10 Ways to Save the Planet
As we continue to see the increasing destruction caused by climate change and pollution, people across the globe are seeking ways to play their part in saving Earth, our planet. As climate anxiety grows and people feel increasingly helpless to stop environmental destruction. It is important to remain optimistic we all can play our part in helping to save the planet and we can all make positive changes that have cumulative impact.
When it comes to protecting our planet, we first must start with soil. Soil is often forgotten about. Healthy soils store carbon, prevent desertification and feed our world. Across the world, deserts continue to grow, increased temperatures along with overgrazing and falling water tables has put huge populations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East at risk of losing valuable farmland and sending millions into food poverty.
However, protecting our soil is possible. We can avoid using chemicals and sprays in our gardens, buy local and organic food and start making compost, not only is compost a fantastic way to manage our food waste, it feeds the soils, adds vital nutrients and bacteria to the soil and ensures general soil health while also feeding any plants or trees and boosting crop yields.
Water is vital for life, agriculture, industry and wildlife. Without potable water humans couldn’t exist on this planet for more than a few days. Yet our vital waterways are increasingly becoming polluted with waste plastic, contaminated by chemicals and agricultural runoff and depleted due to irrigation. Our oceans are being overfished and choked in plastic.
We can all play our part by installing rainwater harvesters, lowering our use of chemical products in our homes and reducing our overall water consumption. Reducing our plastic consumption will also ensure lesser plastic ends up in our rivers and oceans.
Here's more about rainwater harvesting.
We all know the importance of reduce, reuse, recycle and while each of these are important. We can’t reuse or recycle our way out of our modern consumerist society. We must use the power of our wallet to save our planet and start to refuse. Refuse unnecessary promotional material and freebies, do you need all those mobile phone accessories or free pens?
Refuse to accept junk mail and leaflets in your post box. Refuse to succumb to initiatives that make you feel you must have high consumption, like having the latest clothing item or piece of technology. Refuse to buy items in too much packaging. If we let companies know we are refusing to purchase their products until they reduce their packaging, they will listen. So, consider letting companies know you are refusing their products until they reduce environmentally harmful packaging. By refusing we reduce demand and reduce our environmental footprint.
Here's an interesting story about a town with no waste.
Buy Second Hand
The globes appetite for more clothing and technology continues to grow and this has led to increased mining for minerals for our phones and laptops and vast quantities of water used to grow cotton for the global clothing trade. Cheap furniture piles up in landfills while vast quantities of perfectly good clothes and phones remain dumped in the back of wardrobes or in some drawer in our houses.
Promote the purchase of secondhand goods by visiting local car boot sales and charity shops. Social media is full of second-hand mobile phones, laptops and furniture. Look around your home and sell or donate unwanted furniture, toys, clothes, books and technology. Buying second hand is one of the most sustainable practices that everyone can do, purchasing second hand items, saves them from going to landfill, extends the items life and usability, saves water and precious resources and reduces Co2 emissions.
Here's how the fashion industry is negatively impacting the environment.
Reduce Energy Consumption
We all know we needlessly waste energy in our homes, mobile charges left plugged in, while lights are left switched on when we aren’t in the room. With our heating turned on or our air conditioning trying to cool our rooms, our homes now use far more electricity than the homes of our parents.
By becoming more energy efficient and reducing our energy consumption we reduce our CO2 production and save money. Switch to energy efficient bulbs, turn off lights and unplugged unused chargers, wash on a cold wash and reduce your central heating and air conditioner usage wherever you can.
Here's a bit about renewable energy.
Bring Nature to Your Garden
Across the globe there are billions of balconies and gardens. Even the smallest space can be used to support nature. Wildflowers attract bees and butterflies, bird boxes provide a nesting space for small birds, while trees help absorb Co2, bind soil and reduce rainwater runoff.
If you have a large enough garden, consider planting fruit trees and installing a bird feeder or even a garden pond. Imagine how much space across the world could be provided for nature, if we all just repurposed a little space around our own homes.
Find out about Permaculture, a systems thinking approach to agriculture which utilizes and mimics natural ecosystem patterns.
As roads across the world are becoming increasingly congested with cars, the subsequent fumes, Co2 and toxins cause increasing amounts of air pollution. Waste tire mountains swell globally. If we all got out our cars a little more and cycled, walked or took public transport, we’d reduce Co2 emissions, improve air quality and ensure better physical and mental health for everyone. Flying especially, produces huge quantities of Co2.
Avoid taking short flights when you can take a bus or train to your destination. While flying can often feel quicker, consider the time it takes to travel to the airport, get through security and get from your arrival airport to your destination. It can often add an extra 3-4 hours to your journey. See public transport not only as more environmentally sustainable, but also an opportunity for you to relax, watch a movie, read a book or practice some time meditating.
Buy Local - Buy In-Season and Buy Organic
Buying locally sourced in-season food is one of the most sustainable food choices, and help in supporting your local agricultural economy. This also ensured your food isn’t flown in from halfway across the world. Food production puts huge pressure on the world’s water resources and conventional farming often depletes soil health. Mass commercial animal rearing produces massive quantities of manure which (if incorrectly processed or repurposed for compost) poison our waterways.
Organically produced food producers seek to promote biodiversity, soil health and animal welfare. Buying in-season and organic foods is one of the best ways to reduce agricultural impact on our planet. Consider growing some of your food since doing so could promote a lower carbon footprint. Vegetables are easy to grow and can be a highly beneficial way to comfortably utilize time, while also reducing your food bill.
Giving time for beneficial sustainability causes, is a fantastic way to help save our planet. You could take part in volunteering opportunities such as beach or community clean ups, which ensures we stop plastic getting into our rivers. Get your workplace, school or faith community outdoors to pick up rubbish and keep your locality free of trash. On a day-to-day basis we can all take the time to pick up some rubbish on our way to work or school or while out for an afternoon walk.
Imagine how clean the world could become if we all just picked up a little more rubbish each day? Communities could also organize volunteer planting days, organize to plant local tree species, or seed flower plants that attract pollinating bees and butterflies. Volunteering is not only a great way to help nature and global sustainability, but also a great way to meet new people and improve mood and mental health.
At times the challenges our planet faces can feel overwhelming. However, we can all make a difference by letting our elected representatives know we are passionate about sustainability, improving recycling infrastructure and decreasing our carbon footprint.
Consider writing or email your local elected representatives. Tell them you want them to do more to protect our earth. Consider requesting a meeting with your local representatives and ask them face to face, what they are doing to protect nature. Make sure to register to vote and vote for parties that support conservation work, want to improve public transport and increase the supply of renewable energy. It is also vital to write to companies objecting to the quantity of packaging being produced. Companies and corporates are hugely sensitive to customer feedback and if we all object to excess waste, companies will reduce packaging and increase the reusability or recyclability of their packaging.
Read more about ways to save the planet
Support GaiaTree Eco