weeks of ongoing events called Beyond Earth Day. As nice at it is to check your environmental consciousness for a couple weeks, here are some habits to begin during this time that can help kick-start a path towards a more sustainable lifestyle. We’ll rate these in order from easiest switches to most ambitious to, uh, warm you up to the idea of making some solid progress.

1. Calculate your carbon footprint.

This determines how much Carbon dioxide and other harmful gases you create through your travel choices, the food you eat, the waste you produce, or the amount of energy in your home you use. The Nature Conservancy offers a basic calculator, but if you really want to get down and dirty with the details, the Environmental Protection Agency offers a pretty extensive one.

2. Think twice before you travel.

If you own a bike and are able to ride it, take advantage of the spring weather to get out there and use it! Your choice of transportation can have a huge impact. Thinking of flying somewhere? A train ride emits half the amount of CO2. But also remember that driving alone is the worst thing you can do while traveling.

3. Reduce the amount of waste you produce.

Make plastic your enemy! Ditch the straws (better yet buy a reusable one), have receipts emailed to you, and don’t bag each and every fruit or vegetable when grocery shopping.

4. Plant something around your home.

This is one of the most proactive things you can do. Growing your own food is like growing money. Plus, you know where it’s been, it doesn’t have to travel from farm to store to fridge, and it reduces the amount of food waste. Here are some helpful tips to get you going.

5. Cut down on the meat packed meals.  

The amount of water, vegetable, and grains it takes to feed the livestock we eat is better of going straight into your own mouth. And the amount of carbon emissions that livestock produce outweighs that of the transportation industry.

6. Keep learning.

Attend events like The Thin Green Line happening at OSU this Saturday about resistance to fossil fuel development. Follow some environmental blogs and programs or find them on your social medias.

So while the idea of remembering to bring your reusable water bottle or coffee mug is great during Earth Day, these six things can help you celebrate the Earth every day.