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What Is Wrong with Us?

Small Things We Can Do to Help the Environment

Western society and our constant need for new and shiny objects are giving our planet a hard time.

Tornadoes, hurricanes, ice melting, plastic islands, animal extinction, and polluted rivers are only a little taste of what we could be dealing with.

Nevertheless, wherever I go, I see shopping bags full of useless things that will end up in the trash in not more than a year. Christmas markets, Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, everyone running around like a spinning top, to get the best deal, the cheapest presents, the newest iPhone.

No one is questioning it, no one is asking who makes these objects, how can it be so cheap, which materials are they using, or how much are they are polluting?

Why do we have this compulsory need of buying stuff? Why do we have so many pairs of shoes? Why do we need to follow the last trend in clothes, phones, accessories?

Is it really more important than leaving a planet to our children? Is it really more important than human life itself?

Being able to experience more Western cultures, like UK, USA, and Germany, opened my eyes and made it all more clear, giving me a worldwide picture.

We are screwing it up. We are screwing it up really badly.

To be fair, many people that I've met here, in the UK, are vegan or vegetarian for environmental reasons, and I can see how that can help. But there are other things, easier things, that we can all do to try and save our planet:

  • Buy zero km food: in this way we can help the territories where we live, contributing to economic growth and help reduce the fuel that is necessary for food transportation. Moreover, zero km food comes without that annoying plastic packages that are often non-recyclable
  • Reduce the consumption of meat: Animal farms are, in fact, responsible for the production of a huge quantity of greenhouse gases. I see people eating meat twice per day. Can we try and balance our diets to eat it once or twice per week?
  • How much every-day plastic can we reduce? For example, buying bar soap and tap shampoo, conditioner, and house cleaning products.  Reduce the use of plastic cups, straws, and plates. Ditch the lunch boxes. Reduce the bottled water, buy a filter for the tap water.
  • Clothes: how many do we need? how often do we need to change them? Try to buy fewer clothes, maybe second-hand, and avoid throwing them away after one year. Following a trend can be fun for a while but, if you look at it from a different perspective, it is only a way to make us buy new things.
  • Questioning the use we do of energy and water: do we leave lights on or water running? For example, I have been living with a bunch of people in the past years and realized that most of them left the lights on for a long time when they were not in the room or not even in the house! I have also seen someone leaving the motor of his car on for 10 minutes before he would use in order to "heat it up."

There are some huge steps that need doing for our environment, and that we can only achieve with worldwide organizations and being careful when we vote for our representants. However, there are small things that we all could do thoughtfully. I know they are very small but the ocean is made of water drops: together we can make a big difference!

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