3 Ways to be an Earth Friendly Human - Rabble Media
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3 Ways to be an Earth Friendly Human

Sep 02, 2020
Wellness Civics

Here’s one undeniable truth about climate change: most of its negative impact is not the fault of everyday people, and not everyone has the financial ability to adhere to a sustainable lifestyle. Wasteful corporations and a lack of governmental regulations protecting our environment are causing irreversible damage to our climate. Nonetheless, we as participants in a western society are going about our daily lives in a consumerist manner and need to step back and think critically about the detrimental effects that it’s having on our environment. Keep in mind, I am an 18-year-old college student with the privilege and ability to accommodate to a sustainable lifestyle. I’m about 97% vegetarian — nowhere close to being zero waste — but quite frankly, trying my best. At the end of the day, if we all make small positive changes, we will have a large collective impact that will help save our earth. Here is a list of five ways to be a better human toward Earth.

Rethink

Everything You Think You Know

Greenpeace is a great website to educate yourself on environmental issues and campaigns. They have Greenpeace Reports, essentially a report card for how sustainable a company is — a great resource when deciding which company to buy from and which to avoid.

Our Changing Climate is a YouTube channel that digs deep and makes you think differently about everything environment related. They cover brands, topics like recycling and fast fashion, and things we may not consider such as the environmental impact the internet has.

Impact for Good is an Instagram account and a website that informs you on how to be sustainable day-to-day and has an online shop. Following them is a good way to easily learn small steps that you can take to be more sustainable.

Educated Earthling is an Instagram account and also a website. Their site sells everything from organic t-shirts to low-waste living essentials. They are pricier than many other shops, I like to think of them as a “treat yo self” kinda shop.

Ethique is a blog and website that sells sustainable hygiene products. They make it easy to have a plastic free, clean routine.

Now This Future is a YouTube channel with a series called One Small Step. This series is an amazing resource when learning how to be realistically sustainable in your day-to-day life.

Your Diet

Don’t feel the need to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet, instead make manageable changes. Consider meatless Mondays, switching to non-dairy alternatives instead of traditional milk, creamer, butter, etc. By doing this you can make a lasting change in your life, rather than the stereotypical “vegan for two months, only eating salad, then back to burgers” scenario.

Buy fruit and veggies at a farmer’s market or local co-operative store. Bring your own jars, bags, tupperware, etc. to buy food from a co-op grocery store’s bulk section and package it in reusables.

Here are some great local shops to check out!

- Lincoln: Open Harvest, Natural Grocers

- Arthur: Wolf Den Market

- Cody: Circle C Market

- Odell: The Odell Market

- Panhandle: Main Street Market

- Omaha: Natural Grocers, Exist Green

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Plants at The Greenhouse Omaha. Photo by Hailey Stessman.

Reduce

Reduce Your Consumption with a Minimalist Mindset

The most impactful thing you can do is stop buying! I mean really stop buying, only go shopping for things you need. Buy fewer groceries if you tend to throw food out, go out to get clothes only when you need new clothes, don’t buy an object that won’t have a specific use and place within your home. As you start your journey toward a sustainable lifestyle, do not throw out your day-to-day resources just to buy environmentally friendly versions. For example, use up plastic toothbrushes and tupperware before buying a sustainable version, throwing them away without using them just creates more unnecessary waste.

Our Changing Climate recognized that, “Minimalism’s current state is more an extension of consumer culture than a movement toward an environmentally and materially conscious society.” A minimalist lifestyle is simply being mindful of your purchases, and not making purchases that you don’t need. If you do decide to integrate this mindset into your lifestyle, do not give up something you love in order to fit in the box labeled “minimalists”. If you love reading and have a huge book collection that means a lot to you, keep it, but maybe consider going to the library or buying books second hand.

Questions to ask yourself before making a purchase:

Do I really need this?

Do I have an alternative to this thing?

If I only need this a few times, could I borrow it from someone?

Could I buy this secondhand, locally or from an ethical source?


Reuse

Water bottles, bags, utensils, coffee cups...

We own the reusables that we need - just start taking them out with you!

A plastic water bottle takes 400-1,000 years to decompose. Out of the 1,000,000 plastic water bottles bought globally each minute, only 1 out of every 5 will end up getting recycled. According to Ocean Conservancy, about 988,970 bottles get picked up per beach clean up, making them the third most polluting object in our oceans. Water is also free, if your city has access to clean tap water, use it!

Coffee cups can be your biggest waste saver! As a human that drinks and buys their coffee daily, by purchasing one reusable metal cup, I am saving over 300 plastic cups a year, such a small change makes a huge difference over time.

Some unsettling facts about plastic bags: every second 160,000 singe use bags are used, and according to Ocean Conservancy, about 489,970 plastic bags get picked up per beach clean up, making them the sixth most polluting object in our oceans. The average American will use one bag a day, compared to an average Danish person who will use four a year. Be extraordinary like the Danes, bring your own bag!

Tip: If you have a hard time remembering to bring them shopping, leave them in your car!

You already own reusable utensils! Bring them along with you to avoid using one of the 40 billion plastic utensils that are used in America each year.

Show the earth how much you love her by implementing one of these changes into your daily life. She'll most definitely appreciate it!