Although most of us are well aware of the damage that our lifestyles are doing to the planet, there is still so much we can do to reduce the amount of waste and consumption in the world today. We tend to get into the habit of living as though we have unlimited resources, and the planet suffers as a result. Mother Earth is so gentle, beautiful, and full of magic. The least we can do is do our part at an individual level.
For most of us, the majority of our food comes in packaging that gets thrown away, and though some of it is recyclable, much of it is not. Our mailboxes are filled with unnecessary credit card applications and advertisements that often just get thrown away, even though we don’t need or want them. Our cars still burn gasoline when electric and hydrogen cars are already available, and we are chopping down the lungs of this planet (rainforests) at an alarming rate. Everywhere we look, we see waste.
The following list contains a few helpful things that we can do for our Mother Earth. If we all enforced these 5 micro lifestyle changes into our daily lives, the world would start to improve over night.
1) Buy organic
Organic farming is done without the use of toxic pesticides, and is done mostly with non-GMO seeds. Not only are these alterations and chemicals dangerous for you, but they are also dangerous for the planet. When pesticides get into the soil, the leak into our water supplies tampering with our drinking water. Animals other than insects are also poisoned by the pesticides, impacting the entire ecosystem.
2) Use reusable Bags
Buying a reusable bag can save hundreds of plastic bags per year per person. In fact, approximately 1 trillion plastic bags are used and discarded each year. If millions of people were reducing the production and disposal of hundreds of plastic bags a year each, that would make a huge difference. It also sends a message to the other shoppers that being Earth conscious isn’t so hard after all.
3) Stop eating animals
This may make some people uncomfortable, but leaving the moral issue aside, it is the most environmentally destructive industry on the planet. Yes, eating meat is a personal choice. But it’s not a good personal choice. In fact, its the most destructive personal choice you could make. Let’s look at some facts. We are normally taught that to reduce our carbon footprint, we should ride bikes more and walk when we can. But does this really make a difference? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than all cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, airplanes, and trains combined. It’s also a leading cause of methane production and is responsible for 65% of all nitrous oxide in the air, a greenhouse gas which is almost 300 times more destructive than CO2.
70% of all freshwater in the world is being used as drinking water for livestock and to grow feed for them, resulting in 34-75 trillion gallons of freshwater used annually. Only 5% of all freshwater is used by private homes. It takes, on average, about 660 gallons of freshwater to produce just one hamburger. That’s the same amount of water that is used for two months of showering!
Ever wonder where all of the cow and pig waste goes? 130 times more animal waste than human waste is produced in the US each year, which has already puled 35,000 miles of rivers in the US. It’s also a waste of space that we could use to grow food for people and building housing, as 45% of the earths entire landmass is occupied for livestock purposes.
75-90% of all deforestation is caused by animal agriculture, to graze livestock and grow feed for livestock. In fact, over 130 million acres of rainforest, the lungs and life of our planet, have been clear-cut so that we can eat meat. At the current rate, it is about 1 acre per second. Animal agriculture is therefore not only the leading cause of deforestation, water waste, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, it’s also the leading cause of animal habitat loss and species extinction.
The list of environmental impacts caused by the meat and dairy industry is endless, and not consuming meat remains the number one way you can help save the planet. A person who follows a vegan diet produces half of the CO2 emissions, 1/11th of the oil, 1/13th the water, and 1/18th the land compared to those who consume meat. An easy way to save the rainforests, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, end water pollution, and save 1000 gallons of fresh water a day is to choose a veggie burger over a meat burger. Plus, killing 6 million animals every hour worldwide when we don’t need to is not being very kind to Mother Earth and the beautiful life it created.
This is by far the most destructive industry on the planet. But the good news is, it’s an easy fix! Less meat, mock meat, or no meat is all it requires to make the biggest difference you could possibly make.
4) Purchase “green” cleaning and beauty supplies
Buying non-toxic cleaners made with nature ingredients is a good way to cut back on our environmental impact. If we can buy products made from biodegradable materials and recycled materials, all the better. All natural soaps, shampoos, and make-up products are also available, and are much healthier for your skin. You can rest assured that the companies you give your money to are making an effort to do their part in protecting the environment.
5) Plant trees and gardens on your property
Help add more foliage to our planet. If everyone in the US planted just 1 tree, that would be an extra 318 million trees helping to clean our air. Not only are plants beautiful to look at, they provide oxygen to our planet. And why not plant an apple tree or pear tree and eat organic fruit from it each year?
These 5 ways to help save mother earth are all very practical and make a massive positive impact. To help save our planet, we have to look at Gaia as a beautiful creative force that gave rose to both you and me. If we look at the planet as a randomly evolved rock filled with randomly evolved lifeforms, we may not feel as compelled to change our actions as we would if we understand Earth as a divine expression. Life is so beautiful. Let’s do our part to take action and preserve it.
Thanks for reading!