There are a number of measures you can take as an individual to increase your positive impact on the planet and reduce your ecological footprint. Many of us are already implementing sustainable behaviors in our daily lives. Some measures have a greater impact than others. However, when transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle, it is often unclear which actions make a decisive difference. To reduce your emissions in the long term, you can start by directly reducing your fossil fuel consumption. We discussed this in more detail in the first part of this article series:
There are, of course, many other meaningful steps for a lifestyle with fewer emissions that will often benefit you as well. It's important to have patience with yourself in this regard. In a system where the norm is harmful to the climate, it can sometimes take a lot of energy to push back against it. Nevertheless, you should not underestimate how your daily decisions can change that system!
Your finances and investments can play an important role in the climate crisis. Where you invest your money can have a direct impact on the environment, the economy, and society as a whole. Invest in companies that are committed to sustainability and taking measures to reduce their emissions. This supports efforts to combat climate change. At the same time, you can stop investing in climate-damaging companies and industries, thus withdrawing your support. There are now banks that are committed to sustainability, and you can easily turn to them. Ideally, you also open an account with them, so that your money in the background does not support climate-damaging companies or projects. Because the money in your account is also used by banks for business deals that are often far from climate protection.
Another way your money can contribute to or combat climate change is through your personal spending habits. With every purchase you can set an example against the destruction of our planet with your purchase decision. More on that in the next two paragraphs.
Above you can directly check how the emissions of different diets differ on average. Of course, in the Emyze app, you can find out even more precisely what emissions are behind your eating habits.
Especially the production of animal products has a negative impact on our planet. Apart from the high greenhouse gas balance of the industry, forests are destroyed and a large amount of resources are needed. Not only is the carbon footprint large, but the ecological footprint as well. Therefore, in our daily lives, there is hardly anything more sustainable we can do than to avoid meat and other animal products. Since meat is generally a rather expensive food, especially if you otherwise pay attention to good quality, it is financially worthwhile to make the menu more regional, seasonal and plant-based. Too much meat can also have a negative impact on our health. But even with a dietary change, you should inform yourself well about your nutrient needs to avoid endangering your health. With the right information, however, this is not a problem. You can see that eating sustainably is a topic in itself, which we have already discussed in more detail here:
Our handling of resources is often not very sustainable. Unfortunately, we are still far from a sustainable circular economy, even though the right approaches are already there. You can support this development by paying attention to your waste. The longer a resource stays in the cycle, the more environmentally friendly it is. Sell or give away used items to extend their lifespan. Everything that ultimately has to be thrown away should be disposed of according to the respective rules. This way, companies can ensure that recyclable raw materials can continue to circulate - for example, when you throw your glass into the container. Our waste causes a lot of damage worldwide - it's worth rethinking and becoming a waste management pro!
Of course, there are many other areas in which your actions can have a positive impact on the climate. In fact, the vast majority of your emissions are far beyond your control: they are hidden behind the products and activities you regularly consume and perform. This area of emissions falls mainly under the category of Scope 3 and can sometimes be a bit opaque. With Emyze, you get the necessary overview to address this part of the footprint that often accounts for a large portion of the emissions that go on your account. Try our CO2e calculator to get a better understanding:
It is important to us to address both individual and systemic changes. While your individual actions can make a difference, systemic changes such as government policy, corporate action, and infrastructure development are critical to achieve an overall reduction in emissions in society. You can advocate for these systemic changes by supporting political measures and politicians who prioritize climate action, promoting sustainable businesses, and encouraging investment in renewable energy sources.
In addition, educating others about the importance of climate action and encouraging collective action can help create momentum for broader change. Always remember that the movement for climate justice depends on every single step, and you don't have to do everything perfectly alone. Some things are easier to do than others, and habits often change slowly. Be proud of your motivation to make the planet a better place and don't be discouraged. Together, we can do this!
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