Changing Climate Change: 5 Things to Do Right Now
For many people, climate change is something that we know is happening but it still feels pretty removed from our daily lives. It’s on the news when there’s a big storm or a devastating wildfire. We may reach for our wallets when catastrophe hits elsewhere to donate to the recovery efforts, but that’s just dealing with the effects. It’s time to do something about the causes and to realise that climate change isn’t just happening to someone else somewhere else. It’s happening to all of us and it’s happening now.
The issue of climate is so big that it can feel like it’s out of our hands. Most of us aren’t mechanical engineers in the automobile industry or elected officials in the halls of power. And while it’s true that I can’t personally redesign cars or airplanes to run on clean energy or draft the legislation that requires stricter emissions standards, both industry and government must eventually respond to what the majority of people want. Let’s take ownership and see where we can make changes that have an impact now.
5 Things You Can Do Right Now
1. Switch to renewable power
Your utility provider may have an option for you to switch your home’s energy service over to renewable power. Doing this sends a clear message that you support the use of alternative power sources like wind and solar. The more people do this, the more mainstream and affordable these power sources will become.
What it’s Gonna Cost: Costs vary widely depending on where you live. In the UK, you may find your tariff even goes down, according to Friends of the Earth. In the US, you will likely see an increase of $7-$15 per month on your utility bill. If you can afford it, please consider making this change.
2. Eat less meat and dairy
Switching to a more plant-based diet is good for you and for the planet. The meat industry is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, both of which directly affect climate change. In addition, livestock is too often treated inhumanely. If we decrease the demand for factory-farmed animal products, we can improve conditions for the animals and for the planet in general.
What it’s Gonna Cost: Reducing your consumption of animal products can save you money. One study found that vegetarians spend about $750 (£575) less per year on groceries. If you still want to eat meat, try moving towards buying higher quality animal products (grass-fed, free range, local) less frequently. Not sure what to eat on Meatless Monday? Check out Deliciously Ella for amazing vegan recipe and lifestyle inspiration.
3. Buy fewer (but better) things
After you’ve KonMaried the heck out of your life, stop the stuff from reaccumulating by applying an eco-version of the Marie Kondo test any time you’re shopping. Does the thing you are buying suit its intended purpose? Is it ethically made, built to last, and environmentally responsible? And, last but not least, ‘does it spark joy’?
What it’s Gonna Cost: You should break even, if not save money, by changing your purchasing habits. You may spend more on individual items but you are buying fewer things over all. If you’re used to buying on the cheap, you may have sticker shock at first. However, most often you get what you pay for. Things that are better made and better serve their purpose will last longer and provide greater satisfaction so you’re not constantly replacing them, according to the New York Times.
4. Be politically active
Always vote! Vote for candidates that support clean energy initiatives and acknowledge the urgency of addressing climate change in government. Petition existing elected officials and departments. It may seem like signing petitions doesn’t have much effect but it is one of the major lines of communication to your political representatives. March, rally, show up when it counts.
What it’s Gonna Cost: This takes time but not money.
5. Donate wisely
When making charitable donations, look for where your money can do the most good. Choose non-profits that rally popular support and have a track record of achieving legislative solutions to climate change issues. Our charity partner Friends of the Earth UK is a wonderful example, which is why Liforme gives them 5% from sales via Liforme.com of our Purple Earth Yoga Mat.
What it’s Gonna Cost: Whatever you choose to give (and it’s a tax write off!).