UPDATED: April 2016
Climate change has been in the news a lot lately and will continue to be as long as we keep doing nothing.
I wrote a prior blog post about the statistics and facts surrounding climate change, in September 2015. However, I thought a good follow-up would be to write about what we can do to help save our home (aka: the planet).
It seems like all of the major changes involve major cash: hybrid cars, “green” houses, solar- and wind-powered electricity, etc. But, we are all just post-grads with little money, no scratch that, no money, and we feel like we cannot actually do anything worthwhile.
HAVE NO FEAR! There are a few things we can do to clean up our environment.
1. Fashionable shopping
Re-usable grocery bags are fantastic ways to shop. Those trusty bags are either free on campus or $1 at the store. So stock up on a few and keep the bags in your car or trunk that way you are always ready to stop by for groceries. Plus, the bags are way cuter than those ugly brown plastic bags. Once you get home with your groceries, just put the re-usable bag by your car keys to remember to put the bags back in your car. Easy as pie. Speaking of pie, get to the store with your fancy bag and grab yourself some pie!
2. Lumos Nox
Turn out them lights, y’all! Once you leave a room for more than 10 minutes, slap that switch on the wall and lights out! If you are coming back in the room within the next few minutes, it is actually better to keep the lights on because it takes more power to turn the lights on and off in a short period of time.
Eat less meat. Beef requires a TON of water to produce. Plus, your diet would agree with this decision; beef is not healthy for your heart at all. Anywho, back to the environment: cows’ gas seriously damages our ozone. Bet you didn’t know that one. Anddddd you are welcome for ruining that beef taco you were about to eat. #sorryChipotle
4. A single water bottle
Splurging on that cute re-usable water bottle at Target is actually a good thing. YES, I just said splurging at Target is okay! Almost 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled. That is like you remembering to recycle 1 out of every 10 bottles you use, which is not a good statistic. And pure laziness. Using a re-usable water bottle can also help you remember to drink more water throughout the day, which is a great health tip. Protecting Earth and your body. Woo.
5. Cruise controllin’
It is actually better to put your car in cruise control when you are going long distances, and it can save gas mileage. So not only are you saving the planet, but you are also saving money! It is a win-win.
6. Technologically savvy
I do not need to go in much detail on this one; online reading, online banking, only communication, online shopping; working online. All of this saves paper (and therefore trees) and can save the air pollution because you drive less. Plus it can totally help you be lazy after work or on the weekends. Stay home every night? Not lazy, just environmentally conscious!
7. Active wear, active where
Take the stairs. Start out taking the stairs every few times (at work or at your apartment complex or wherever) and then slowly begin to take the stairs every time! Plus stairs can help you build up those leg muscles you have been wanting. Calves for days.
8. Shop in your pajamas
Shopping online saves gas, electricity, paper waste, and time. So basically, why NOT shop online? Now, don’t go on a shopping rampage and blame me. I’m just saying if you are going to shop, then maybe just surf the web instead of surfing the roads. Also, you’ll eat pavement if you literally surf the road, so maybe avoid that.
9. Bathroom Etiquette
This is not how to properly relieve your body of excess…stuff. Instead, this is how you should use hand dryers instead of paper towels. If a restroom gives you the option, you should go with the hand dryer. Plus, how fun is it to watch your skin warp on your hand? It is a really loud experience where you think a tornado has formed in your ears but think of all the cute polar bears you will save.
NO THANKS. This one is easy because first of all, who actually wants those little pieces of paper? Ladies, how many do you have at the bottom of you purse right now? Don’t lie, you have a million. I do, too. The next time the cashier asks if you want a receipt, say no (thank you). Save the paper. And if you do get a receipt despite every attempt to avoid it, take it home and recycle.
These are just some ideas for you poor folks out there like me. Adulting is hard enough but then feeling guilty for slowly killing the planet is even worse. I tried to find the easiest and cheapest ways for you to do your part. And it is a great reminder for me, too. So thank you.
Want more ideas after you’ve conquered these bad boys? Check out this website http://www.50waystohelp.com/