As individuals most people feel there is nothing they can really do to help restore the climate crisis, that only big corporations and governments are to blame and are the ones that can fix the current situation.
And there is some truth to that, we can all agree big corporations in most industries have very polluting production systems; lots of them produce in countries where environmental policies are less strict and therefore have to undergo less waste, energy, chemical or water controls. In the past years there has been a growing consciousness by society of this situation resulting in people asking big corporations to take responsibility. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it individually: we can choose who we buy from, we can support ethical companies who have the same values as us. We also have a responsibility as consumers within our means.
Another direct way in which we as individuals have a voice is through our vote, we can choose to vote for a political party that has a clear environmental plan of action. In many countries those parties aren’t the most voted for or in power but the way for them to have any decision making power is through our support.
When thinking of carbon emissions one of the easiest ways for most of us to stop contributing to the issue is by taking public transport, in the US alone there are as many as 235 million cars. In Europe cars are accountable for 60% of total carbon emissions from roads. We can also eat less meat, reducing the consumption of meat, especially beef and pork, has a big impact on the environment, the industrialized production of both these animals emit big quantities of carbon dioxide.
Lastly, the best way to stop contributing to plastic pollution is by stopping the excessive use of plastic. Thinking that we can simply recycle that bag or bottle isn’t effective enough. There are small little habits we can change, without making us go out of our way, that make a difference, like using a reusable water bottle that we can refill, avoiding plastic bags by using a reusable bag for groceries, eating in more instead of getting take out food, switching to a bamboo toothbrush that is biodegradable.
These are only some of the things we, as individuals, can do to make an impact and help our planet.