SMALL LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO HELP SAVE MOTHER EARTH
Every time we open the news or social media, it seems like we’re bombarded with bad news about the environment. While it’s overwhelming to be faced with extreme weather, sinking coastlines, and plastic-filled oceans, it’s also empowering to know that we each can take meaningful steps to make a change.
As consumers and citizens, it’s important to advocate for better environmental policies and to support businesses that care about the environment. But it’s also crucial for each of us do our part in living more sustainable lifestyles. To reduce your environmental footprint, try to make these four changes (which will also benefit your health and your wallet!).
INVEST IN REUSABLE ITEMS.
One of the biggest environmental issues facing the planet is the amount of trash we produce, which ends up floating in the oceans or sitting in landfills for hundreds of years. An easy way to cut down on the garbage you create is by limiting your use of disposable and single-use items. Things like plastic bags, water bottles, straws, silverware, coffee cups, and food containers usually get used once and then tossed. Fortunately, reusable versions of these items are widely available, and they’re often made from more sustainable materials to boot. Purchasing these items (and remembering to use them!) is a big step toward living greener. Instead of going for another box of ziplock bags, try to find silicon zip bags or containers. They are easy to clean, microwave and oven safe and can be used for years!
DON’T REPLACE THINGS UNTIL YOU HAVE TO.
Another big cause of waste is tossing out items that are still usable, whether it’s clothes from last season, electronics that aren’t the newest model, or anything that’s just starting to lose its shine. But throwing away things that are still in good condition and replacing them with all-new items is a harmful cycle. Its all too easy to make it a habit and getting caught up in it will generate way more trash than using things until they’re actually worn out. Plus, by only replacing items when you really need to, you’ll save a ton of money.
EAT FEWER ANIMAL PRODUCTS.
Another way to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle is to reduce the number of animal products you consume. Compared to growing crops, the meat and dairy industries require an enormous amount of land, water, and energy. Animal agriculture is also the world’s second-biggest source of carbon emissions. A fully plant-based diet isn’t right for everyone, but starting with a commitment like “Meatless Mondays” or “Vegan Before 6” will make a difference (and you’re not just taking care of the planet – you’re also taking care of YOU!).
WALK, CYCLE, AND TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.
Vehicles are another huge source of greenhouse gas emissions, so limiting your driving will cut down on your environmental footprint. If it’s feasible, consider walking or cycling instead. Take public transportation where it’s available, which is more environmentally friendly than driving yourself. It reduces the number of vehicles on the road, and public buses and trains are usually well-maintained (or even electric!). Of course, sometimes driving is the only option. But in that case, carpooling with others and keeping your car maintained are both impactful ways to reduce impact.
Making sustainable lifestyle changes like these benefits animals, the planet, our health, and future generations. For many practitioners, taking these actions is a way to live out the teachings of yoga off the mat.
Check out the following blog posts for even more fun tips and insights:
Join us for a Signature Yoga Vacation or one of our famous Teacher Training programs to experience even more powerful ways to change your habits to benefit your health, the planet, and future generations.
About the Author
Jen is a freelance writer, blogger, and yoga teacher who left her office job in Boston to travel the world with her husband. She previously worked in international development and academic research, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda. Some of her biggest passions include promoting responsible and mindful travel and helping her students develop their personal yoga practice.