Humanity is living in a critical time right now. We have pushed our planet to its limits through overconsumption, environmental degradation, and by creating tons of waste every day due to one-use products and lack of recycling. These actions have created a clear strain not only ourselves but also everything around us.

More and more animals are becoming critically endangered as well as extinct. Many countries, like China, are running out of farmable land. There are even cities, like Cape Town, South Africa, that have gotten dangerously close to running out of their water supply.

The point is, we have been using and abusing our planet for far too long, and the damage has been done.

In fact, the damage we’ve done is so extensive that a lot of people don’t have any hope for improvement. Luckily, that is not true. The real truth is that there are several things we can do to help turn it around.

The key, though, is we have to take action as individuals to make a difference. It took a collective effort to get us into this mess, and it is going to take a collective effort to get us out.

Now, you might already be aware that things like, recycling plastic and cutting down on your shower time, can make a difference, but there are actually tons of little things you can do to make an even bigger impact!

If you want to maximize your influence and help propel the planet into a more positive direction, then check out these three small ways you can be kinder to the planet starting today.

Get your own cup

The coffee and tea industry is booming worldwide because who doesn’t love a tasty beverage, right? The problem is that it creates huge amounts of waste. A lot of it is recyclable, but things like coffee stirrers are not. And ultimately, it would be better to stop using and producing it altogether.

That’s why you should make the smaller, wiser investment and get your own travel cup. Not only will it keep your drink hotter or colder longer, but also there are even places that will give you a discount for bringing your own cup!

Recycle your electronics

Living in the digital age is great for cutting back on paper waste, but it’s created a whole new problem: electronic waste. In the last decade cell phone use has increased exponentially and more and more gadgets have are being introduced (think iPads).

All these technologies are constantly upgrading and releasing more powerful versions every year, sometimes multiple times a year. While we’re all ditching our old phone or laptop to make room for the new shinier, flashier model we’re not paying attention to what happens to our old stuff.

We don’t realize that the electronics we carelessly throw out contain many toxins that are just going pollute the planet.

If we are going to keep up with the latest technology, then we have to take responsibility for the amount of waste it creates. There are many electronic recycling centers in cities all over the world that would be happy to take your unwanted electronics off your hands!

Go to a thrift store

Thrift stores are a great way to make a difference for two reasons. The first reason is that you can donate your unwanted items— as long as they’re usable, of course. The second reason is that you can shop at them, too.

Both of these benefits cut back on the overall waste we create. We’re too tempted to just throw something out because we don’t personally need it or want it anymore. We’re also convinced that we have to buy things that are brand new.

These two things go hand in hand and do nothing more than create a never-ending cycle of resource consumption and waste creation.

There are so many amazing things you can find in thrift stores that you wouldn’t think would ever be there. You should also realize that what you might consider trash might very well be someone else’s treasure.

Now, do you see how making small adjustments to your lifestyle can have a ginormous effect on the world? The best part is these three changes are just the tip of the Iceberg!

There are a million other things you can do as an individual to become a catalyst of change for the planet. You might not think that these changes will be significant, but trust me; the whole world will feel the effect.

Resources:

“50 Ways to Help the Planet – Save Our Environment and Earth.” 50 WaystoHelp, www.50waystohelp.com/.

Browdie, B., & Browdie, B. (2019, January 25). Cape Town delayed Day Zero but South Africa’s water woes aren’t over. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from https://qz.com/africa/1525526/cape-towns-day-zero-water-shortage-fear-spreads-in-south-africa/

China’s ‘Great Green Wall’ Fights Expanding Desert. (2017, April 21). Retrieved March 25, 2019, from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/china-great-green-wall-gobi-tengger-desertification/

Demographics of Mobile Device Ownership and Adoption in the United States. (2018, February 05). Retrieved March 25, 2019, from https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/