4 Lifestyle Changes that Could Change the World
Going green is good and all — it's certainly trendy — but what ever happened to good old-fashioned humanity? There's a lot more to changing the world than saving the trees (although that's on the list). Consider the daily life adjustments you could make that could impact the future of the planet both socially and environmentally. Read on to learn about four lifestyle changes you can make today that could actually affect the world tomorrow.
Using Less Paper
Okay, so you've heard this one before. Yet, chances are, you're still getting your bills by mail (among other things). If you haven't already gone digital — do it, today! What you may not know about paper, specifically mail, is that you're still environmentally responsible — even if you didn't ask for it. According to Reduce.org, "The average American household receives more than 500 pieces of advertising mail each year." It's not enough to simply recycle this waste. Reduce notes that it's best to stop the cycle altogether. Visit DMAchoice by Direct Marketing Association to opt out of or change your mail marketing preferences.
How it changes the world: Saving paper reduces deforestation, especially in other countries where some companies go to harvest trees.
Switching to a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
The Union of Concerned Scientists reports (UCS), "Transportation produces thirty percent of all U.S. global warming emissions. Cleaner vehicles can help reduce those emissions — and prevent their negative side effects." Fuel Efficient Vehicles, such as hybrid SUVs, are better for the environment and reduce the environmental impact of the average driver.
How it changes the world: Switching to a fuel-efficient vehicle helps to reduce the threat of global warming. The changes you make to your car and your hometown commute could one day change the world since the UCS also notes that every gallon of gas you use emits 25 pounds of carbon dioxide.
If you want to increase the impact of your fuel-efficient vehicle, then why not reduce the emissions caused by your food. No, this doesn't mean your pepperoni pizza is wafting carbon dioxide all the way into the atmosphere. It does mean that your food has environmental transportation costs. Going vegetarian also helps reduce emissions by up to 50 percent (ChooseVeg.com).
The meat industry also takes away forestland. Remember all that good you're doing by saving paper? Don't counteract it by eating meat that comes from cattle pastures with animals that graze in a graveyard of trees.
How it changes the world: You already know that reducing emissions lessens global warming. Going vegetarian can do this and more. You'll leave more room for trees, and you'll even help save water.
You know the deal—the bins rule on garbage day. However, there may be recyclable items you're missing. Just because an item doesn't have a handy symbol, it doesn't mean it's trash. This is especially true for items such as old furniture, which accounts for about 8.8. million tons of the waste that ends up in American landfills. Donating old items offers dual benefits. It recycles and raises money for the less fortunate. If you just can't salvage your old item (i.e. it's broken), then consider divvying up the parts to local scrap dealers. The items will be reused, and you could make money in the process.
How it changes the world: It reduces waste. The more every country contributes to its own landfill, the less space we'll have overall on Earth for human and animal life. Furthermore, excess waste increases the risk of groundwater contamination and other issues, which could lead to environmental and social issues throughout the world.
Think about it, if every person on this planet assumed that someone else will pick up their slack, then nothing would ever get done. Forgoing change is like driving passed a car crash because someone else is bound to stop – the damage is still done, but more helpers are better than none. What lifestyle changes have you made to better the world? Share your stories in the comments below.