Plant-based living is better for the environment than eating meat. This is not debatable. People eat less food, drink less water, produce less gas, and we require less land than large livestock animals. Growing food for animals and farming animals involves cutting down more forests, using up more fresh water, further damaging the atmosphere, and employing more food to create less. So, if you are plant-based already or gearing your life to become more plant-based, kudos. Maybe we aren’t all vegans at heart, but we can all do a little something in the kitchen to help. What’s more, we can do a lot of stuff right at home for the betterment of our environment. Global warming is a serious issue (which would be ridiculous to debate), so why wouldn’t anyone want to pitch in on the effort to make the earth a cleaner place with more trees and oxygen while also treating our animals humanely as creatures, not as means of production?
Suggestion #1: Use Less Energy
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying to put yourself out too much, though that would certainly be admirable, but rather I’m suggesting everyone develop a little more consciousness. Not using standby on electronics and not turning stuff on (or leaving it on) when it’s unnecessary really does make a difference. Walking over driving, cooking at home over delivery, and unplugging all underutilized appliances—they are all small efforts that congregate into something quite powerful: saving energy for the long run means less strain on the environment immediately.
Suggestion #2: Get Greener
There are a lot more ways to get green. Take gas-powered lawn mowers. They cause more pollution than cars, cause more fuel spillage per year than what happened with the Exxon Valdez, and ruin Saturday mornings! Get a greener mower, or even better, make your lawn a garden. Get yourself a clothesline (or drying rack) rather than tumble-drying everything. Make a difference with the big stuff. It’ll cost you less and cost the environment less.
Suggestion #3: Go Waste-Free (or at Least Low Waste)
Landfills are starting to overflow all over the place, meaning the earth is already full of massive piles of trash while we search for more spots to stuff it. Going completely waste-free is not impossible, but it does take considerable effort. What does not take much effort is ditching plastic bags, actively seeking less packaging, composting kitchen scraps into something useful rather than adding them to the toxic squalor, and repurposing when possible. Lower waste output equates to less pollutants and less resources used to create those pollutants.
Suggestion #4: Recycle Electronics
It used to be sorting out glass, metal, plastic and paper, but now electronics—with all those toxic metals and valuable resources—are topping the need-to-recycle-this-stuff list. This has become a major issue, so we should never send our TVs, cell phones, old computers, keyboards, stereos, MP3 players, and whatever else to the curb. There are places that will take them, refurbish them, and reuse them, meaning we’ve saved the planet resources and space, as well as cleared out some in our drawers, attics and garages.
Suggestion #5: Be Active
My Facebook feed is full of petitions in need of signatures and articles giving me the latest on green to-dos. It makes me feel good to be active, to know that I’ve helped out, however minimally, with a cause (lots of causes actually) or that I’ve learned it’s environmentally important to, say, support local farmers as opposed to buying imports. Hook yourself up to environmental outlets online, subscribe to an electronic newsletter (or six), and let it be known via signature and campaign that the environment matters to you.
Whether or not you are 100% plant-based with what you eat, it has no bearing on your ability to take up these tasks and work within your own parameters to help out the planet. Most of these suggestions take hardly any effort, but they do require an initial humph to get set in motion. So, now is the time for a little humph in the right direction and to start saving our environment. Leave a comment to let us know what you are doing.
Image Source: ItzaFineDay/Flickr