5 Easy Ways to Help the Planet
Doing your part to help the planet is way easier than you think!
I know, I know. You already recycle and avoid straws, and still, saving the world sounds like a whole lotta pressure! I mean, we’ve all got a lot of other stuff to worry about — like building our careers and figuring out which restaurant to book tonight. But still, as caring people we def want to help. We just don’t want it to use up too much of our already tight schedule. Is that really too much to ask??
For those of us who are (currently) too busy to carve out volunteer-time, here are 5 effective ways to help save the planet, and give the next generation a better future:
US electrical power is largely generated by fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas — all terrible polluters and big contributors to climate change). Thankfully, most people have the option of switching from dirty energy to clean, renewable sources. It’s easy! Just check out Arcadia Power. We used them to switch from dirty to clean energy and with 5 minutes of effort it dramatically reduced our carbon footprint while keeping our bills roughly the same.
Ok, I thought that’d get your attention. I’ll tell you how to get free coin, but it’s not for you to spend on another pair of pumps. It’s for you to donate. Here’s how it works: Sign up for a free hybrid checking/savings account at Radius Bank, and start earning interest on the money in your bank account. Unlike most other banks, which slowly drain your accounts via this-and-that fees, Radius puts money into your account by paying you 17x the national interest rate on checking accounts. At the end of the year, you can see how much interest you’ve earned and donate that amount to a charity aimed at helping save the planet.
MAKE A QUICK PHONE CALL (OR THREE)
One of the most effective ways to create change is to call politicians. They assume that for every phone call they receive, there are hundreds of their constituents who feel the same way but didn’t take the time to call. They know that getting re-elected means that they need to listen to what people like you want. Call and tell them!
Bringing change to environmental policies may require regulation combined with proper enforcement, or economic incentives like rewarding companies that focus on sustainability and organic products, instead of giving taxpayer subsidies to high-polluting corporations in oil and factory-farmed agriculture. Either way, widespread support is essential to get these politicians to act.
THINK BEFORE YOU BUY
Do you really need that extra pair of black boots? Probably not. Would the veggie burger be a better option than the beef burger? Definitely. After all, eating one less burger a week is the same as taking your car off of the road for 320 miles, and skipping steak for a week is the equivalent of not driving for almost 3 months! Forgoing meat also saves all of the resources that go into maintaining livestock. The world’s cows eat enough to feed 9 billion people. Approximately, 70% of deforestation of the Amazon is to provide land for cattle ranches and producing an 8 oz steak requires 900 gallons of water.
The biggest intervention people could make towards reducing their carbon footprints would not be to abandon cars, but to eat significantly less meat and dairy.
Every purchase you make has a cost to the planet, animals, and other people (including your future children!) Making the responsible choice gets easier the more you do it. Here are 5 ways to make ethical fashion choices, and this is why what you eat matters to the future of this planet. And since the oceans will have no fish left in them by 2050 if we don’t start making more sustainable choices, bust out the Seafood Watch app before you order to get a handle on which are the most responsible choices.
SELL OR DONATE, DON’T TOSS
Way too much furniture, clothing and appliances are tossed out in favor of something new. That’s all stuff that could be repaired or could prevent someone else from buying something new. Not to mention, well, the landfills (ie. the ocean!)
When my husband and I decided to try life in Europe, we donated all our furniture to charity. It saved us a lot of time and gave us a nice tax write-off. When I clean out my closet, I give the stuff I don’t want to charity. It takes a little more effort, but not much, and it makes me feel good to know that it’ll have another life with someone else.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the most important thing to remember is that every choice you make has a direct impact on the planet and its inhabitants.