With the conclusion of the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, great emphasis is deservedly being placed on what governments can do to reverse the alarming trends in global heating. Governments, of course, respond to voter concerns, and therefore members of the public becoming more attuned to these issues is going to have an impact on what happens at these conferences.
But what can we as consumers do on an individual basis to lessen our impact on the environment? There are a number of simple lifestyle changes we might implement. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Investing in an Electric Vehicle
Traditional internal-combustion engines are thought of as probably the least environmentally-friendly way you can travel, other than private jet. If you can make the switch to a cleaner alternative, then it could dramatically reduce your emissions. There are a few things to consider, here. First, it’s likely that the electric cars produced in several years’ time are going to be more efficient than those of today. Moreover, there’s an environmental cost in producing a huge battery of the kind needed to power a car. Thus, for many motorists, waiting might be the better option.
Reducing the Amount of Meat you Eat
It’s no secret that meat consumption is inherently bad for the environment. This is because of the amount of travel necessary to transport feed for livestock, and for the physical space needed to keep sheep and cattle, which could otherwise be used for forests and other carbon-gulping spaces.
Recycling any Waste you Produce
Materials that get recycled will avoid going into a landfill. Naturally, recycling is something that begins at home – if possible, you might look to pass down unwanted items to family members, or to friends, before chucking them into a bin. Even if that bin happens to be green, with three circulating arrows on it.
Stop Buying Things New
By the same token, you might avoid buying new things entirely, and buy only what you need. If you’re buying things that are only going to clutter up you home, or provide temporary pleasure, then it might be better to reconsider. If you buy something second-hand, then you’ll reduce the emissions that the purchase would have generated – as the item will have already been manufactured. Leasing your car, rather than buying it outright, has much the same benefit.
Avoid Single-Use Plastics
This is something that just about everyone knows about, but putting it into practice is often tricky. Keeping re-usable shopping bags to hand, and avoiding damaging items like take-away cups, is a great way to keep track of your behaviours. Do everything possible to make it easy for yourself to stick with this habit – like keeping your reusable bags somewhere that you can reach for them when you’re in a hurry.