Give the Gift of Giving (…Back to your Environment)

The holidays are a time of joy, love and giving. Alternately, on the other less glamorous side, they can be a time of overall harm and pollution to our environment. With online shopping, traveling and eating at a high around the holiday season we are contributing to a great amount of carbon dioxide emissions into our atmosphere. So, in the season of giving, I am going to offer you a few fully achievable tips to reduce your carbon footprint! It’ll be the gift that keeps on giving 🙂

  1. Limit dairy and meat consumption (especially beef as cows largely contribute to methane emissions)
  2. Bring reusable bags to grocery stores
  3. Minimalism! Buy what you need and forget what you don’t (…I’m very much still working on this one myself)
  4. Buy second-hand
  5. Recycle
  6. Get a cute reusable water bottle
  7. Donate what you don’t need
  8. Stop buying from fast-fashion brands and instead buy sustainable made clothes- I know it may cost a few extra dollars but the outcomes from the alternative are much worse! You’re better off buying good quality clothing that will last anyways.
  9. Bike, walk, carpool or use public transport when you can!
  10. Take short showers! You can time yourself to make this into a little game that you can play with others that are trying to be environmentally friendly!
  11. Don’t leave the water running while you are brushing your teeth, doing dishes, etc.
  12. Try not to charge your phone overnight- this wastes electricity as your phone is likely going to charge within an hour or two, which does not equal the 7-9 hours that it will be plugged in for while you are sleeping.
  13. Grow your own produce!
  14. Use cruise control and don’t accelerate or speed unnecessarily when driving as it increase carbon emissions
  15. Shop in-person rather than online
  16. Turn off the lights when you leave the room or when you don’t need them on
  17.  Eat locally produced and/or organic food
  18. Compost
  19. Eat low on the food chain (mostly fruits and veggies)
  20. Wash your clothes in cold water (this can save up to 500 lbs of carbon dioxide each year!)
  21. Avoid buying items with excess packaging or plastic
  22. Try to avoid putting on AC for as long as possible- open some windows and use fans in the meantime!
  23. Avoid flying if possible or drive part of your trip
  24. Donate to projects or organizations that are trying to fix climate change and pollution
  25. Support the legislature that is looking to reduce carbon emissions and push for change. Vote!

With many activities that we do we are depleting the earth of its resources and creating a harmful environment for future generations. In reducing your carbon footprint and becoming more aware of the harms of climate change, you can decrease the number of deaths stemming from air pollution, live a healthier life, prevent extinction of animals and the depletion of our natural (and limited) resources. Even making a few changes to your lifestyle today can greatly affect the well-being of our world tomorrow- so do your part with the knowledge that your participation matters 🙂

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