Incorporate Sustainability into Everyday Decision Making

McKinley Falkowski, student, University at Buffalo  |  October 7, 2022 in Pearson Students

A group of 5 college students are chatting in a lobby.

Climate change is an issue already affecting how we live. It seems like once-in-a-century storms happen all the time now! Businesses, governments, and regular folks need to take action to ensure that we avoid the worst of climate change by reducing our carbon footprint.

As consumers, we need to start incorporating sustainability into our purchasing and disposal decisions as the products we use may have a major impact on the environment. Here are five things that you can do to incorporate sustainability into everyday decision making and reduce your carbon footprint:

1. Shop Regularly at Local Farmers Markets

By shopping regularly at your local farmers market, you reduce the amount of fuel needed to bring that fruit or vegetable from a farm thousands of miles away to just in your backyard. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and simply by changing purchasing habits you can reduce the demand for distant food and help local farmers in your community!

2. BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag

How many times have you gone to a grocery store to have your groceries placed in plastic bags only to be thrown out later? Plastic bags are incredibly wasteful, as the production of these bags are energy intensive, and it will take that bag over 1,000 years to break down! If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, consider buying a re-usable bag as this will eliminate the need to use plastic bags.

3. Donate Used Clothes

Another easy way to incorporate sustainability into your everyday decision making could be to donate used clothes, so long as they are still wearable, to thrift stores or other used clothing stores. Clothing waste is terrible for the environment, and if you can limit how much waste enters landfills the better the environment impact.

4. No More Plastic Water Bottles

Plastic bottles, like plastic bags, are extremely unhealthy to the environment. I recommend buying a stainless-steel water bottle as it will cut the need for you to use a plastic water bottle. Stainless-steel water bottles are BPA free, contain far fewer chemicals then plastic, and help keep mold, and other bacteria at bay.

5. Compost Your Food Waste

Composting your food waste is fantastic for the environment as it reduces carbon emissions from food waste decomposition, and it sequesters carbon already in the atmosphere! Additionally, composting helps keep food out of landfills which are a big contributor to climate change. I have a compost bin in my back yard, and I absolutely love it! I use the composted soil to plant my own vegetables!

We all have a role to play in combatting climate change. Doing your part to incorporate sustainability into everyday decisions is both fun and good for the planet!

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