Thinking about all the damage that has been done to the Earth can be overwhelming. Sometimes it may feel like only large dramatic changes could make any meaningful difference, but this isn’t true. With small steps, individuals and communities can make a big impact on the wellness of the Earth.
Steps for Individuals
There are many things individuals and families can do that make a big difference to biodiversity and the health of the environment over time.
When caring for the lawn, avoid or limit the use of fertilizers and pesticides. These can run off the land and into the surrounding waterways and cause damage to the animals and plants that live there.
Making a concentrated effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle can have a huge impact immediately and over long periods of time. Reducing individual demand for new resources needed to create products and packaging limits the number of resources used initially and also the amount of waste produced.
Even what we choose to eat can benefit the environment. Organically grown or raised food helps to limit the use of pesticides and fertilizers and encourages growers to make more environmentally conscious choices. Choosing locally grown or raised food reduces the natural resources which must be used to ship the food.
Finally, making energy-conscious choices within your home is a little thing that can pay big dividends. Energy smart appliances, setting the thermostat at a higher temperature in the summer or lower temperature in the winter, and using high-efficiency light bulbs will all reduce the amount of energy you consume which is good for the environment and your budget!
Steps for Companies
Companies can use many of the strategies implemented by individuals, but on a much grander scale. From recycling papers instead of tossing them and choosing office supplies that are sustainable and recyclable to choosing the best green web hosting solutions, there is a lot of room for environmentally friendly choices in corporate culture.
But companies also have a better opportunity to take slightly bigger steps. When upgrading furniture or equipment, for example, it is possible to choose items that are created in more environmentally friendly ways and which will last longer before they need to be replaced.
Office furniture that is made from sustainable sources may be more expensive but they also tend to last longer and certainly pose less of an environmental risk. Equipment made from wear plate by A.J. Weller lasts much longer than similar equipment made from traditional materials. This is especially important for larger equipment because the environmental impact increases proportionally to the amount of materials needed to make an item. When investing in a large item, it is even more beneficial to be aware of the environmental implications of the purchase.
Steps for Cities
If individuals and companies can make a big difference, imagine what an entire city pulling together could accomplish! Cities which create a goal of sustainability will be the leaders of the future and where other cities around the world to look for inspiration and leadership.
One of the ways in which cities can make a big difference is by creating an infrastructure that relies less heavily on personal transportation. By providing more opportunities for people to walk, bike, or use public transportation to get to their destinations, a city can reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and lower the demand for automobiles.
Including green spaces in the design of a city, or reclaiming those spaces, is another endeavor that can provide numerous ecological benefits for the city. Not only does it decrease the carbon footprint, it also helps to clean the carbon that remains from the local environment and facilitates biodiversity within the city.
While most of the steps for cities seem big, they are comprised of numerous little steps that lead to the ultimate goal of sustainability.
Options within the sphere of green technology are constantly expanding. As they do, individuals, companies, and cities have a greater opportunity to make a significant change in the health of the environment. It is up to each of us to work towards the goal of sustainability as we move into the future.