By now most of us are aware that the planet is in trouble. Recent studies have revealed that if we don’t drastically change our modern ways, soon we won’t have a habitable planet to live on. One large study found that up to 50% of all plants and animals species on land could face extinction by the year 2050 (ABC News), which would devastate biodiversity and put our food systems, natural resources, and the entire planet at risk.
The situation sounds bleak, but scientists predict that if humans can make some major changes in the next few years we can significantly reduce the potential damage. This includes reducing carbon dioxide emissions, lowering waste, and preserving biodiversity.
"Biodiversity is our most valuable but least appreciated resource."- Edward O. Wilson
Now most of us are asking, “but what can I do?”. Even if you’re not a politician or an influential executive, you can still do your part to save the planet. Companies constantly study consumer trends and analyze what people want; thus, if enough people demand truly sustainable products, that’s what the company will make. You can help save nature by simply changing your shopping habits!
Most of the items you buy either have a more sustainable alternative or could be purchased from an eco-friendly company. Before buying something, do some research on the business. Do they prioritize sustainability? Does their product address environmental issues? Do their business practices hurt or help biodiversity? Choosing to only buy products that have the environment in mind makes you a more mindful shopper, which is good for your budget and drives consumer trends in a more sustainable direction.
No product has zero environmental footprint, but some are better than others in that they minimize pollution or give back to the Earth. High-quality, reusable items help reduce waste, for example reusable glass water bottles eliminate the need for disposable plastic ones. Some sustainable products (especially food) are produced through regenerative agriculture, a farming process that enriches the soil instead of depleting it and encourages biodiversity. Additionally, some businesses work with impoverished communities around the world to create a sustainable product. This benefits the community economically, improves access to education, and preserves biodiversity by preventing the overexploitation of natural resources. By switching over to products made mindfully, we can contribute to minimizing the damage of global warming!
Many of us say to ourselves, “But I’m just one person. What difference will my actions make?”. One person’s impact may be small, but it will make a difference. As a human race, every individual needs to understand that their actions impact the Earth in some way. If we can collectively change our habits, we can make a huge impact. We can ensure a future for ourselves and for generations to come, but it will require that each individual chooses to protect this beautiful planet that we all share!
"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
- Jane Goodall