7 Ways To Save The Planet Every Day

Earth Day is often an excuse for people to post pretty nature pictures once a year, before moving on with their lives without actually doing anything to help the planet. While it is important to be reminded to appreciate the beauty of the earth, we should all make more of an effort to appreciate it every day of the year. This is our only home, and it’s our responsibility to take care of it. Here are 7 quick and easy ways to make a difference in your everyday life:

  1. 1. Buy Less

    It’s the first step of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Becoming more aware of how many unnecessary purchases you make is a great first step to living a more sustainable life. Consider a no-buy month where you don’t buy anything for a whole month! If this is infeasible, just avoid buying small things that will end up in the trash after a few uses. It’s easy to get sucked into consumerism and get tempted by cheap items in the sales section, but this contributes to a huge amount of waste.

  2. 2. Cut Out Fast Fashion

    Unfortunately, fast fashion is an extremely wasteful industry. By refusing to support the industry, we can hopefully lessen the demand for their products and lead to a more sustainable fashion industry. The easiest solution is to shop secondhand, whether that’s at a local thrift store, or at a curated vintage store. Either way, shopping secondhand gives pieces another life and prolongs their use before they end up in a landfill. There are also plenty of sustainable brands out there that make cute pieces. They can definitely be a bit expensive, but that’s the price you pay for high quality, sustainable and ethically produced clothing.

  3. 3. Eat More Plant-Based

    I’m not saying you should commit to a fully vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Making that transition can be difficult and expensive. However, eating a vegetarian meal even once a week can make a difference in the long run. A quarter pound of beef requires roughly 460 gallons of water. If you have the means, try to be more conscious of what you put in your body and how it affects the environment.

  4. 4. Limit Single-Use Products

    California imposed a statewide ban of single-use plastic bags in large retail stores in 2014. Other stores require a charge for customers to use stores’ reusable plastic bags. So, make sure you have a reusable tote bag to use when out shopping! Other alternatives to single-use plastic items include metal water bottles, portable utensils, and eco-friendly makeup remover products like the Face Halo

  5. 5. Compost

    UCLA has a pretty impressive array of compostable utensils and food containers, which makes composting much easier. If you live at home, consider starting a compost bin for any food waste you have. Even many urban cities have drop-off sites for you to drop off compost scraps. Most food doesn’t properly decompose in landfills, so compost, compost, compost!

  6. 6. Walk

    Cars emit a ton of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, leading to an increased amount of greenhouse gases and climate change. Instead of contributing to this, try walking whenever possible! For larger distances, you can bike, scooter or skate. If you’re traveling somewhere too far to use these methods, try carpooling or using public transportation. Every little bit helps.

  7. 7. Educate Others

    There are so many small things you can do to help our planet. If you use the above tips, great! If some of them don’t work with your lifestyle, that’s okay, too. The way our world is structured can make it pretty difficult to live sustainably. No matter how much you can do yourself, you can try to educate others on the topic and influence them to be more aware of the waste they produce. Together, we can change the world. After all, we kinda need to.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are countless ways we can all minimize our carbon footprint and the negative impact we have on our beautiful planet. Of course, living green isn't the end-all, be-all solution. It's equally, if not more, important to contribute to organizations that can make bigger, systematic change. Consider donating to organizations that work to combat plastic pollution, calling your representatives to fight for clean air or volunteering for groups that redistribute surplus food.