Climate change has progressed to the point that its effects will be felt around the world. If you are one of the many people feeling an increase in climate anxiety, it is possible to address your concern and take steps to improve your carbon footprint. The good news is that your efforts may inspire others to do the same.
Turn Your Attention Away From the News
The news media and social media are full of stories about the state of the world, and headlines are written to trigger an emotional response. When you find yourself scrolling from one scary story to the next, it’s time to turn off your devices. Reach out to a friend, spend time on a favorite hobby, or contact a professional for some relief.
Focus on What You Can Control
When you do think about climate change, focus on what you can control. Changing the well-being of the planet or even your community is too big of a challenge for a single person. Pinpoint those actions you can take and put your energy into those changes.
Find a Supportive Community With Similar Goals
Join or create a group in your community that increases public awareness, shares positive messages with schools, or gets together regularly to clean up trash. As awareness grows in your neighborhood, it’s easier to see improvement.
Understand Your Impact on the Environment
One of the first steps you can take is learning about your carbon footprint. In scientific terms, this is the total greenhouse gas emissions that you cause directly and indirectly through your daily activities. Some of the most common factors used to obtain this measurement include fumes from transportation, the use of raw materials in producing the goods you buy, and the chemicals released when products are thrown away.
Use Alternate Forms of Transportation
When you carpool, take public transportation, use a bike, or walk for work and other tasks, you save money on gas, reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle, enjoy lower insurance premiums, and avoid the frustrations of dealing with traffic. You can also feel good about sending fewer emissions of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides into the air.
Airplanes use about a gallon of fuel every second. According to experts, this is about 5 gallons per mile. When it’s possible, choose alternate forms of transportation. Plan a vacation that is closer to home. A train ride through the countryside is a unique experience that generates less pollution than flying.
Replace Meat With More Vegetables
Reducing the amount of meat and dairy you eat is another great way to have a positive impact. Around the world, millions of miles of forests are razed to provide grazing pastures for livestock. The process of raising cattle for consumption produces greenhouse gas emissions as much as the use of automobiles.
Buy Less and Use Up What You Have
Your shopping habits also have a direct impact on the environment. Excessive consumerism has led to five times the amount of clothing purchased by the previous generation, tons of food being thrown out, and miles of plastic toys seen in landfills.
Unfortunately, pounds of clothing are discarded and ultimately wasted each year. You can choose to buy durable, classic clothing that will last several years and shop at thrift stores to create a smaller carbon footprint.
Only buy the amount of food that you will eat during the week to cut down the amount of wasted food. Take any leftover scraps and use them to grow new food or turn them into mulch. Learn how to grow food at home.
Don’t replace what you have until it has been fully used up. Changing out a plastic mixing bowl for a glass mixing bowl still contributes to making and buying more products. “making do” with what you already own is a more sustainable habit than buying something else.
Decrease Your Use of Energy
Save energy simply by turning off lights when you aren’t using them. Boost your impact by unplugging appliances when they aren’t in use. Other tips for reducing the use of energy in your home include:
- Closing curtains and using fans to reduce your use of air conditioning
- Closing doors and only heating or cooling the part of the home in use during the day
- Taking shorter showers
- Planting trees in your yard
- Landscaping to take advantage of rainwater
- Learn how to recycle effectively
Look for ways to develop eco-friendly habits wherever you are, such as taking your own coffee, snacks, and lunch to work and using reusable plates, cups, utensils, and water bottles rather than relying on plastic and paper products.
Financially Support Eco-Friendly Companies
Look for and support businesses with green practices. The purchasing power of consumers has a big impact on the habits of local and even major companies. Take your business to those companies that truly demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility.
Start an Eco-Friendly Business
As a business owner or entrepreneur, you can be eco-friendly right from the start, when producing your marketing plan, administration materials, and basics such as business cards. Include your commitment to going green as you create business cards. There are free online tools that allow you to personalize text and color schemes, as well as add your chosen images.
When you think about your logo, put together your website, and set up your daily procedures, such as billing and invoicing, take environmentally responsible habits into account.
There are many resources available online that help you create a business plan, guide your marketing strategy, and release new products.
When you take advantage of an effective strategy template, you cut down the amount of time and energy spent researching and putting together your own strategy. It also streamlines the product creation process, so you can turn your attention to the details that improve your impact on the environment. Here’s an example of a go-to-market strategy.
When you focus on the things you can control, your personal changes and example will inspire others around you to make their own changes. As these changes ripple out, you will recognize that you aren’t alone in your concern and anxiety about the planet. You’ll feel renewed hope for the future and have the momentum to continue making positive changes.