Our culture of consumerism is driving species to extinction through progressively degrading landscapes that are out of sight in the lives of the general population. This happens because we collectively pay for the products that put profit above conservation. Too easy is it however to put the blame on something external to ourselves.
We need to cultivate a culture of personal accountability and responsibility – leading by example and it all starts at home. Here are some guidelines on how we can collectively gear towards a greener future as families and communities.
As we can’t rely solely on conventional schooling to properly educate our youth on how to navigate within our rapidly changing world, it’s up to parents to learn how to improve the environmental footprint of the households and lifestyles that our children are raised within.
Throw away less food – fruits and vegetables take months to grow. Do your best to store them properly and use them while they are still good.
What you can’t salvage – Compost. If you have a garden, you can simply dig a hole and deposit food waste. Remember to cover with dry leaves, wood chips or another carbon based material available.
Incorporate more plant based meals, reducing meat, dairy and processed foods.
Electric cars will hopefully become more accessible, until then we can look at carpooling, riding a bicycle or just re-arranging & simplifying our lifestyles.
Support local products and farmers – The chain of transportation on the items we purchase has a huge impact that we are often not aware of. Some research and planning can save a ton of carbon emissions… Literally!
LED light bulbs use far less energy and last longer. Energy efficient device alternatives are available too. They may cost a bit more upfront but you’re improving your environmental footprint everyday afterwards.
Green roofs – Our roofs are like oven panels, warming up our atmosphere. Plants can not only utilise that unwanted heat but also capture atmospheric carbon and store them in their biomass.
Plants and trees, insects and bee’s should be incorporated into our garden design on every level.
Before Recycling comes Rethinking – Too often there are alternatives that we are too busy to seek out. Dedicating some time to planning how to reduce single use plastics and other harmful products should be a priority.
Learning that each local municipal recycling depot has different protocols means that it’s a good idea to learn what actually gets recycled and what goes into a landfill in your area.
Eco-bricks, although not as popular to build with yet are an incredible way of transforming 1000 pieces of small plastic into an otherwise empty container going into a landfill.
Protect and restore indigenous forests – This is often related to industry, again the products we purchase are either supporting or boycotting the destruction.
Get involved in tree planting projects – There are many individuals and organisations to partner with. We have our own forest restoration project at Pachamama
Livestock grazing in sensitive ecosystems can be a serious problem – Many indigenous tree saplings and carbon sequestering plants are eaten which leaves the land barren and unable to regenerate biomass and life.
There is probably lots more that could be added to this list. Please share suggestions or comments. Thanks for reading!