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5 (Super Easy!) Changes You Can Make to Help Save the Environment

With recent scientific findings bringing the deadline for monumental progress even closer, many of us may be experiencing anxieties about how we can help avoid catastrophic climate change on an individual level. While institutional and political transformations are necessary, there’s still hope for everyday people to make a difference. Here are five meaningful changes you can make in your life.

 

1. Skipping meat 

It can be hard to find the means to feed nearly 8 billion people with limited land and resources. Eating meat is one of the least efficient ways to generate calories. Not only is energy lost as it moves along the food chain, food – and land, water, etc. – must be used to feed livestock as well. Additionally, the levels of methane produced by cows are ultimately too high for the amount of people they feed. Cutting out meat from your diet is one of the biggest ways to decrease your ecological footprint, and you’ll feel healthier for it!

2. Eating local 

Opting for locally sourced foods cuts out the middleman and all the pollution that comes with it. Instead of buying food transported from who-knows-where, supporting local producers provides you with tasty freshness that doesn’t nag your conscience. Urban farms like the sites right on the UW campus help reduce local air pollution all while helping you serve up that trendy kale salad. To make it even easier, just eat at Cultivate! Located in Elm Hall, their mission is to take advantage of local farms in order to create high quality dishes.

3. Driving less 

Living in a large, progressive city like Seattle can make this option quite simple. While driving to the store or an event is convenient, so is walking or utilizing public transportation! With so many available modes of transportation, cutting down carbon emissions can be easy and very rewarding.

4. Use less 

In a capitalist economy built on throwaway products, many items we use come with unnecessary packaging and can only be used once. Being more conscious of the levels of waste we produce is a big step towards sustainability. While recycling and composting are important, stopping waste from even entering the cycle is even better.

5. Educate 

Not everyone is aware of the importance of being eco-friendly or the power they have to do so. Spreading information can help others better understand this pressing issue and make changes in their own lives. Educating yourself on political candidates who support environmental protection can also make a big difference and help engender change at societal levels!

 

Alyssa Zadra

Washington '22

Alyssa is a first year student at the University of Washington.
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