Climate change is a serious problem. You might feel that there’s nothing you can do but I believe we can all do our part to make even the slightest difference in how we treat our planet.
Revamping your lifestyle and habits can be difficult. Trust me, I know! I feel like I should make more sacrifices to help Earth, but hey, I’m trying—at my own pace. But the more I know and educate myself on this issue, the more terrified I become. And I truly believe that we’re running out of time. So now I’m thinking maybe my pace isn’t good enough, maybe I should do more. I am. And I will.
But let’s make something clear—counter to what I once believed, I’ve learned that:
Slight changes make a world of difference
For a while now I’ve donated where I can and educated myself. I believed that doing this was enough, and I felt okay with waiting for the people in power to take care of the bigger issues. But the more I educated myself, via videos and articles online, the more I realized I needed to make minor changes in how I live. Plus, it’s next to impossible to impart climate change-related wisdom to others if you don’t apply any of it in your daily life. Think about it You can’t tell people factory farming is killing the environment if every day they see you eating factory-farmed meat.
Here are four things I’ve done in the past few years:
Reduced the use of plastic
I keep my bags in the car so I never forget to take them with me!
This one is super simple! I started by bringing my own reusable bags to grocery stores, saying goodbye to plastic straws, using a razor that has replaceable blades rather than a disposable one, and taking my own to-go cup and box to coffee shops and restaurants. You see? These tiny changes aren’t so bad! Right?
Decluttered and quit impulsive shopping
The act of cleaning out my closet unveiled I had a problem with a) buying too many clothes and b) shopping at fast-fashion retailers. Not good. I stopped this, but the problem I faced—and still face—is finding ethical clothing brands. So this will need a lot of research, but it’s worth it!
But the act of decluttering didn’t stop at my closet, I’ve also spent the last 365 days clearing out most of the items in my house. I still have more to do, but to think clearly, I decided to slow down for a few weeks and go back to finishing what little is left.
It took me a year because I tried, as much as possible, to make sure that I didn’t really need or use the stuff that I’m about to give away. And at the end of the day, I didn’t want to go and buy the same thing again. That goes for everything from kitchen and dining stuff, toys, books, souvenirs, and the things I keep in storage. It’s not easy giving things away, but now I feel like the minimal clutter helps me to breathe easier and relax. If you do this, don’t kick yourself for taking too long. Take your time!
You want to be sure that you know what matters to you and what doesn’t. Having more things than we need just doesn’t make us happy. It’s easier when I think this way, and it’s honestly true. And learning how to differentiate between need and want is good for your pocket as well—and the environment. 😉
Educated my kids and took their ideas seriously
Gone are the days when kids didn’t know any better. They still need guidance and protection in every way. But nourishing their curiosity and encouraging them to be more woke will not only improve their compassion for others, but it will help to make your life better too. This new generation is impressive—no one can deny that.
I’ve spent a lot of time educating my kids on climate change, how to deal with money, fast fashion, and the list goes on. But they’ve educated me a lot too! They were the ones who took action and banned the use of plastic bags and straws in our home. Sometimes, just sometimes, we need to listen to them as much as they need to listen to us.
Talked about it with others
A lot of people care about climate change, but several people I know don’t believe they can make a difference. They don’t see a point in doing anything to help, while some just feel super apathetic to the whole thing.
Over the last few years, I was learning all sorts of things but didn’t share enough with others because let’s face it, I’m neither a scientist nor an activist, so who would want to listen to me—right?
I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my thoughts with anyone, and I’m the type of person who can’t talk about something as important as this until I’ve taken the time to figure out my opinion and thoughts.
So I started focusing on myself, the more changes I made in my life, the more people around me started to notice—they began to ask questions, and that’s how I found a way to talk about it. Once the conversation opened up, we began to inspire one another to make changes—and now I’m talking about it on this blog! Hopefully, my ability to speak up will help you speak about the things that are important to you. All voices need to be heard now.
Remember: You don’t have to turn your life upside down. Start small and grow from there. Don’t know where to begin? I’ve got you! Watch this TedxWarwick video with Corinne Le Quéré—it will induce laughter, chills, and insight all at once. It gave me the courage to elevate my voice from my surroundings (friends and family) to this blog! In the video, she notes that all of these scientists are helpless, and their research is for nothing if we don’t listen and make the necessary changes.
Eventually, these small changes may amount to something bigger.
I know I’m not a scientific wizard on this subject, but it matters to me. I hope this article helped to highlight that it’s not impossible to make tiny life changes that work to better serve our planet. Start with yourself, your family, and see where you go from there.
Until next time…
Until next time…