Top three easy and most impactful actions you can do now to help the world live more sustainably:
- Vote for sustainable living policies and candidates
- Call your energy provider and opt in for clean energy
- Eat less meat
The studies show that we are on track to warm our climate enough by 2030 to make some major changes to our ecosystem. Sea levels will rise, which will require coastal areas to adjust or move causing a lot of suffering and expense. And our current ecosystem will change too fast in order for species to adjust and will cause many extinctions. We depend on a diverse ecology in order to have a healthy planet to survive. So the number 1 priority is to stop warming the climate. Here are the most impactful things you can do to help.
Support Government Policies
Advocate, support, vote, protest, and promote all government policies that will support sustainable living goals. Do the same for political candidates who support such policies and will help implement them. Unfortunately, individual actions alone to make your own life sustainable are not enough and there are many people who are not aware or do not care about living sustainably.
The only way we can truly make enough change is through government regulation. We need regulation to ban the use of fossil fuels, single-use plastic, unsustainable farming practices, and more. The government needs to force the changes all humans need to make in order to protect our own existence. The government and our tax dollars need to be spent on restoration, regeneration, and sequestration projects in order to bring carbon out of the atmosphere and restore our environment to a healthy state. Governments must focus on converting all energy to clean energy and sequestering carbon. One effective way to sequester carbon is utilizing regenerative farming practices. Longer term projects include moving to more clean energy public transportation, as well as walkable and bikeable communities.
Use Clean Energy
Call your energy provider today and ask if you can opt in for clean energy. This is so easy and doesn’t cost much more than you already pay. By doing this you pay for your energy that comes from clean renewable energy such as solar and wind. You also build demand and resources for the utility provider to move all their energy generation to clean energy. If they don’t have this option or in addition to this, have solar panels installed on your property. When your appliances are ready to replace buy all electric appliances such as stove and water heater. For your next car buy an electric car or plug in hybrid. We need to stop burning CO2.
Eat Less Meat
Unfortunately a cow takes a lot of resources to grow including land and water. They also release methane which warms the atmosphere more than CO2 emissions. I’m not saying we all have to go vegan, but the less meat you can eat the better. Buy meat from sustainable sources, and local sources. The cheap meat industry is a huge issue in the world. Forests are cut and burned down to make space for grazing cattle or to grow cheap feed for cattle. Do not support the cheap meat industry such as fast food. Enjoy a nice steak every once in a while if you like it. Eat a small amount and not too often. If you can don’t eat meat at all.
Buy Food Grown with Regenerative Practices
The agricultural industry has one of the biggest impacts on our environment. It uses land, water, and energy. “Conventional” farming practices use fertilizers that are mined and in limited supply to provide nutrients to single-crop fields. Fertilizers also contaminate our environment and ruin the soil and water. One day, we will run out of the mined ingredients used in fertilizers. So, it’s better to transition now to regenerative farming practices.
Regenerative farming uses compost as a natural fertilizer, which is basically broken down organic matter, like food scraps. It also uses cover crops to provide a natural cycle and replenishing of nutrients into the soil.
The biggest thing is to stop tilling the soil, which means to churn it up each year. This is huge because when you allow the soil to be rich, with long root systems and organic matter, it sequesters carbon from the atmosphere. Given the amount of farming we do, certain organizations like Patagonia think that we could sequester enough carbon out of the atmosphere to prevent climate change by adopting regenerative farming. That means buying organic food at a minimum, and then look for any food using sustainable, regenerative, no-till farming practices.
The agricultural industry is one of the biggest impacts on our environment. It uses land, water, and energy. The “conventional” farming practices uses fertilizers that are mined and in limited supply to provide nutrients to single crop fields. Fertilizers also contaminate our environment and ruin the soil and the water. And one day we will run out of the mined ingredients we use in fertilizers. So it’s better to transition now to regenerative farming practices. Regenerative farming uses compost as a natural fertilizer which is basically broken down organic matter like food scraps. It also uses cover crops to provide a natural cycle and replenishing of nutrients into the soil. And the biggest thing is not tilling the soil which means to churn it up each year. This is huge because when you allow the soil to be rich with long root systems and organic matter, it sequesters carbon from the atmosphere. With how much farming we do, some organizations like Patagonia think that we could sequester enough carbon out of the atmosphere to prevent climate change by adopting regenerative farming. So buy organic food at a minimum, and then look to buy any food that is using sustainable, regenerative, no till farming practices.
Reduce Waste and Consumption
The last most important thing is to generally reduce waste and consumption of everything in your life. Take this idea and apply it to everything. Using energy efficient appliances and LED lights. Turn your lights off when not needed. Use less air conditioning and heating. Weatherize and seal your home to use less energy to heat and cool it. Don’t waste food. Recycle and buy recycled products. Compost your food waste. Use reusable everything as opposed to single use items such as reusable shopping bags, reusable water bottle, food containers instead of ziplocks, beeswax instead of plastic wrap.
If you must use paper plates for a BBQ use compostable plates. Buy any products that use reusable containers and packaging. Drive less and walk or bike, or take public transportation. Buy things that are produce more local to reduce transportation. Repair your shoes and clothes to use as long as possible. Buy less clothes. Minimize water usage by replacing your lawn and planting native plants. Install low flow shower heads and faucets. Buy water efficient dishwashers and toilets. These products are readily available today and they work.