When you think about living a more
environmentally sustainable lifestyle the first thing most people think about
is how they are going to have to go without; without the things they like, less
this and more hassle. It becomes so much of a deterrent most never follow
through with their good intentions. How can we reasonably change our lifestyle for
the better, for ourselves and the environment without doing a complete upheaval
on our lives?
biggest thing to consider is “small.” Small changes that can make a big impact,
maybe not initially but over time. Everyone is familiar with the concept, “make
big changes with small steps.” It applies to living sustainably just like it
applies to all things. Making changes so small they seem almost insignificant.
Although realize enough of these “small” changes can make a big impact. There
are two things we can start today that are pretty small but more importantly
easy; one using canvas bags instead of plastic and the second is eating local.
you know it can take anywhere from 400-1000 years for a plastic bag to
breakdown? (Conserving Now) Yup, that Target bag you brought home yesterday is
going to be around for your great, great, great-grandkids to enjoy or not
enjoy. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade they photodegrade. Photodegrade is a
process where plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller toxic pieces, never
really going away. They are filling up our landfills, and choking our ocean. Using
reusable cloth bags can keep 300-500 plastic bags out of circulation each year
per person. It’s a small way to make a big change. Just don’t forget them in your
trunk when you go into the store. You can also do away with all those thin
vegetable bags you accumulate by eating local.
local can substantially decrease your carbon footprint. This may not be as easy
as grabbing bags out of your trunk but bear with me, the benefits far outweigh
the inconvenience. Food traveling to your local supermarket can travel up to
1500 miles or more. (Cho) By purchasing local produce through farmers markets,
farm stands, community basket coops or other locally owned food producers your
food will be fresher, which means it will taste better. The prices are usually
better than what you would find at the grocery store and you will be helping out
your community economically.
these small changes can make big impacts on the environment. We should all be
doing our best to reduce our carbon foot print.
Cho, Renee. “How Green is Local Food?” State of the Planet,
Earth Institute Columbia University, 28 Sept. 2012,
Newcomer, Laura. “33 Ways to Eat Environmentally Friendly.” Time,
Time, 24 Aug. 2012, healthland.time.com/2012/08/24/33-ways-to-eat-environmentally-friendly/.
“Plastic Bag Environmental Impact.” ConservingNow, 27 July