The fight against climate change has been an issue for many years.
Several Long Beach State students, including myself, have found ways to limit our carbon footprint. Here are a few eco-friendly habits you can pick up to help protect the environment.
Limit your meat consumption
At the start of the pandemic, I began to work at Plant Power, a vegan fast-food restaurant in Long Beach.
I was inspired by both the company and its employees, who shared sustainable lifestyles. Some of them were vegan activists like Vanessa Buck, fourth-year marketing student at CSULB. Through social media, Buck shared her experiences and inspired others to pursue a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
PETA and researchers of Loma Linda University state that vegans have the smallest carbon footprint, “generating a 41.7% smaller volume of greenhouse gasses” than their carnivorous counterparts.
While going vegan would be the ideal solution, it is a difficult transition to make. So instead, focus on limiting your meat consumption by participating in meatless Mondays or simply buying alternatives from brands like ToFurky or Wholesome Provisions.
Use reusable tote bags
About 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the ocean from coastal nations every year, according to National Geographic. That is why it is so important for us to use more reusable products to decrease the amount of waste we put out into the world.
Reusable tote bags can replace single-use plastic waste bags when grocery shopping. Many grocery stores have some available for purchase at check out.
Hydro Flasks and reusable bottles, like Takeya and Yeti, have become popular among a variety of consumers. They come in multiple sizes and colors that appeal to almost everyone. Most importantly, they are durable and can withstand more than their plastic counterpart.
Many use these bottles as a form of expression. They decorate them with stickers and paint in a way that conveys their personality.
Instead of spending money on single-use bottles, consider saving money by purchasing a singular insulated bottle that you can carry around at all times and adorn as you wish.
Second-hand shopping has also increased in popularity. Places like Goodwill, Out of the Closet, Salvation Army and Buffalo Exchange are a few of the most visited by consumers.
This is a result of more people learning about the wasteful manufacturing process of clothing and the consequences of fast fashion. Fast fashion refers to the mass production of clothing produced at a cheap cost and sold at an affordable price.
According to Business Insider, fashion production causes 10% of the carbon emissions in the world. 85% of clothes ends up in landfills each year, a number that is beyond harmful to our environment.
The next time you think about buying a new outfit consider the product, where it is coming from and how long it’ll stay in your closet.
Buy from your local farmers market
Most cities have a local farmers market where community members can shop for fresh produce. Here in Long Beach we have the Southeast Farmers Market, which is open every Friday in Downtown and every Sunday near the Marina Pacifica from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m..
This is a wonderful way for people to support their local vendors while shopping consciously in an environment where people focus on sustainability.
It is important for all of us to be more conscious about what we are consuming and purchasing. We are no longer doing it for ourselves, but for the environment as a whole.
While many blame big corporations for the effects on climate change it is important to note that all the little things we do, or do not do, make a difference.
Climate change is rapidly damaging our Earth. According to NASA, atmospheric carbon dioxide has never been greater than 300 parts per million. It is currently at around 420, and it is quickly increasing every year.
With global temperatures rising and oceans warming, it is now more important than ever that we begin taking action. Even the smallest act can help promote a more sustainable lifestyle. The more people that are participating in this change the bigger the difference it will make. It is hard, but it is never impossible.