Op-Ed: Easy Actions For Environmental Impact

Using+reusable+water+bottles+can+help+reduce+your+plastic+waste.+Photo+courtesy+of+Wikimedia+Commons.

Using reusable water bottles can help reduce your plastic waste. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Marlie Kass, Writer

As I grow more aware of the world, I have spent more time thinking about my environmental impact.

The world’s growing focus on climate change has made me more more conscious about the choices I make, both big and small, and how they will affect the earth on a larger scale. I acknowledge that my personal everyday actions may have a small impact, but when the bigger picture becomes overwhelming, I like to remind myself that every little bit makes a difference as there is a time and place for little individual actions as well as big ones. 

This year, Earth Day falls on April 22, and in its honor, I would like to share some of my favorite “small-changes-with-bigger-impacts” decisions that I have made over the past year. 

First, tote bags. Paper or plastic? I say neither. My parents and I always make sure to keep canvas tote bags close by. Whether it’s at the grocery store or an impulsive shopping trip, these strong bags can be reused again and again, with zero waste. 

Next, a bamboo toothbrush. Something as trivial as a single toothbrush may seem silly, but whenever I can replace a disposable plastic item with something more sturdy and sustainable, I count that as a win.

This is a common one, but I can not stress how important my reusable water bottle is to me. It’s so easy to take it everywhere which ensures that I can stay hydrated, healthy, and environmentally conscious.

Next, eco-friendly clothing lines. Shopping for clothing is much bigger than picking a water bottle or a toothbrush, and has a few more factors, but when I can, I try to think carefully about the clothes that I buy. Clothing lines like Amour Vert make sustainability and transparency their main focus, so I try to look towards them, or similar lines, when I shop. 

Ecosia may be my favorite find. Ecosia is a search engine that uses every search to fund their projects to plant tress around the world. They are very transparent about where exactly their projects are taking place, and why they are doing them. For example, two projects they are working on right now including planting trees on the edges of the Sahara Desert and working to create resources for farmers to grow eco-friendly alternatives to palm oil in Indonesia.

I find it rewarding to see the personal counter of how many trees I’ve helped to plant every time I go on for a quick search. 

I hope these seeds help inspire you, and I urge you to start thinking of what small steps you can take to make a difference. Happy Earth Day!