#1 – Ask the right questions.
So many of us have made the mistake of asking people whether they believe in climate change. Instead of asking people if they believe the facts, we need to start creating progressive conversations by asking, “what do you think our society should do about climate change?” Ask questions like whether they think an environmental tax on corporations to keep companies in check and prevent them from polluting our air and our water is a fair proposal, or whether they know that Miami Beach is projected to be below sea level within the next 50 years if nothing is done to slow down the threat of climate change, or what they think about the visible changes investors have made in Miami in response to rising sea levels.
#2 – Talk to you representatives.
Demand to be represented. It’s their job! An easy way to do this is by using Resistbot. You text “RESIST” to 50409 and they will find out who your representatives are and send them whatever fax you want to send their way.
#3 – Eat better food.
The leading cause of climate change is animal agriculture (51% of greenhouse gas emissions). Try eating an entirely plant-based diet for two days of the week. Then, slowly increase the days that you don’t eat neither meat nor dairy until you can say you are fully vegan. If going vegan is too much for you, try the vegetarian or pescatarian diet for a bit before making that change.
Read more about environmental veganism here.
#4 – Shop for clothes differently.
After watching the documentary The True Cost, I’ve been thinking and learning about fast fashion. Fast Fashion is a term used to describe how big fashion retailers like Forever21 and H&M use unsustainable and unethical manufacturers to keep up with the demand of bringing new trends at low prices to their massive consumer base. One of the consequences of these unsupervised practices (sourced from countries that don’t have as many regulations as Western nations like the U.S.) is the polluting of our planet.
The solution to this problem is urging these fast fashion retailers to find ways to change their practices while keeping their items affordable. Voting with your dollars (e.g. abstaining from buying fast fashion) is one way to get these fashion retailers to make a change (think about how our more health-conscious society has changed some of the practices of fast food giants like McDonald’s). You can buy clothes that are built to last longer from other stores, which may be more expensive but you won’t need to be replace them as often. You can also buy clothes from thrift stores or swap closet pieces with your friends to give those items a second life.
Another way to encourage change is to talk about it– tweet, blog, make videos about fast fashion. The more we speak out against these business practices, the more likely they are to change. In 2004, Forever21 stopped selling fur in response to protests by animal rights activists.
#5 – Reduce your waste.
Buy reusable items and repair things that break.
- Don’t buy disposable! Buy things with longer life cycles. Think about how many plastic cups you’ve used in your life (and how much money you’ve spent on them). Now try to picture a room that would fit all of those countless cups. Now imagine a room that could fit every disposable fork, knife, and plate you and your family have ever used. Now multiply that by the millions of families who use disposable dinnerware. That’s A LOT of waste.
- Repairing is so much easier now with the internet showing us how. So much waste is created from throwing away things that are simple fixes. I have a 10-year-old Windows Vista computer in my room that has broken twice, and I found ways to repair it, via YouTube, in both instances. And this goes for less expensive items too, like a reacher or a plush dog toy.
A lot of these changes can be difficult to make (for me at least!). The key here is to try. If we all try to do our part, we can make this planet a better place for future generations to live in.