There is a misconception that consumers do not contribute as much to climate change as big businesses and companies. And as Joaquin Phoenix recently made obvious, celebrities with their private jet lifestyles.
But, who are these companies without their consumers? Celebrities are only famous because we make them so.
Also, do we properly evaluate what our own carbon footprints are?
I’m here to tell you that as a consumer, you are contributing to climate change. But you can start making an impact to fight against it now.
Things you can do to fight climate change:
- Decide to drive your car less—try to only go to places that are on a commute you can’t change. If you have to run errands, do them on your way to or from work. Build all your weekend errands into one trip. Responsibly and sustainably buy in bulk so that you have to drive less. Carpool!
- Get fewer online shipments—the shipping from anything you buy contributes to your own carbon footprint. Just shop online less. See if you can go without buying whatever it is you want to get online, or find in a local store. Support and buy from companies who have sustainable shipping options.
- Create less food waste—Globally, food waste accounts for 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions. (reference) When food decomposes in the absence of oxygen, like when its in a plastic bag in a landfill, it produces methane, which is 21x more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. 40% of the food in America is thrown away. 43% of that food waste is attributed to households. (reference) Take a look at how much food you’re throwing away, and dedicate your family to developing better food consumption practices. Eat your leftovers. Don’t buy more food than you’ll need.
- Purchase carbon offset—While the best option is to just travel less, you can purchase carbon offset from non-profit companies like Cool Effect for air travel, and you can also donate money to go towards projects that verifiably reduce the amount of green house gases entering the atmosphere. This will ‘offset,’ or negate the emissions you produce from living your normal life (electricity, water consumption, internet usage, etc.)
- Use fewer utilities—purchasing carbon offset can equal out the emissions you generate, but try to use fewer utilities as well! Try to use less water. Keep your house cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer than you’d like to keep it. Unplug electronics you aren’t using.
- Give up fast fashion—The global textile industry emissions total 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent per-year. (reference) This is more than the emissions of all international flights and maritime shipping combined! That’s HUGE. Try to see how long you can go without buying new clothes. And commit to buying less new clothing, and more used clothing. Try to shop from sustainable brands if you do find yourself needing something new.
- Evaluate who you are supporting—Are you buying from or supporting companies and people who practice sustainable options? Are you encouraging others to do the same?
Will you share this post to help bring awareness to what consumers can do to fight against climate change?