The environmental problems we face are very, very big. When you consider them, it's easy to feel discouraged. How can one person address such massive issues?
The good news is that you don't have to have all the answers. By making small changes, and sticking with them, you can make an impact. Those little things that you do in your daily life add up quickly, because you repeat them over and over again. Today I'm sharing five things I do in my own daily life to make a difference.
Four Small Changes to Make in Your Daily Life
- Carry reusable bags everywhere. I carry reusable bags in my purse wherever I go. I have Envirosax, ChicoBag and some knock-offs, and they all fold up really small so they're not cumbersome at all. Now I never have to take a plastic bag when I buy something. The average American uses 300-700 plastic bags each year, so this little change packs a big punch.
- Drink tap water. The Eco-novice made a great case for drinking water. It's free or incredibly cheap, it doesn't come with any packaging and it's good for you. If you carry a reusable water bottle with you when you go out you can easily refill it as needed. In airports I empty mine out before I go through security and refill it on the other side, and I'm never without a drink when I need it.
- Increase the temperature on your thermostat in the summer, and decrease it in the winter. Big changes in temperature are hard to take - but even a one degree change for eight hours each day can reduce your heating bill by one percent. If you can, consider installing a programmable thermostat, so that you can automatically reduce your heating and cooling during the hours when no one is home.
- Eat less meat. Meat production is a major contributing factor in climate change - in fact, livestock produce as much as 18% of the planet's greenhouse gases. Meat production also uses far more water than growing plants. I'm not a vegetarian, but I have taken steps to reduce my meat consumption. Even one veggie meal every day can make a big difference, and you may even get the chance to try some new recipes while you're at it.
What environmental changes have you made in your daily life? I'd love some more suggestions!