You’ve no doubt seen all the viral posts with heart-wrenching images of marine life tangled in litter, or once-pristine beaches now a swarming pile of waste. And while you can’t deny the immensely corrupt complacency of corporations and countries in allowing the pollution of the environment to escalate to such levels, there is a small margin where we can make an impact.
Before we launch into this post, I must confess: I am not the green thumb your parents warned you about. Vegan, zero-waste, completely natural and carbon-neutral? Nope. Not at all. Tree-hugger, animal-lover, picks up rubbish along the street and refuses to socialize with litterers? You got me there. Living in a desert for five years of your life really encourages a love for greenery and picturesque landscapes, and although I’m not the most athletic person, I do enjoy hiking and swimming – especially when I’m not tiptoeing between remnants of landfills.
Would I like to be the obsessed environmental activist that protests with biodegradable placards in the day and toad patrols at night? Absolutely. Let me be the first person to say that the rush of endorphins from safely chaperoning a toad across a road is much preferable to the guilt of going over the black bag limit on dustbin day. I’ve been through it all.
But it’s hard to know where to start sometimes. It can seem an impossible task to “greenify” your life – especially with the World Wildlife Fund’s sob-inducing 10-year challenge – but I’ve handily made myself a list of ways I can make a few small adjustments and I’m sharing it with you, my dear avid reader.
Ecosia – Google’s Eco-Friendly Cousin
Ecosia was running a YouTube sponsor campaign a year or so ago, and thus I was bombarded with various internet personalities urging me to install Ecosia. “Save trees from the comfort of your computer” sounded like a great deal to me – and it really wasn’t too good to be true.
Ecosia is basically Google’s eco-friendly cousin. It’s a search bar extension that uses the profits it gains from running ads at the top of your searches to plant trees in various places around the world. And before you get skeptical, they publish their spending and tree-planting reports every month, so you can really see where they put the money made off your frantic 2am searches.
In case you missed the link, you can click over here to go to Ecosia and install the extension. They also have a shop, so if “eager environmentalist” is your go-to style expression, you can check that out too.
Viral Posts – The Couch Surfer’s Way of Effecting Change
You don’t have to scroll for very long to find the aforementioned harrowing videos of birds trapped in oil spills and the fateful announcement of yet another endangered species. Maybe you personally can’t go out and fight off poachers or start a sustainable farm, but you can click share. If enough people do, the post will eventually reach someone who does have influence.
Eating the Eco Way
Perhaps the most well-known eco-friendly update is switching to reusable utensils. Replace the cardboard cup from your local coffeehouse with a reusable travel mug – you might just get a discount on your morning caffeine fix. Walk around with a water bottle attached to your hip instead of opting to buy single-use plastic ones – if anything it’ll help you stay hydrated. Keep a backpack permanently fused to your shoulders, so you can refuse the plastic bags without wondering where to put your stuff if you go shopping. Better yet: snag yourself a metal straw or bamboo cutlery, and keep it in your bag until the time arrives for you to whip out your sustainable gear with a swish, backed by the chorus of a million turtles singing your praises. You get the picture.
Although one person’s behaviour cannot save us from our impending environmental apocalypse, it can start a chain reaction. And although we can’t lose sight of the much needed change on an enormous scale, there’s really no harm in patching yourself up to be a mean green eco machine.