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One of the sad realities of today’s world is that we aren’t treating Mother Nature as kindly as we should. There’s so much waste that ‘The Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ was formed from our carelessness, and wildfires are becoming more commonplace.

Even though I’m not a politician with the power to create a tidal wave of change, I’ve still tried to create a small ripple in reversing the damage that we’ve done. This is mostly through adopting more eco-friendly habits. Here are some things that I’ve done to try to give some love back to the planet.

Avoiding Fast Fashion as much as possible

I’ll admit that this one was a little bit of a challenge, as I have a tendency to ‘treat myself’ to a nice piece of clothing. But these clothes often end up in a trash pile somewhere. Going to thrift stores and boutiques not only allows you to find unique pieces of clothing that will last longer than fast fashion, it’s also a great way to reduce waste. And with Forever 21 on the road to bankruptcy, it’s clear that fast fashion is going out of style.

Quitting Beef

As a lover of juicy burgers, this one was tough. But the cattle industry is one of the most environmentally devastating, as it creates a ton of greenhouse gases. This is not only not good for the planet, it’s not good for your health as red meat can raise your blood cholesterol. I’ve also switched to almond milk, which I actually prefer to the dairy version. If you’re still craving meat but want a plant based alternative, give Impossible Burgers a try.

Getting reusable bags

I’ll admit that when I first bought reusable bags, I would forget them at home initially. But if you leave them at a place where you can grab them on the way to the grocery store, they can be great for reducing wasted plastic. If you do forget the bags, just ask for paper so that you can recycle it later. As a bonus, I love picking out some cute totes that I can haul my groceries around in.

These are some of the things that one can do to be more eco-friendly, although there’s always more. If more people take small actions to help the environment, it has the potential to create a lot of change.

Reese Bentzinger is a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City earning a journalism major and a history minor. In her free time she enjoys reading history books, rewatching Gilmore Girls, and traveling. She plans on graduating in 2020. Insta: @reese_b_
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