Editor’s Note: Thank you to Jennifer McGregor for writing this article. NESSE values your input and commends your effort in wanting to create a healthier planet!
The world’s population has skyrocketed in the past 100 years, growing sevenfold since the 1800s. The population is estimated to grow by another 2 billion people within the next couple of decades adding pressure to the planet’s current population of 7 billion. While overpopulation is often cited as the single biggest threat to the planet, BBC estimates that the current growth trend is not entirely the issue. The real problem is how much each individual consumes.
The good news is that everyone can do their part to help heal the planet. Here are some ways one can bring more sustainable habits into their diet as well as into their home:
Making Eco-Friendly Dietary Choices
From vegetarian and vegan to Paleo or dairy-free, there are more diets to choose from these days than ever before. Which ones are best if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint? As TIME points out, “Sustainable eating does not have to be hard, and it also does not have to be all-or-nothing.”
An alternative thinking to cutting out meat and dairy products altogether, the “ecotarian” diet has been gaining popularity in recent years. More than a lifestyle change than a traditional diet, ecotarianism involves making mindful food choices specifically designed to sustain the planet as well as your body.
How can you help? Start by trying to eat mostly plant-based, organic whole foods. Home sustainability expert, Laura Trotta, recommends reducing your meat intake as much as possible, even if you don’t go fully vegan or vegetarian.
Meanwhile, Harvard advises choosing local foods from sustainable farmers markets. You can also do your part to reduce food waste by eating smaller meals and switching to reusable grocery bags (which also help the planet by reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans).
Creating a “Green” House
Many homeowners currently are challenged with the task of reducing their home’s energy usage. Luckily, there are many ways you can make your home more green – and they don’t have to break the bank.
For instance, you could downsize your wardrobe and switch to eco-friendly clothing. Try to find environmentally conscious brands, such as those that create clothing from plastic water bottles and other recycled materials.
Can’t afford to switch to solar power yet? You could start by switching out your traditional light bulbs with LEDs or CFL bulbs. These fairly inexpensive bulbs use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs, and they will also save you money on your electric bill. There is really no reason not to make the switch!
Although global warming is upon us, there’s still much you can do to help the environment. When it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, we can all do our part. Every little bit helps when it comes to going green.