Photo credit: 5 Gyres Beach Cleanup
Let’s face it, it’s 2021, and we all know that Mother Earth is going through a lot right now. With climate change, pollution, and other environmental issues, it feels like we’re being reminded daily of the negative impact human actions have had on our planet. Photos of mile-high landfills make headlines in magazines, and clips of wildlife being choked by plastic have become a regular sight in mainstream media. It becomes all too easy in these moments to think to ourselves, “What does it matter? I can’t do anything to fix a problem as monstrous as this one.”
We’ll let you in on a little secret here: you actually can.
Through small, simple actions, humans have the ability to change the trajectory of the earth’s fate. Here at Proud Source Water, we’re committed to focusing on solutions and celebrating the existing beauty of our Earth, rather than its potential downfalls.
We’ve compiled a list of 5 simple ways you can make an impact in your community. None of these tips require major lifestyle changes; they’re small tweaks that can have a lasting impact on both the environment and your community.
1. Pick up 10 pieces of trash per day.
Photo Credit: Ocean Cleanup Group on Unsplash
It doesn’t matter how small or how big they are--picking up 10 pieces of trash can help keep your neighborhood beautiful and prevent animals like birds and fish from ingesting micro-trash, which can harm wildlife and eventually make its way into our own diets.
Start with a wrapper that got smashed on the pavement or a cup that didn’t quite make it into the garbage. When we strive to be more conscientious of the environment, the more of a habit it will become.
2. Shop local
Photo credit: Mike Petrucci on Unsplash
If the pandemic this year has taught us anything, it’s that local business is a crucial part of keeping our economy running. In the last year, 43% of businesses have temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Not only is it important to shop local to keep business afloat, but it’s also critical for our environment. Many major stores have their products imported from faraway locations, which increases their carbon footprint and uses more energy. Meanwhile, many local businesses have their products locally produced, strengthening communities and minimizing their energy output in the process.
Check out our list of 1% for the Planet partners to find a local business near you that’s looking out for their impact on the environment.
3. Plant a tree
Photo credit: Eyoel Kahssay on Unsplash
As unhealthy air levels rise, the need for a greater number of trees becomes more apparent. Unfortunately, humans are doing the opposite. They’re clear-cutting forests and wiping out massive areas of land to make room for development and to export products, contributing to the worsening air quality in many regions of the world.
In London, eight million trees have been planted, removing 2.4 million tons of air pollution each year. Get together with a group of friends on a Saturday and plant a few trees in your neighborhood. Not only is it satisfying to watch them grow, but it also provides more clean air for you and your community to breathe.
4. Look up local recycling policies
Photo Credit: Anna Auza on Unsplash
A common mistake people make when recycling is knowing which products are and aren’t recyclable. These policies vary depending on your location. This is why many products such as paper, aluminum, and plastic end up being thrown into the wrong bin. Take a few minutes today and look up the local recycling policies in your area here, and adjust accordingly.
5. Choose planet over plastic- say no to single-use plastic
This one is a biggie for us here at Proud Source. Only 9% of the plastic waste that has ever been generated has been recycled. Instead of using plastic grocery bags at the supermarket, opt for a reusable tote. Rather than putting snacks in plastic Ziploc bags, use a reusable alternative like (re)zip. When carrying drinks, take a reusable water bottle like a Hydroflask or a recyclable aluminum option like Proud Source. There are more alternatives on the market than ever before, and we encourage you to take advantage of all of them to keep our world beautiful and pristine.