You Can Do More For the Planet Than Just Watching Your Carbon Footprint
While installing solar panels and recycling is great, you can do more than change your own behavior to be more eco-friendly. Involving yourself in green initiatives, and being an environmental activist, can go a long way. Yes, you can do more for the planet than just watching your carbon footprint.
Why Should You Do More?
Even if you already practice sustainable behaviors, you can do more. Turning off your lights and shutting off the tap when you brush your teeth help, but they revolve around your personal impact. There are ways you can help the planet that go beyond you as an individual.
You can give back to the environment in three main ways:
- Personally: Being conscious of your effect on the planet and altering your behavior to be more eco-friendly is small, yet impactful.
- Locally: Local efforts to tackle environmental issues can quickly gain momentum because people are more responsive to their own community.
- Globally: While it might seem like one person can’t make a global difference, it is possible. You can use the power of social media or create an eco-friendly movement to reach a larger audience.
In fact, there are many ways to help the planet by involving others or giving back. You should do more because there’s simply more left to do — individual changes are impressive, and help significantly, but getting others involved and making bigger goals can do a lot of good for the environment.
How Can You Do More for the Planet?
In addition to the actions you are taking personally, you can help the planet by doing things like starting green initiatives or involving yourself in environmental matters that impact your community.
- Contact Your Elected Officials
Contacting elected officials is crucial to helping the planet because they decide on legislation that becomes law. You can raise their awareness of environmental issues and hold them accountable for their decisions by calling or emailing them. Their choices affect your entire state, so they can be a significant help, if you get them on board with sustainability.
- Volunteer for Community Service
While there are three pillars of sustainability — the environment, the economy and social responsibility — many people don’t give the third equal attention, despite it being equally important. Being socially sustainable means giving back to your community. Volunteering is an excellent way to go about it.
There are plenty of ways to accomplish this. For example, you could help in your community garden or pick trash up off the roadsides. You can do this by yourself or even create your own volunteer group.
- Participate in Cleanups
Depending on where you’re located, you probably have organized cleanups nearby. Cleanups are similar to recycling and throwing things away in your household, except on a larger scale. For example, communities gather for beach cleanups to pick up whatever trash is left on the sand and along the shoreline.
You can still participate even if there aren’t any scheduled cleanups near you since you can create one or just clean up your neighborhood by yourself. Roadsides, alleys and gutters often have trash stuck in them, so you could start there.
- Raise Awareness
While many people are generally aware of the state of the climate and the environment, it helps to educate others. Informed individuals often take more active roles in helping the planet. You can reach out to others through social media, talk to friends one-on-one or start a community discussion.
- Donate Old Clothes
Donating old clothes is super simple and helpful to those in need. Instead of focusing on your own carbon footprint by sewing clothes or limiting how much you purchase, you could donate what you don’t use anymore.
Unused clothes can be dropped off at your local shelter or you can post online to inform your neighbors you’re giving them away. It helps the planet because it’s sustainable and gives you a way to give back.
- Eat Differently
As of 2021, the worldwide agriculture industry uses about 60% of its land just to feed livestock. By eating less meat and more produce, you could help the planet. Applying a local and global perspective to the situation is also possible. You might not be able to reduce the number of cattle grazing on the other side of the world, but you can create a local farmers market to encourage people to eat vegetables and other locally-grown produce.
- Change Your Transportation
While you can always walk, bike or take the bus (and you should), carpooling helps you lower another person’s carbon footprint as well. A carpool group reduces the number of cars on the road, positively impacting the environment. You can organize with your city or neighborhood to get people informed.
- Vote in Every Election
You’ve probably heard it before, but your vote matters. Local elections are especially important since their decisions directly affect your community. You can help the planet by voting for the right candidates because they have the power to enact change. For example, they could pass a law attaching fines to excessive carbon emissions, which could prevent them from happening. Voting is a key way to make a difference in legislation.
You Can Do More Than Just Watch Your Carbon Footprint
Reach out to your neighbors, friends, government and even strangers to do more for the planet. Simple things — like volunteering for trash pickup or carpooling — impact others and may even influence them to be more environmentally friendly.
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