We’ve come a long way since the 1950’s materialistic days. Today, we are more careful on how we spend our money, and are raising a generation of more conscious consumers who care about the planet. Sure, governments and companies have their responsibilities to our environment, but so do we as individuals.

 

Here are 5 Things You Should Give Up to Reduce Climate Change:

 

1. Give up plastic bags

Turtle plastic

via Avaaz

This one may seem like the easiest one, until you forget. Remember to use a tote bag when grocery shopping, otherwise they tend to accumulate at home, and then in our oceans. Tip: Separate your trash into glass, plastics, and organic materials at home to reduce waste, and use recycled, biodegradable bags to dispose of them.

 

2. Stop buying bottled water

china-plastic-bottles

China tries to keep foreign rubbish out as they enact a plastic waste import ban.

Get a reusable water bottle instead — and you can fill it up for free. Most single-use water bottles used in the U.S. turn into trash. The plastic packaging of water bottles take over 1000 years to biodegrade, and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes.

Did you know: Several countries are now cracking down on waste. The European Union has recently announced that they will restrict single-use plastics after China enacted a ban on plastic waste imports. In 2016 alone, China accepted 51 percent of global plastic scrap imports — and most of it came from the United States, where the majority of “recycled” plastics are actually shipped abroad to then be recycled; as such.

One of the US’s biggest exports is trash. 

 

3. Give up that steak dinner

food-climate-impact

 

A highly controversial topic, but nevertheless true: red meat uses 28 times more land and 11 times water than pork or chicken. Read: Fertilisers used in growing feed crops for cattle produce the most potent of the greenhouse gases causing climate change

 

4. Use less heat and air conditioning

winter-bills

Not only will this save on your electricity and gas bills, it’ll help the planet too. If you set your thermostat just 2 degrees higher in the summer, and 2 degrees lower in winter months, your home would emit 2000 pounds of carbon dioxide less each year.

 

5. Ditch companies that overuse plastic

Even companies known for their eco-consciousness can make mistakes. When a customer put Wholefoods under fire for individually packing peeled orange. After a single Tweet, they sure noticed.

Individual orange package

While governments can restrict waste practices of large companies, customers can demand sustainable practices with their buying power.

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