It is no secret that the way we are living currently isn’t sustainable when it comes to the well-being of our planet. Your ecological footprint is the impact of your lifestyle choices or activities measured in terms of the land needed to sustain your use of natural resources. If everyone in the world lived like the average American we would need four Earth’s worth of land to sustain everyone. The question is how do you reduce your footprint? Luckily for us, there are some simple ways to change your everyday routine that will greatly impact the Earth’s well-being. 

There’s no place like home

The first place you can start is your home, even merely adjusting the thermostat so it’s not blasting the heat in the winter can be a game-changer, wearing more layers or having cozy blankets everywhere can make up for any drop you feel at first. One thing people don’t think about is unplugging devices like coffee makers and toasters will be a world of difference on your bills alone. Small household appliances like that are known as “energy vampires”. Thankfully you won’t need to call Buffy this time, you get to pull the plug yourself or invest in a programmable power bar to ensure that everything will be turned off when you leave for work. 

Support local 

2020 showed us that we need to be coming together as a community and supporting small businesses. Did you know that it can positively impact your ecological footprint just by buying vegetables from your local farmer’s market? Or buying some homemade mittens from your friend’s Etsy shop? Even something as simple as a pair of jeans carries a large ecological footprint. According to a recent study it was estimated that 70% of rivers in Asia are contaminated by the 2.5 billion gallons of wastewater produced by the continent’s textile industry. 

Fix it 

In today’s society, everyone is obsessed with speed - fast fashion, fast cars, fast internet. People want what they want and they want it now, if you see something that is maybe looking a little rough look up ways to reuse it and make it a fun DIY project. Instead of trying to chase down a deal, try to buy higher quality products and actively take care of them because as they say, you get what you pay for and if you invest your money in pieces that are sustainable and built-well and you do your part to keep them looking great, they will last for years to come. There are thousands of tutorials online teaching you how to do a million things and nothing feels better than accomplishing something you didn’t know how to do previously. You may find that your bank account starts to get a bit bigger the more you do this. 

It may seem a bit redundant but there are lots of opportunities where you can reduce your waste, while 75% of all waste is recyclable, tons of that still end up in landfills. Starting with small changes and working towards bigger lifestyle shifts is something that everyone can do together to make the world a cleaner place.

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