Human activity has significantly compromised the planet’s health. NASA states that the climate crisis has seriously disrupted ecologies, with changes like droughts, wildfires, and extreme rainfall accelerating faster than scientists expected.
Unfortunately, the crisis doesn’t just affect the environment. An increasingly volatile climate poses risks to the most vulnerable sectors of society.
The good news is that the future of the climate crisis depends on how humans act now. Here are some human activities that affect the environment and what you can do to reduce them.
Smoking is not just unhealthy. Cigarettes are also one of the biggest polluters in the world. The 2022 WHO article ‘WHO raises alarm on tobacco industry environmental impact’ explains that about 4.5 trillion cigarette filters are discarded annually.
This is particularly alarming: these filters contain over 7000 toxic chemicals — including carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and methane — that can be released into the atmosphere or affect life in various ecosystems.
Fortunately, there are environmentally-friendly nicotine alternatives that you can switch to or even use to quit smoking altogether. Nicotine pouches are smokeless, made of plant-based materials, and are easy to discard responsibly.
The best pouch brands are effective as well. Take the Velo pouches that are stocked online at Prilla, which mimic the tactile sensation of using tobacco to satisfy withdrawal symptoms.
You can also try dissolvable tablets like the flavored Rogue nicotine lozenges, which are also smokeless and can be ingested rather than discarded. With these alternatives, you can stop smoking, improve your health, and even help the planet.
The BBC reports that fast fashion is responsible for 8% to 10% of the globe’s total carbon emissions. The production process consumes a lot of water and energy, while the resulting waste pollutes water sources. Since fast fashion is not made to last, clothes are also discarded rapidly and end up in landfills.
While industries must look for more ethical ways of sourcing material and reducing waste, consumers can do their part too. Prolong the lifespan of textiles by thrifting instead of buying brand-new clothing items. Try upcycling your clothes by turning them into new pieces. Lastly, consider buying your clothes from smaller, more sustainable brands.
The production of paper necessitates deforestation and the use of copious amounts of energy and water. It can also lead to air pollution and waste, as paper is pervasive in landfills. Consumers can reduce their use of paper by turning to more sustainable alternatives.
Try to use cloth towels instead of paper towels. Print two-sided documents instead of one-sided ones. You can also look for more ethically-produced paper. Our article’ 7 Preferred Eco-friendly Notebooks & Why Recycled Paper Matters’ lists more sustainable paper products made from recycled materials and ethically sourced substances that you can replace traditional paper with.
Here, we mentioned brands like PaperSaver, which repurposes used paper, and PooPooPaper, which is chemical-free paper made from animal poop and tree pulp.
The alcohol industry has some surprising impacts on the environment. As with fast fashion and paper, large amounts of water and energy are used in producing, transporting, and distributing alcoholic beverages.
The waste generated in the production process can also disrupt nearby ecosystems. Consumers add to the carbon footprint of alcohol when they turn to rideshares or taxis after a night of drinking, or fail to recycle alcohol containers properly.
To combat these effects, try to use public transportation when you go out drinking. Recycle alcohol containers and opt for refillable options when buying from smaller producers.
You can also reduce your alcohol intake by not keeping alcohol in your house and setting a drinking goal of how much you can drink in a week or a month. Let your loved ones know about your drinking targets so you can more easily curb peer pressure on social occasions.
Not wasting food is more than just a matter of courtesy or ethics. In truth, throwing away food waste has very real consequences for the environment.
The USDA reports that food waste discards all the energy and water needed for growing, harvesting, transporting and packaging that food. Rotting food also produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is even more harmful than carbon dioxide.
As consumers, you can combat these effects by planning meals ahead of grocery shopping and only buying as much as you can consume while your food is fresh. You can also opt to freeze your leftovers instead of throwing them away. Lastly, try to encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Human activity can seriously compromise the planet. As consumers, we can take small steps to do our part in reducing the impacts of our actions on the environment.