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3 Smart Ways to Lead a Greener Lifestyle

From the value of going electric to how one can cut down on plastic — and even aid the environment through simple dietary choices, here are three major lifestyle changes that can be made. 

Nearly 60% of young people who were approached reported feeling very worried or extremely worried when it came to the subject of climate change, according to one global survey. While this brings to light the importance of the environment for many, those looking to implement practices that benefit the environment on a regular basis may not know where to start.

From the value of going electric to how one can cut down on plastic — and even aid the environment through simple dietary choices, here are three major lifestyle changes that can be made

The undeniable benefits of going electric

For those that drive on a daily basis, investing in an electric vehicle (EV) is just one major way to benefit the environment. In addition to producing zero emissions, an electric vehicle is a great way to save on fuel costs (not to mention they tend to have better handling thanks to their design). While the high initial cost of an EV can be a major drawback for many, the investment can be made even more eco-friendly (and cost-effective) when buying a used EV — though there are considerations to keep in mind. While it’s important to treat the process of buying a used EV like you would any other used vehicle — such as by doing your research, obtaining a vehicle history report, and taking a test drive — additional steps should also be taken. Understanding and checking a used EV’s battery performance, for instance, will ensure that you’re investing in a vehicle that performs well. With that in mind, battery degradation is an important factor as a full charge in a five year old EV is likely to provide less range than when the vehicle was new. In order to check this, test driving the vehicle when it’s fully charged will give you an indication as to whether or not the battery can fill to 100 percent (via the dashboard display), though an online battery analysis is an option worth considering as well.

Eliminating plastic waste

For those seeking to minimize their impact on the environment in major ways, eliminating plastic is generally a go-to endeavor — especially when considering the fact that less than 10% of the plastic used around the world is recycled, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). While many have taken action in ways such as making the switch to reusable items like water bottles and straws, however, the idea can be applied to other aspects of day-to-day life as well. 

For those who menstruate, it’s noted that tampons, pads, panty liners, and their packaging/wrapping generate more than 200,000 metric tons of waste annually. In the United States, Global Citizen points out that around 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are thrown out each year, and “a year’s worth of disposable period products leaves a carbon footprint equivalent to 5.3 kilograms (nearly 12 pounds) of CO2.” Due to the stark reality of the impact that these products have on the environment, making the choice to change to eco-friendly menstrual products can make a great change — and there are a variety of options to choose from. From washable pads to reusable menstrual cups/discs, even making the choice to swap to a biodegradable line of products can help greatly in reducing waste.  

The rise in plant-based eating

When it comes to diet, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) points out that eating meat can have a significant effect on the environment, noting that animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined. While making the choice to stick to a plant-based diet is becoming more and more popular, choosing to become vegan or vegetarian (or even simply making a commitment to ‘Meatless Mondays’) can allow one to lead a greener lifestyle on a regular basis. “I don’t think everyone has to go vegan to make a huge change. The more realistic thing is for the majority of people cutting down meat consumption to a couple of days a week,” notes Immy Lucas, a blogger and YouTuber by the name of Sustainably Vegan. To further enhance the benefits of eating a plant based diet, Lucas notes that eating locally as possible can allow you to support more low-scale food agriculture, while aiming to purchase plastic-free fruits and vegetables can allow you to further benefit the environment through your diet. 

Leading a greener lifestyle can seem like a daunting endeavor, especially when looking for ways to help the environment on a regular or daily basis. However, by considering aspects of your day-to-day life, you can find a variety of different ways you can make a positive change — whether it be through road travel, diet, or even menstruation.

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