Small Steps Add Up: Helping Combat the Climate Crisis on a Budget
By Veronica Letourneau
June 27th, 2022
Photo: Hindustan Times- Source
The climate crisis is a pressing issue, and as citizens of planet earth, it’s everyone’s responsibility to join forces and help improve it - and quickly. Some solutions can be expensive, and it’s true that not all of us have the financial capabilities to contribute on a major scale. But, there are certainly cost effective and efficient ways in which many can help. And the smallest steps add up over time and can make a meaningful difference.
One affordable method, which can help the environment, is to stop “impulse buying”. An example of an “impulse purchase” is when you see an item that you don’t truly need, but you convince yourself that you do, so you go ahead and buy it anyway - thinking that someday it might come in handy. Well, wrong. That journal you never write in or those cake decoration kits you never use, are a waste of your money and just end up cluttering your home. And environmentally, these items are, for the most part, packaged with plastic which adds to your carbon footprint.
If you want to avoid plastic packaging, a good way to do that is to buy things used - whether it’s your car, TV, or a piece of recycled clothing at the thrift store. Purchasing used items not only saves you money, but it lessens the production of materials which ultimately means less need for factory emissions. For those who prefer not to buy used things, because of fear of diminished quality, well if they were to break, fixing them can also actually help the environment. And you may also pick up a new skill in the process! For instance, learning how to sow that dress or fixing up your computer instead of always buying a new one. Both of those examples stop you from going to the store, and buying the latest model for the sake of having the newest on the market. Bottom line, keeping an item until it’s unusable saves you money and thus lessens the need for more production of the product.
For those who are not “arts-and-crafters” - those folks who don’t find fixing things fun or don’t have a proclivity towards it, there is another way to help the environment: volunteer work. Volunteering can entail cleaning up your streets, your local parks, or even beaches around your city. You don’t necessarily have to make this your full-time job, but doing it just once a month, or even every two months, can go a long way. It makes your city cleaner while producing less waste. And if that’s not completely up your alley either, then you could also volunteer for the community gardens in your neighborhood. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a community garden, then set one up. Be creative! This would not only bring the community together, but it would also mean more plants and nature in your city. Volunteering for a community garden also takes up less time than cleaning the streets, as checking in on the plants only takes a few minutes. Hence, if time is an issue for you then this is another good method to contribute.
A final cost-effective suggestion to help the environment is to not drive your car everywhere. If you’re going on a quick trip to the gym, walk or bike instead. This not only means you can skip the cardio portion of your workout, but it also means fewer emissions from your car. If the location is too far, and your city has it, take public transport. If your city doesn’t have public transport, carpool with your household members or friends. This will help reduce cars on the road, and their emissions.
Helping the environment is a big task and it can seem difficult and stressful, especially if you’re a bit tight on your income. But the changes of habits, suggested in this article, can not only help save you money but they can also help the planet over time. Remember - even the smallest actions can bring about big changes in the climate crisis in the long run. And you don’t need to inconvenience yourself. Just by trying and practicing one of the methods presented here can add up and protect generations to come.
*Inner Voice Artists and YouthMundus are proud supporters of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)