Awareness surrounding climate change and environmental damage is more prominent than ever, but it’s also true that this issue has become politicized, unfortunately. It can seem as though many different groups have an idea regarding what efforts would be the most beneficial towards solving this problem. Some suggest that nuclear power would help the most, others believe that technology could help environmental degradation such as cleaning up the plastic in the ocean, while in other fields, regulation has had a real impact.
That said, the truth is that climate change and environmental degradation is such an essential topic that a thorough combination of all of these efforts and more is worthwhile. But as a normal person working a normal job with normal (see: many) responsibilities to take care of, how can we consider the environment in the best manner? It can be hard to ask and answer that question, particularly when we’re not certain of what adjustments we may be comfortable with making.
In this post, then, we’ll do our best to combine the small efforts that most households can make to consider the environment while still retaining their quality of life:
Many vegans become vegan out of a sense of empathy for the animals that are consumed during animal agriculture, but while this may or may not appeal to you, it’s also true that said agriculture is inherently wasteful. Not only does it use an incredible amount of water, but an escalating amount of land to create the conditions necessary to keep the supply chain and demand running.
Of course, while we might not wish to convert to a full vegan lifestyle (and that’s perfectly fine), it’s worth understanding just how little impact vegan foods can have compared to the alternative. For that reason, if more people decided to reduce their intake of animal products to an acceptable point, you will have a tremendous impact on global emissions and environmental degradation.
This doesn’t need to be a call towards an inherently stringent and strict way of living. It might just be that you opt for vegan mayo options, or opt for vegan duck pieces instead of purchasing a duck to roast, or try a range of fun and new food options such as vegan burgers from major chains, or courgetti (that’s right, a courgette alternative to spaghetti). If every household decided to do this, an incredible impact would be felt.
Renewable energies can make a massive difference, to the point where we needn’t discuss why this is. Sustainability is the golden word and principle we should be following, and there’s nothing more sustainable than renewable energies, especially those that convert power from natural sources.
While it’s unlikely that you could fit a wind turbine in your back garden, solar panels and heat pumps can make a tremendous difference in terms of your household’s demand of the municipal power grid, as well as reducing your household energy costs noticeable each year. Solar panels are even understood to pay for themselves after a certain number of years thanks to this saving. It can’t hurt to see what the options may be for your house.
Proper Waste Disposal
Of course, our wastage can determine our home’s environmental impact too, even though it may seem that placing our rubbish in the bin is the end of that story and the place where our responsibility for said waste ends.
It can be healthy to focus on worthwhile recycling, to sell or upcycle old belongings, to make sure items with sensitive materials are correctly disposed of by your local council (this will likely incur a fee), as well as ensuring a forthright approach to removing waste from your property that might come as a result of renovation (skip hire or selling the scrap metal could be key here).
Not only does careful waste disposal prevent items from going into landfill (as much as that’s possible), but ethical management of said wastage can prevent it from poisoning or incurring damage to the local environment.
Standby Electronic Fittings
It’s good to have appliances set to standby and turn off where appropriate. Certain power outlets can provide this necessity, as can motion-sensitive lights within and installed at the exterior of the property.
This can help you limit the amount of wasted electricity you consume during a normal day, which will be very important during the week when family members come and go at different times.
You can also set this necessity in the software of many devices you own, such as games consoles, computers, and even air purifiers turning off at certain times. Over a year, you may save 30% of your energy needs compared to another household on the street, simply because you took the time to consider a better approach.
Composting & Growing Food
We’ve already mentioned how worthwhile altering your diet can be for the environment, but there’s nothing quite as sustainable and natural than growing your own food to eat.
This might involve renting a small allotment space or retrofitting your garden for a vegetable patch. You may only grow onions, or pumpkins, or other root vegetables you find enjoyable. Curating a herb garden can be worthwhile too. That’s enough, and it will allow you to avoid purchasing goods that ultimately had to make their way through the supply chain circuit to get to your table.
Composting can also be a great way to help biodegradable foodstuffs slowly decompose in a small segmented area of your garden, allowing it to convert into soil nutrients which can be fantastic for other areas of vegetable or plant growth in this green space.
In a philosophical sense, curating a garden can also help you connect with nature further, and feel more inclined to take care of it as a prerequisite for any one of the tips on this list. Spending on your intent, you may have a major difference.
This might sound like less of a ‘small effort’ and more of a lifestyle change, and it is, but the impact you can have on your local environment by caring for bees vastly over-rewards the effort you put into it, so in relative terms, what you get out of beekeeping could require a small amount of effort put in.
Those who have a decent amount of land or who live in rural environments can benefit tremendously from keeping bees. Not only do they help pollinate the local environment, which is essential, but they have a vital impact on the health of crops.
For this reason, keeping bees can be one of the best pastimes out there. From keeping a healthy colony to even using this to spread awareness, you’d be surprised what an impact someone with the resources and will have. Check out this guide for first-time beekeeping to see what this would involve for a first-time keeper.
Reusable products can make a tremendous difference regarding how easily you can limit your household waste. Of course, we all use reusable plates and cups, but what about purchasing reusable masks you can use between outings, protecting you from Covid while limiting the plastic wastage that comes with disposable surgical masks?
It can be worth grinding your own coffee beans aside from using those coffee maker instant pot blends which also add to wastage. Thinking of caring for the environment in this way can help you influence via incremental good decision making. Over time, this has a tremendous impact.
With this advice, we hope you can care for the small efforts we all could (or should) make when considering the environment.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.