Five Tips to Immediately Reduce Your Impact on the Environment
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
If you did not know, the Carbon Clock tracks humankind’s remaining time to halt all carbon emission or the planet’s surface temperature will rise by 1.5℃. The U.S. and German governments (among others) are not responding to the climate crisis with the gravitas it deserves. If you are as pragmatic as I am, you want to contribute to the cause with definitive solutions which lower your impact on the environment.
1. Avoid Shopping on Amazon
We all need things for one reason or another, but the downside of eCommerce is its 30% rate of product returns vs. 8% from brick and mortar shops. Additionally, Amazon’s inventory is flooded with inferior goods made in China. To make matters worse, even if the vendor is listed to be located in a Western country, the vendor could be a holding company supplying Chinese-made products.
Devote some time to research then purchase from a reputable, ethical vendor who is more involved and interested in your satisfaction. The real Amazon (the rainforest) will appreciate it.
2. Say “No” to Plastic Bags
It pains me to see shoppers waltzing out of stores with their purchases double-bagged in flimsy, single-use plastic.
Avoid using plastic bags by requesting paper bags at checkout or devising your own eco-friendly solutions. In Germany, grocery store chains, such as REWE und EDEKA, conveniently offer bags and boxes made from recycled materials at affordable prices at the cashier.
3. Drive Deliberately
The exhaust and fuel consumed from driving multiple short trips add up, but Ride Sharing or public commuting may not be a viable option during the pandemic.
Plan your trips accordingly. When possible, drive off-hours to avoid traffic congestion or drive during cooler hours of the day to keep your engine cooler and more fuel efficient.
Take the time to learn your vehicle’s features. You may be unaware that your car has an ECO mode function which is built into most newer vehicles. Use this to help improve your driving style and save money at the pump. Additionally, take the time to plan your day. This will help you stay on task and determine which trips can be substituted by sending an E-mail or calling.
4. Gifts, Not Junk
The average American produces 4.5 pounds of trash daily. Much of that trash can be reused, recycled or re-gifted.
Join or form your own “swap-and-barter circle”. Freecycle’s mission is to build a worldwide sharing movement which reduces waste, saves precious resources and eases the burden on landfills while enabling their members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.
5. Practice, But Don’t Preach
Do not become the stereotypical “eco-shamer”.
Empathize with those around you who are unaware of their impact because you were like them once, too. Your actions will be easier received and repeated if done out of kindness and consideration for our planet’s future than with a condescending attitude.
Bonus: Become Carbon Literate
It can be difficult to advocate for something if you are not knowledgeable on the subject. Because climate impact is not a widely, openly, or deeply discussed topic, most humans are unaware of how their daily choices impact their environment.
The Carbon Literacy Project offers everyone a day’s worth of Carbon Literacy learning, covering – climate change, carbon footprints, how you can do your part, and why it’s relevant to you. This training highlights the need for substantial change and supports advocates for Carbon Literacy to have a cascade effect on a much wider audience – anywhere.
It is long overdue to acknowledge our environmental impact as the greatest threat to humanity. How will your climate legacy be remembered - as part of the problem or the solution?
All images sourced from Unsplash
About the Author
Born in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Chris Perry travels the world as he writes for and manages the Grey Point of View. His hobbies include mastering the art of web design, navigating global news, and studying weapons of mass destruction.
TheGreyPointofView.com is an independent blog on ethics, politics, Euro-life and more. Written by expats, global citizens and other interesting sapiens. If you are interested in writing with us, send us your post for review. We look forward to hearing from you.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect this site's official policy or position. To learn more about our policies visithttps://www.thegreypointofview.com/legal.