It’s easy to ignore things. That squeaky door hinge, the boring project at work you don’t want to do, the dog hair tumbleweeds rolling through your house. But at some point you will have to fix the hinge, finish the project, and clean up that damn dog hair. (How does she even have any hair left!?!)
We’re not ones for being Debbie Downer but sometimes you have to take stock of what’s in front of you. With a new year upon us, we wanted to take a little time to look at what is happening in our environment.
Here are a few facts we gathered about the effect climate change is having on people and communities.
- Chicago lost two beaches in the summer of 2019 to rising waters in Lake Michigan. Rising waters are also threatening residential buildings close to the lake, and has made the lakefront hazardous for visitors. Learn more here.
- The rising levels of Lake Huron are not only damaging the waterfront but it’s hurting communities that depend on the waterfront businesses and tourism to support them financially. Learn more here.
- During 2001–2011, the number of persons with asthma in the United States increased by 28%. Research points to a link between air pollution and asthma.
- Approximately 40% of the lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, aquatic life, or swimming.
- The Mississippi River carries an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico each year, creating a “dead zone” in the Gulf each summer about the size of New Jersey.
Feels too big to do anything doesn’t it? What can one person do? Well we believe the small impact of many will create a colossal force.
So let’s get started! What are some changes you can make? It’s not easy at first, but a few small changes in your lifestyle will hardly be noticeable once they become habits. We have to start somewhere, and soon the changes will add up!
Single use plastic is a huge problem. How much of it can you remove from your life? You don’t need to take everything away at once but look around and see what you can do.
- Do you use a lot of plastic ziplock bags for bagged lunches? Try out reusable silicone bags. Yes, you have to wash them, but give it time. It’s all about creating new habits.
- Take your own grocery and produce bags to the store.
- Do you use disposable razors? Now’s the time to switch!
Another problem: consumption. We simply consume more now than we ever have - clothing, electronics, personal care goods - thus creating more waste.
You can help the planet and your pocketbook if you cut down just a little!
- Don’t buy any new clothing for 3 month, or 6 months, or a year. Think about adding some Goodwill, thrift or vintage stores, or online upcycle options. Or maybe a clothing swap with friends?
- Don’t upgrade your phone just because you can, wait till you need to. And when buying accessories for your phone (we’re thinking about all those plastic phone cases), look for a sustainable option. (Our founder loves her Pela compostable case)
- Do you really need that new kitchen gadget? Wait two weeks and think about it. If you still want after that, have at it! Resisting the impulse to buy can save you money and create less waste.
We believe if people start making little shifts, it will lead to more changes, and soon more people will take notice and there is that colossal force we’re talking about!
One really big thing you can do: share what you’re doing with friends and family, perhaps you will inspire them, or they will inspire you.