Little Ways To Help The Planet Daily

 

8 Ways To Help The Planet Daily

Photo: Mackenzie Yeager

Everyone’s talking about the earth’s demise.  With industrialization, deforestation, coral reef destruction, and so much more, our planet is in danger.  But there’s some good news.  We have the power to help heal our planet daily.  It’s your choice how you treat this planet, so, instead of filling your mind with doom and gloom, we decided to remind you of some easy ways to lessen the strain on our beautiful home, and help make her happy again.

Photo: Mackenzie Yeager

Bring your own bags.

Plastic bags are made of petroleum / crude oil.  Gross!  Oil fracking is bad for our environment, and plastic bags end up where they shouldn’t- our oceans and ecosystems, bringing unnecessary harm to animals and wildlife.  Bring your own bags, and save the planet.  They’re cheap to buy and last a lot longer.  Simple as that. Plus, that cute, colorful Whole Foods bag, made from recycled water bottles, helps you donate to positive causes at many grocery stores, and it goes perfectly with your outfit!

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors.  We borrow it from our children.”

Native American Proverb

Recycle.

Photo: James Van Camp

What’s another easy way to help the planet?  Recycle more! Or better yet, go zero waste.

There’s no reason to produce excess trash anymore.  With more ways to reduce waste and recycle than ever before, it’s time for us to reduce our waste footprint. About 6 months ago after watching a video on a college student who lives without producing any waste, I felt challenged and inspired to do the same.  In the past 6 months, all the trash I’ve produced fits into a tiny 8 ounce jar I keep in my room (except for one road trip I took and got a little off track).  It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it’d be.  The biggest change I had to make was buying things that use little to no plastic.  I would take  plastic wrappers I couldn’t avoid using to a recycling bin at a local grocery store.  There are 5 of these within biking distance of my house, and they are likely easy to find wherever you live.  Keep a small trash bin in your garage and rinse plastic wrappers and bags through the week.  Look in front of shopping centers and grocery stores for a recycling bin designated for plastic bags.  Instead of being thrown into the landfill or finding their way into delicate ecosystems, they are repurposed into products like clothing, electronics, and more. Take all other recycling to a recycling center- batteries, metal scraps, fabric, etc. There’s no need to throw more toxic waste onto this planet.  You’ll feel great knowing you’re lessening your footprint and creating a happier planet.  It becomes a great challenge to see if you can make less trash each week.

Compost.

Photo: James Van Camp

When you throw food or anything that naturally decomposes into the garbage, it likely sits between materials that don’t decompose (plastic, metal, etc.) in a landfill forever. These materials fill landfills more quickly than necessary.  Instead of throwing food scraps and things like cotton balls, wood shavings, and more into the garbage, buy a composter. Or, better yet, make one yourself. For a full list of what you can compost, look here.

Turn it off.

Photo: James Van Camp

Turn off the water and lights when you’re not using them.  Unplug chords.  Even when they’re not turned on, they’re using energy.  Energy is made from petroleum (still…gross).  It’s a resource we will eventually run out of, and if you don’t have solar power, it’s not a cheap or environmentally friendly option.  So if you are going to use it, conserve it.

Eat less meat.

Photo: James Van Camp

One of the fastest and easiest ways to lessen your strain on the planet is to eat less meat and animal products.  Did you know 51% of greenhouse gases are a result of animal agriculture (GreenPeace)? After all, science has proven you don’t need animal products to be healthy.  You can, in fact, thrive and be even healthier without them.  Replace animal protein with plant proteins like legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products.  They pack all the protein and nutrients, and none of the animal hormones, and are much easier on your body.  One of the most detrimental industries causing intense strain to the planet is the fishing industry.  Commercial fishing destroys coral reefs and kills all other sea life in larger numbers than the ocean can handle.  This includes dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and other “bycatch” you never meant to harm by eating a serving of salmon or shrimp.  You can get everything you find in fish in a supplement and a whole foods diet of plants, no animals needed.

Stay positive.

Photo: Mackenzie Yeager

There’s a lot going right with the world.  Try to avoid media saying our planet is hopeless and we’re all going to go down with it in a fiery blaze. Your mind believes whatever you tell it.  So feed it with positivity.  There are more people trying to help our planet today than ever before.  Find organizations and projects making a positive difference.  When you help out, you will feel useful- because you are! And when you feel useful, you act as such.  You don’t have to be the campaign manager for some crazy big cause.  It’s the little things that count.

Find a list of environmental organizations here.

Shop smart.

Photo: James Van Camp

One of the most toxic industries to our planet is fashion.  “The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world … second only to oil” (Sweeny). Unethical fashion companies destroy our planet and use harmful methods of production to reduce their product cost.  Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it was made without a price. When choosing which companies deserve your money, look for brands using organic materials, whatever it is you’re buying- groceries, clothing, self care products, etc.  Non-organic clothing and dyes are rapidly killing ecosystems, which will take us down with them. Also, think about the effect of paints and aerosols used on vehicles, electronics, and more.  We can reduce the introduction of more of these toxic substances by shopping second hand. If you can’t always afford a $100 pair of organic denim (ha), buy things previously used.  It’s a great way to save money, reduce the impact on the environment, and bring new life to old pieces. It’s also a great way to ensure you aren’t supporting unethical companies.

Photo: James Van Camp

“Demand quality not just in the product you buy,                                                                             but in the life of the person who made it.”

Get into nature.

Get outside.

However you like, connect with the earth.  It’s a great way to stay grounded, clear your mind, and remember why we work so hard to take care of this beautiful planet. It’s priceless, and if we let it become destroyed, we are destroyed with it. We can’t survive without it.  So let’s learn to help it thrive.

“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.”

Mary Davis

We fight for this planet because we love it, and because it’s priceless. We need it just as much as it needs us to keep it healthy and thriving.  Your choices have an effect on this planet.  You choose daily what that effect will be. Your efforts are never wasted. Every person who decides to fight for this earth ensures the preservation this beautiful, sacred planet for future generations, and the enjoyment of every living creature.

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

Photo: Mackenzie Yeager

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Photographers:

James Van Camp

Mackenzie Yeager

Rachael Davis

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Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/clips/zqk2tyc

Meat and the Environment

http://www.plasticseurope.org/what-is-plastic/how-plastic-is-made.aspx

https://www.ecowatch.com/fast-fashion-is-the-second-dirtiest-industry-in-the-world-next-to-big–1882083445.html

Environmental Consequences of Fishing Practices

Fracking’s Environmental Impacts: Water

100 Things You Can (and Should) Compost

Rachael Davis

Artist, content creator and film student passionate about making our planet happier. Dedicated to spreading love, living a zero waste lifestyle, and living consciously.