The Habit Shifts That Will Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Habit Shifts That Will Reduce Your Environmental Impact

If you are interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle by lessening your environmental impact, knowing where the best place to start can feel overwhelming. Small changes are important and we all have to start somewhere but there are some lifestyle changes that that have a dramatic effect with little effort. If you make these three low impact habit shifts to reduce your environmental impact, you can build a strong foundation for living a more sustainable life.

Eat More Plants

Eliminating meat and dairy from your diet is the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your environmental impact. If you’re serious about your compassion for our planet, reducing and eliminating animals from your diet should be at the top of your to do list.

The meat and dairy industry is incredibly destructive, it produces huge amounts of greenhouse emissions and is responsible for deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution. There are animal welfare and human rights issues that make it an inefficient system that produces an unsustainable diet. A vegan diet produces the equivalent of 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions each year while a omnivorous diet produces 2.5 tons. On top of all all this, there are health impacts of eating meat; consumption of processed meat has been classified as carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic while eating any meat at all can cause antibiotic resistance and a myriad of health issues.

The more you can make your diet plant-based, the healthier it is for you, the animals, and the planet. Try having at least one plant-based meal a day or a few days maybe a whole week of eating plant-based, make simple switches like choosing plant-based milk over dairy milk and butter for a plant-based alternative, or only eat animal products on holidays or special occasions; join in with Challenge 22 or Veganuary for inspiration and support.

Buy Less

We often find ourselves spending money on things we don’t need, that take up space and don’t last. Our lives become cluttered with stuff that is poorly made and trend-led yet we’re compelled to buy more by the adverts that convince us we need these things to be happy.

Our throw-away culture is destroying the planet. Mass manufacturing creates items that are designed to be produced, sold, and discarded at a rapid pace. There is so much waste produced in this system from start to finish; the environmental consequences are catastrophic and it’s draining our planet of its resources. We can dramatically reduce our impact by simply buying less.

Take a simplified approach to life by buying less, choosing well, and making it last. Adopt a minimalist approach to style, for both your wardrobe and your home, and you'll fill your life with things you'll love for the long term. Shopping secondhand is one of the more environmentally-friendly habits you can adopt; repairing and reusing items already in the supply stream, making do with what you already have, and repurposing existing belongings in your possession is a crucial step towards reducing your environmental impact.

Switch Transport

Travel has become faster, easier, and cheaper; the more frequently we travel and the further we venture, the more destructive it becomes to our planet. Limiting our need to travel isn’t always possible yet thinking about our transport and opting for more Earth-friendly solutions whenever possible can help reduce our environmental impact.

The metal used to make cars, trains, and planes, can contaminate and pollute the land, water and air, directly affecting human and animal health. Cars produce exhaust fumes that contain poisonous gases that pollute the air; tankers can break spilling oil into the sea; the building of roads and parking lots mean forests and farm lands have to be destroyed, and all forms of transport cause noise pollution. The climate impact of a single flight is so large it can cancel out many of the other environmentally-friendly habits you adopt.

Yet transport is often unavoidable and there are many benefits of travelling that help enrich our lives and make us better people. However, there are still ways we can improve our carbon footprint and reduce our environmental impact. Fuel consumption has one of the greatest environmental impacts, so using less petrol or diesel is one of the most eco-friendly things you can do. It’s important we choose to walk or cycle whenever possible, use public transport and carpool, and limit our long distance travel; avoiding unnecessary flights, planning direct routes, and taking fewer longer trips rather than short frequent ones.

What habits shifts are you making?
Let me know in the comments.

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Habit Shifts That Will Reduce Your Environmental Impact