4 Easy Ways to Be More Eco-conscious

Climate change is a very pressing concern for our generation and it’s really easy to feel disheartened and hopeless about the state of our environment. But, I have found that taking action is the strongest antidote for me in combating these negative feelings. Sometimes, being an environmentally conscious citizen seems really overwhelming as it’s easy to look at people who are making drastic changes (veganism, zero-waste, etc) and believe that this is the only way to contribute. More power to those people, but those lifestyles aren’t for everyone. However, any small change is a step towards a more environmentally friendly world. Here are some suggestions that take very little effort. 

1. Choose an eco-friendly search engine.

Ecosia uses its profits to plant trees and Oceanhero removes plastic from the ocean. I have been using Ecosia for a year and a half, and I love that the time I would be on my computer anyway is contributing to something good in the world.  Both of the mentioned search engines have a Chrome extension so they can be your default search engine. 

2. Be a Conscious Consumer.

It’s shocking how much our consumer culture contributes to the global climate crises. As a society, we end up buying more than we need and putting our excess in donation centers and landfills. The best way to fight against this is to be a conscious consumer, and think about the purpose of the purchase you are planning to make. Also, see if you currently have any resources that can fulfill the same purpose. This quarter I needed a new notebook to do my statistics homework in, but before getting a new one I wanted to see if I had any old notebooks that had a good amount of empty pages in it. I found a composition book from middle school which had writing on only a few of the pages, so I stapled the used pages together and started using the rest for my homework. Not only does this practice save money and the environment, but it’s also kind of fun to see how you can repurpose what you currently have. 

3. Turn off the water when you aren’t using it.

This tip is something that I am sure many of us have learned in elementary school, but if you don’t already practice it, this is just a reminder to turn off the faucet when it’s not needed (while brushing your teeth, washing your hands, washing dishes, etc.) in order to conserve water. 

4. Recycle and compost properly.

This everyday three-second action can save so much from going into the landfill. Set up recycling and compost bins at home and make a conscious effort to use this system. In general, paper, (some) plastic and glass can be recycled and most food waste (or anything biodegradable) can be composted and thrown in your yard waste.  You can learn more about the specifics about what you can and cannot recycle here and you can find composting tips here. Please do your research if you aren’t sure whether or not something can be recycled or composted. 

I hope these tips inspired you to take action in some way!