What we can all do to Help our Poorly Little Earth

We are all well-aware by now that our humble abode we call Earth is struggling because of our actions. According to reports carried out by the United Nations, if the earth heats up by only 1 degree more we will enter into an environmental disaster. This would mean food rations, fatal floods, unbearable heatwaves, no more beautiful landscapes, millions of extinct animals and quite likely, a complete crash of human civilization.

Why? For starters, our insects will die. I know what some of you will be thinking. Who cares about those buzzing little bothers? But trust me we should care. As annoying as insects can be, they pollinate 84% of our crops.

To put it simply, without these little buzzers the human race would likely starve to death. That’s right, no insects=no coffee, no tea, no apples, no broccoli, no onions, NO CHOCOLATE. If that doesn’t convince you that we need to do everything in our power to help our home, I don’t know what will.

So, here are a few easy things we can, and should, all do to help.

Shop! In the name of love!

Studies say that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world

We are all guilty of the occasional shopping spree when we’re feeling a little low or even when we’re not. Just an innocent bit of retail therapy, right? Not exactly. Studies say that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, not far behind the oil industry. It pollutes our waters with the toxic chemicals used during the production of clothes and it contributes to rainforest deforestation as forests are cut down to make room for fabric producing plants.

Also, all our worn and torn garments end up in landfills, taking up to 200 years to decompose, producing a huge amount of greenhouse gases.

So…we need to buy less, reuse and share our perfectly acceptable clothes more and if you have more talent than me, upcycle your old clothes. And don’t forget if you want more clothes use charity shops and even Depop. I am sure you’ll find yourself funky bargains and you’ll be guilt free!

Bacon is good for me

Contrary to many people’s beliefs it is not the poor innocent cows letting one rip every now and again that makes eating a lot of red-meat bad for the environment. It is also the trees being chopped and land clearance for grazing animals, as well as the toxic animal waste polluting our water.

I’m not by any means saying cut red meat out of your diets altogether, just to reduce as much as possible

Now, I’m not by any means saying cut red meat out of your diets altogether, just to reduce as much as possible. I am saying we have this false belief that we need meat with every meal for a balanced diet. Which I’m happy to announce is not true. Statistics suggest that having even just one day a week off meat can cut your carbon emissions by as much as not driving your car for a month.

I am also saying when you buy meat, buy from your local butcher. This way you are reducing emissions from transportation and you are also helping the local farmers that actually care about the environment and wildlife and not the big chains that have pound signs flashing in their eyes.

Save the turtle=save the planet

-Leave reusable bags in your car so you never forget them when you go shopping.

-Use a reusable water bottle so you never have to buy plastic bottled water.

-Go naked! Try to buy food without packaging where possible. Or if you do need packaging, check it is made out of recyclable material before you buy it.

Taste don’t waste

We need to make sure we don’t chuck our perfectly edible foods and this is where understanding expiration dates comes in handy. Expiration dates refer to the products quality and not their safety. Just because the packaging says something expired yesterday, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat it.

I’m not saying eat 3-week-old meat…please don’t. But I am saying look at that piece of bread you want, looks fine? Smell it, smells fine? Taste it. Oh it tastes fine. Why? Because it is!

Whatever you do- don’t go to the supermarket hungry!

So here’s my tips…use left overs, don’t throw them away just because you are bored of them; look up the local composting programmes so you can chuck food productively. Plan your meals, make a list of ingredients, buy only the things on that list and don’t- whatever you do- don’t go to the supermarket hungry!

With great power comes an even greater electricity bill

Again, this one is pretty self-explanatory we use and abuse the hell out of our electricity, and it needs to stop. So, here are some facts to hopefully make you more aware of electricity usage.

Even if devices are turned off at the socket, they still use electricity.

Energy from devices being left on standby makes up around 10% of total housing electricity use.

Nearly 50% of the CO2 emissions produced by UK come from heating and cooling the home.

If you ensure just four lights are turned off over night for a year you could reduce your carbon footprint by the same amount as 10 flights from London to Paris.

So unplug those devices and whack on your jumpers folks!

A few extra tips…

Buy local fruit in season in your area.

Don’t buy products with palm oil (that’s another main contributor to deforestation).

Save some water for the fish by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth or shave.

On your bike! Avoid driving and cycle or walk as much as possible

On your bike! Avoid driving and cycle or walk as much as possible. Even getting the bus can cut your emissions in half.

These tips may seem small and I know some of you may be thinking, ‘how can little me buying one cute top affect our planet?’ But many people have this attitude so trust me it can. Let’s work together to change that! Even adopting a few of these habits can make a huge difference to our good ol’ friend earth.

Leonora Field-Foster

Featured image courtesy of RANT 73 – Visual Storyteller… via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

In article image 1 courtesy of @dstamper26 via Twitter. No changes were made to this image. 

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