This guest post was written exclusively for Cloverly by environmental and sustainability consultant Hope McCoy.
Today's generations have an increasing concern for the well-being of the environment. Case in point: a study by Southern Cross University in Australia found that 93% of American and Australian survey respondents indicated a general concern for the environment, and 77% expressed a desire to learn more about sustainable living.
In addition, as Cloverly noted in late December, a Pew Research Center survey found that 80% of American adults said they were reducing food waste, and 72% said they limited their use of plastic. These findings bode well for the environment, which is currently dying a slow death due to pollution and deforestation.
While Mother Nature can heal, that healing must start with us before it is too late. We all need to make a big push toward living sustainably, because our actions will have a direct impact both on society and on the environment. Social science specialists at Maryville University in St. Louis point out that societies are built on connections on every level, and that the relationships we foster are "the building blocks of the human experience."
In this regard, the current shift toward sustainability will bring societies together across the globe and help us realize how our actions affect not only others, but also Mother Nature. This is why we must commit to greener habits if we are to save Earth. The following can get you started:
As the article "11 Daily Habits to Live More Sustainably" in the Carbon Friendly section of the publication platform Medium notes, recycling, especially of metal, paper, and plastic, helps eliminate the need to mine raw materials. Recycling also lessens the energy devoted to process rock, wood, and petroleum into finished products. So reuse your metal, glass, and plastic products if you can. Of the rest, take as much as possible to recycling plants, where they can be used to manufacture other products and reduce the overall use of energy.
Ditch the red meat
Ditching red meat is a key to sustainability, because red meat is bad for the environment. This is due partly to the significant amount of methane gas produced by red meat animal sources, specifically beef and mutton. These animals also require lots of water and land usage compared to crops and poultry, which means that raising livestock is a chief contributor to deforestation. As an alternative, you can consume other types of meat, or plant-based proteins such as lentils and nuts. You can even look at following a vegetarian or vegan diet to lower your carbon foodprint.
Change the way you go from place to place
The way you get from one place to another can create a considerable carbon footprint. Instead of driving, walk or bike to your destination if it isn't too far away. If it is, use public transportation or carpool. In addition, regularly take your car for tune-ups, and keep tires correctly inflated. A tuned-up car can be up to 40% more fuel-efficient than one that's badly out of tune. And if all Americans kept their tires inflated to the recommended pressure, gas use nationwide would drop by 2%.
Dispose of stuff responsibly
Disposing of things responsibly is crucial, as failure to do so can adversely impact the environment. For instance, medicines can get into a community's water supply, which can contaminate water and affect marine life. The good news is that most communities have programs for proper waste and garbage disposal. Find out about these programs, especially when you need to dispose of batteries, electronics, light bulbs of all kinds, mattresses, and medicines.
As you may have noticed, living more sustainably isn't that hard. All it takes is a lifestyle change here and some sacrifices there. If you can do that, sustainable living will be within reach. Crucially, if more people around the world make this shift, then the earth might start healing before it is too late.