2020 was a challenging year in every possible way, and it made us reflect on our role in the planet as a species. As cities around the world shut down and traffic levels lowered significantly, we came to realize once more that the impact of our everyday consumption needs to be addressed. But we can’t wait for governments and corporations to act: just like any revolution, the fight for a more sustainable world has to be built form the ground up. Yes, you got it: it has to start from each and every single one of us.
If you want to help heal the planet (and prevent what seems to be an impeding climate catastrophe in our lifetimes), 2021 should be the year in which you interrogate your consumption, act when necessary and keep up with good habits. What about taking up on one of these challenges?
Challenge: Try going a month without these disposable objects.
We don’t want to go all Marie Kondo on you, but chances are you do use more stuff than you need. We are sure that straws don’t “bring you joy” and that wiping down the kitchen counter with a cloth renders the same result as using a meter of paper towels. We are not asking you to just stop using everyday items cold turkey, but to just wait for five seconds and wonder if you need to use something with a useful life of 30 seconds. The sky is the limit…. TikTokers have some pretty good ideas!
Challenge: Walking FTW!
If you are anything like us, you have barely used your car in the past few months. As lockdowns ease around the world, the streets will begin to buzz with engines, smell of smog and provide us with the same doses of toxic stress as before. If you are getting in your car to travel a few miles, why don’t you consider walking instead? Being sustainable is also about being healthy!
Challenge: Got plants? Water them with rainwater. Need to flush? Flush with rainwater!
House plants and succulents have experienced a huge boom in the past few years. Suddenly everyone has a green thumb. Well, if we consider that natural resources are running low, why not incorporate a little sustainability in your daily life by harvesting rainwater. It is as simple as laying out a couple of buckets when it is pouring cats and dogs. You can use the water to water your plants, or even to flush the toilet.
Challenge: track your consumption habits.
Sometimes we need to quantify things to see the real extent of a problem. There are digital tools that will help you keep track of your carbon footprint so you can asses whether you are on track to achieve sustainability or if you need to work harder. Don’t take it as a guilt trip, but rather as a way to make sure that you are not putting extra pressure on an already overextended environment.
Challenge: think many times before printing.
Some of us just love to print EVERYTHING! Oftentimes the paper just accumulates on top of our desks and sometimes we don’t even look at the document. Printing sometimes gives us a sense of comfort in having our work right there, on a physical format. But next time you think of typing Control P, just stop and think about it.