The impact of global warming is becoming very difficult to ignore. With the ice caps melting, sea level rising, a whole array of species slowly dying out, and the climate constantly shifting and causing natural disasters, it is no longer just a distant problem that might affect someone, some day far into the future.

It’s happening right now, it’s affecting us, and it’s going to make sure that our children have a much poorer quality of life than we’ve had. And global warming is just one of many issues that plague a modern man: overpopulation, the loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, deforestation, the issues with waste disposal are slowly threatening to spiral out of control.

But what can be done about it? Can a single person even contribute in a significant way? Absolutely! Let’s discuss how.

Go vegan

Contrary to popular belief veganism is not, in fact, only about saving animals. The biggest benefit of going vegan (besides better health), is saving the environment. It takes about 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, and forests and fields are bulldozed every day to make more room for farmed animals, thus using up about 30% of the Earth’s landmass. In comparison, 1 pound of wheat takes 25 gallons to produce.

Farm animals also produce a lot of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming – methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide. And here’s the thing: you don’t have to make a complete switch. Simply reducing your meat intake by at least a fraction helps, and your path to veganism can, and should, be done over a certain period of time.

Wear sustainable clothing

Clothing, along with gadgets, cars, and beauty products, is one of the biggest indicators of an increasingly consumerist culture that demands that we give into companies and push ourselves to waste money, time, and frankly space, to own more and more things that we don’t really need. Most of those companies also have very unethical supply chains and their factory workers live in extremely poor conditions. It kind of kills the joy of owning a brand new pretty sweater once you know that people who made it are underpaid, overworked, and treated like they are subhuman (child labour is also a huge issue).

What’s the solution? There are several. Secondhand clothing, for example, is a great option, or simply brands that vow to engage in ethical production and distribution. Another fantastic option is sustainable bamboo clothing because the fabric made from bamboo has some awesome properties – it keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, it’s breathable, it’s soft, it’s biodegradable, and has some antibacterial properties. Bamboo also requires a lot less water and pesticides to grow.

Make little changes to reduce your carbon footprint

From riding a bike to work to taking shorter showers and turning off the lights as soon as you leave the room. Small changes can make a huge difference, so it’s worth making an effort as it’s not even that time-consuming. While not everyone can afford to install solar panels and drive a hybrid car, all of us can do small things to live more sustainably.

Minimize waste

By this, we mean to minimize the use of disposables (wet wipes, kitchen towels, plastic razors), and plastic containers. Avoid ordering ordering coffee at Starbucks by bringing your own coffee from home in reusable coffee cups, buying tiny bottles of food, beauty products, and hygiene items so you would contribute to minimizing plastic waste. Try not to waste food either, because about one-third of all food produced ends up being disposed, spoiled, or squandered in some way.

Start the discussion

One of the most shocking things is the fact that about two-thirds of global warming can be contributed to only 90 big companies who waste insane amount of resources to keep running. How, then, can a single person even begin to make a change? Will using LED light bulbs really make any difference? Yes! Absolutely, yes!

It’s not just about you living more sustainably, it’s about starting the discussion on environmental issues, it’s about changing mindsets and demanding better from those that are in power. Show companies that you don’t want products that were made unethically, show them that you will do no business with someone who is too irresponsible, arrogant, and selfish to care about the impact they make on the environment and see you as anything other than a foolish consumer. Hit them where it hurts – their wallets. That is how you make a change.

You’re the one with power here, and making a decision to live a better life is liberating. We encourage you to try these tips, get creative and come up with your own solutions. Let’s make this world a better place.

Incredible Planet Staff

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