For people who have no superpowers, saving the world is like a pipe dream. Something that beauty pageant contestants and politicians like to spout about that, frankly, nobody takes seriously. Indeed, the extensive damage that humanity has inflicted on earth seems to be on the side of irreversible, it is the misfortune of the environment to be sacrificed on the altar of technological progress. It seems that as individuals, there’s nothing that we can do.
But is it? We don’t think so. Here are five small things that you can do if you want to protect the environment. You can even accomplish some of these even while in front of your laptop at the comfort of your home.
1. Spread awareness
Sharing is caring. Even on social media.
While some might call this as a form of “slacktivism,” an act of showing support for a cause but only beneficial to the Egos of the people participating, sharing on social media helps in spreading awareness. There are literally thousands of issues that many people are completely clueless about and only the massive reach of social media platforms can push these issues into mainstream consciousness.
For environmental issues, social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are the perfect staging ground. Content can be easily posted and then shared, thereby raising awareness of a certain issue. Moreover, social media can also be used to call the attention of the relevant authorities to ensure action against wrongdoings and establish protection to vulnerable communities.
Spreading awareness on social media is not that complicated. First, you need a clear message. This is the most important part since if the message is too vague or too general, it might not generate the interest that you’re aiming for. Second, is, of course, the creation of shareable content. In this time and age, mere words won’t be enough to capture the attention of people online, you need content in the form of a picture, video, infographic or anything that has easy to digest information. The last and most important step is involving people. This can be achieved by including a call-to-action on your social media post and by trying to get in touch with social media influencers who have massive followings.
2. Combat misinformation
Of course, social media can also be used for nefarious reasons.
Chief of these is for spreading misinformation. While social media platforms have enabled communication on a whole new level for millions of people, they have also made them susceptible to machinations by forces bent on pushing their selfish agendas. The absence of any meaningful fact-checking tool has also massively boosted the reach of disinformation.
Take for example the rise of flat-earthers, the climate change deniers, and the crackpot conspiracy theorists. The new platform given to these pseudoscience beliefs has given them a new lease on life and thus are able to gain new adherents.
Misinformation is something of a byproduct of social media and is very hard to kerb once already posted or already gone viral. However, it can still be contained. You only need to ignore the fake news outlets since interacting with them will only increase their reach. Another thing that you can do is educate your friends/followers who believe the misleading information they are helping spread. Message them personally and patiently explain to them, antagonising them in public will only make them harden their position.
3. Volunteer for a cause
Volunteering is a tradition that shouldn’t just be practiced during Thanksgiving. Since there are thousands upon thousands of worthwhile causes that you can volunteer for, you are literally spoilt for choice.
You can check what non-government organisations are active in your area to see which of them are open for volunteers. Environmental groups usually organise fund-raising activities to support a community or an endangered animal.
Other organisations even do trips abroad to third-world countries and strive to alleviate the poverty in those communities by bringing aid and/or offering their services, usually teaching them livelihood options, for free.
4. Use organic products
These days, organic doesn’t only mean food that fitness and health conscious people eat. This term can also mean products that are largely untouched by harmful chemicals and are only manufactured ethically.
All wooden products are organic, using them means that you wouldn’t have to worry about supporting companies that barely pay their workers or mines that employ child labour. If you’re looking to start using wooden products, the first thing that you should check out is a wooden watch.
Many kinds of wood can be used to make wooden watches. The most common include maple, sandalwood, zebrawood, and ebony wood. Since no two watches constructed from hardwood can be the same, you’ll be assured that the wooden watch that you’ll buy will be the truly unique. This is because the colour, shape, direction and the width of the grain of wood varies by the species of the tree. The cut of the wood and the stain that preserves it are also factors.
5. Go digital
Basically, go paperless.
Being paperless doesn’t mean that you should totally stop using paper, it means that you will cut back on unnecessarily using paper. Since paper comes from lumber and lumber comes from trees, production of paper, whether it’s recycled or not, involves the cutting of trees. Every tree cut is one less tree that will produce oxygen and/or prevent soil erosion and floods.
Since most utility companies nowadays have their own digital divisions, going paperless with regards to your bills is the first thing that you can do. Instead of receiving them by mail, you can opt to receive them in your email.
Another thing that you can consider are soft copies of documents, pertinent documents can be signed online using tools such as Verisign. That way, you won’t need to print copious amounts of documents and use paper unnecessarily. Switching to eBooks is also a step in the right direction, however, it can be hard for die-hard bookworms to abandon the alluring smell of books over an eReader such as the Kindle.
Every small thing counts
No step is too small to protect the environment.
If we add all the small steps that the millions of people who value the pale blue dot we all call home, then surely the earth has a fighting chance of being saved. Adding to the equation are the numerous non-government organisations bent on reversing the damage done to the earth since the Industrial Revolution.
Isn’t it that all journeys started with a single step? Why should it be different when it saving the earth?
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with your friends and family. After all, sharing is caring!