Simple Ways to Help the Environment

Today’s youth is more knowledgeable about the problems in our society than ever before! With the rise of inspirational activists such as Greta Thunberg, we are really re-evaluating the decisions we are making as a society and how they negatively contribute to climate change. While the issue of climate change doesn’t have one set solution, there are many little changes we can make as a society that will produce positive change! 


1. Use Reusable Bags

Instead of constantly getting plastic bags every grocery store visit, purchase a few reusable bags from your local grocery store to keep in your car! The plastic bags from the grocery store typically end up in landfills, and purchasing a few reusable bags really is worth the investment. 



2. Use Reusable Bottles

Though plastic water bottles may be more convenient, consider purchasing a reusable water bottle! When looking at how this can help our planet, consider the fact that 80 percent of plastic water bottles end up in landfills. It takes up to 1,000 years for every single water bottle to decompose! Not only is that awful, but studies also show that the toxins decomposing bottles of water leach into our environment cause a variety of health issues, including reproductive problems and cancer! When looking at plastic water bottle alternatives, aluminum bottles, such as the Swell brand bottles, keep drinks cold for hours and offer a variety of designs to suit anybodies personality. 



3. Carpool When Possible

As university students, we are usually on campus five days a week. Taking turns carpooling with friends not only saves you money, but also is a step towards lowering the amount of fossil fuels that gets put out into the atmosphere. Fossil fuels can be incredibly harmful to our planet as they are breaking down the ozone and are a huge aspect contributing to climate change. 



4. Reduce the Amount of Meat in your Diet

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the production and distribution of meat products takes a serious toll on our environment. In fact, farms which produce meat products release 10-40% more greenhouse gases than vegetable farms. While it is not realistic to ask every person to change their diet to completely exclude meat products, if every person made an attempt to reduce the amount of meat products consumed in their lives, it would make a drastic difference! 



5. Purchase Reusable Straws

Any one-time use plastic items are bad for the environment. Like most plastics, straws that get discarded to landfills take hundreds of years to decompose and often end up in our oceans. Plastic straws are particularly damaging to wildlife, and can get stuck in airways of turtles. Buying reusable straws has never been easier, and can easily be kept in purses and bags to use on the go! I personally prefer using metal straws, not only because they are better for the environment, but also because I find they are much more durable and cuter than plastic straws.



6. Thrift!

Buying and repurposing clothing helps reduce pollution! Yes you read that right! The fashion industry frequently uses cotton and other plant-based fabrics, the production of which often uses pesticides which negatively impact the environment. The transportation of clothing around different parts of the world also outputs a ton of greenhouse gases into our environment. Not only does this negatively affect our planet, but many of the clothing in stores are made in sweatshops, which are notorious for providing horrible work conditions as well as very low wages to those in poor countries with underdeveloped countries. I have personally really gotten into thrifting! I find it very satisfying to repurpose used clothing to fit my personal style.