Ways to Lessen Your Environmental Impact
There’s no sugar coating it--our world needs help. When we think about such a large task at hand such as fighting climate change, reducing waste, and cleaning up our land and oceans, it can leave one feeling overwhelmed. It is true that in order for us to even make a dent in bettering our environment, real solutions require action on a global scale. But there are choices that we can implement on a day-to-day basis that can help lessen your personal impact, and if we all contribute and change our habits collectively, the results will speak volume.
Adventure and Travel LocallyOne of the largest causes of carbon dioxide emissions comes from transportation. As we all know, transportation is vital part in everyday lives. In fact, for every gallon of gasoline burned, creates about 20 pounds of CO2 meaning the average vehicle emits roughly 6-9 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.
Choosing a day in the week to commute by carpool, public transportation, or even biking can make a huge impact entirely. The same can be said with air travel as well. Taking shorter distance trips by staying closer to home for your next getaway can help lessen your environmental footprint.
Claims of what is considered an environmentally friendly diet is constantly being studied. But, most experts can agree that eating less meat is a better choice for lessening environmental impact. That is because animals such as cows require a lot of feed, water, and land to produce beef. Cows themselves also let out methane emissions which is a harmful greenhouse gas. According to a study published by the Environmental Research Letters, red meat can have up to 100 times the environmental impact of plant-based foods. Beef itself gives off more than six pounds of CO2 per serving compared to the amount per serving from fruits, grains and vegetables which is less than half a pound.
With that said, committing a few days in the week to eating a plant-based or vegan diet is likely to be better for the environment.
Choose Local Groceries
Another huge factor for CO2 emissions when it comes to food is the transportation, where did the food come from and what distance it traveled to get to your plate makes a difference. Eating locally produced/grown food for a year would save about 1000 miles worth of carbon dioxide emissions that come from transportation.
Shop Quality & Sustainable Products
Invest in products that last and from companies that are committed to bettering the environment. We expect a lot when it comes to buying outdoor gear and want our purchases to withstand the tests of time. Having gear that is long lasting, eco-friendly, and recyclable will reduce landfill. When it comes to tents, opt for polyester. Polyester is known to have less of an environmental impact than nylon because it is recyclable.
Double down by purchasing not only sustainable products but from brands have sustainability and a goal of helping the environment in their credo. Look for brands that have programs or partnerships with organizations that dedicate their business to environmental causes.
For whatever you’re shopping for, here are some tips to take into consideration:
• Avoid single use plastic by bringing your own reusable bag to the store
• Opt for no packaging
• Buy carbon offsets. Your money from purchase offsets support programs to reduce emissions.
Not only will durable and sustainable products save the environment, but it will also save you time and money.
Reduce WasteAccording to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans produce about 258 million tons of trash a year and more than half of the trash ends up in landfills and incinerators. At the same time, 89 million tons of trash was composted or recycled; however, much of this waste still ends up going to the landfills due to misplacement or improper disposal.
Here are some tips to ensure that your waste is properly recycled:
• Empty or rinse food containers before putting them in the recycling bin
• Recycle paper, glass, tin, and plastic in separate bins
• Donate old electronics
• Shop for vintage or used clothing
• Dispose your batteries to your local municipality
• Reuse containers if deemed appropriate