There is no denying it, 2020 was a rough one. No matter where you were, or what you were doing, we all felt the effects of the pandemic, and it is safe to say a lot of people are pumped for a fresh start in 2021. But why not give the Earth a fresh start as well? Here at Panamuna Project, our goal is to create change, so we want to share with you our top 10 ways to create change this new year and ultimately help this amazing planet we love so much. So here they are, 10 easy ways to create change in 2021.
1. Up your plastic-free game
So, you’ve already swapped the famous four plastic items; plastic straws, coffee cups, bags and drink bottles, but why not use this year to go even further and take your plastic-free game to the next level? Why not shop at bulk food stores, ditch the receipts when you shop, use loose-leaf tea instead of plastic-based teabags? You could also look into making your own plastic-free cleaning and bathroom products or take your reusable containers when you order take-out. There are so many ways we can decrease our plastic use.
2. Eat Plants
Something that is not talked about a lot, but has a serious impact on the Earth, is our diet. What we eat can drastically impact how big or small our individual ecological footprints are. Livestock and their by-products are responsible for 51%of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions with these emissions estimated to increase by 80% by 2050. By changing your diet to a plant-based one you can significantly decrease your ecological footprint, not to mention the quality of plant-based options is currently at an all-time high, meaning there is so many delicious options almost everywhere you go!
3. Pick up rubbish
As we have all heard before, all drains lead to the ocean, and this is exactly where our rubbish ends up. While most of us are doing the right thing and putting our rubbish in the bin, unfortunately there are still some that don’t, and while it might not be our fault it is still our responsibly to leave nature in a better state then when we arrived. If you see rubbish lying around, help our oceans out by picking it up and putting it in the bin.
4. Conserve water
Since approximately 71% of the Earth is covered in water, you might think that there is no urgent need for us to conserve water. However, 97% of that water is salt, which means it is not suitable for us to drink. That means that only 3% of the water found on Earth is freshwater, and only 0.5% of that is available for us to drink (with the other 2.5% being locked up in ice caps and glaciers). With such a small percentage available for us to drink, this means we must conserve this precious resource for ourselves, the plants and animals we share this planet with, and for all future generations to come. Water conservation means using our water wisely, caring for it properly and only using what we need. Water conservation is a responsibility that we all must take on. Taking shorter showers, turning off the water while you brush your teeth or shaving, installing water-saving shower heads and checking your toilet for leaks are some ways you can reduce your water use. This will ultimately decrease your energy usage as well, as reducing our water use reduces the energy required to process and deliver it to your home!
5. Reduce pollutants
Pollutants come in everything these days! From our cleaning products, to our food, to our make-up, there are harmful toxins and pollutants in basically everything! Unfortunately for us, if they aren’t ending up in our bodies, they are ending up in our oceans. So, let’s try and make 2021 a pollutant-free one and choose products that don’t contain any nasties. There are heaps of eco-friendly products that you can buy easily these days, and it is even simple to make your own too (we will do a blog soon about how to make products at home, so stay tuned).
6. Choose (real) sustainability
Sustainable seems to be the “popular” word at the moment, which is so amazing because it means that most people are starting to make the conscious decision to choose items that are better for our planet. However, some companies unfortunately use this to their advantage and market their products using words such as “organic,” “sustainable,” or “eco-friendly,” when really, they are anything but! In fact, in the last 20 years the use of synthetic materials in fashion (especially polyester) has doubled, and these materials are made from fossil fuels like oil and gas, which seriously harm the planet. The best thing you can do to stop this is to research what you are buying before you purchase it! Research the company, see where their products are made, how they are made and what they are made of. Are they mass producing products and supporting fast fashion? Do their products come wrapped in plastic? If you can’t find these answers, contact the companies themselves and ask, or, better yet, choose the companies that you know for sure are doing the right thing for the Earth.
7. Buy second-hand
Another option you can choose is to buy second-hand. Buying second-hand means you are decreasing the amount of landfill by giving something a second life! Currently, people are buying 60% more clothes then back in the 2000s, but only wearing them for a fraction of the time. Nearly 90% of clothing material now ends up in landfill or dumped in nature.Although sometimes you really do need to buy something new (and this is where choosing a real sustainable company comes into it), the first thing you should try is seeing if you can get a preloved one first. Op-shops are a great place to look for all preloved items like clothes, shoes and books, but they also sell things like furniture and jewellery, and heaps of other things you might be searching for. Another great place is to look on social media groups such as ‘Buy, Swap, and Sell’ pages and ‘Facebook Marketplace’. Here you can get lucky and find exactly what you are looking for in your area.
8. Reconnect with nature
It is true what they say, people protect what they love, so why not use this year to get back in touch with nature. You could make some time every day to sit outside, learn more about the ecosystem you live in and try to appreciate it more. Spending time in nature has been known to have positive effects on your wellbeing and mood, and can honestly turn your day right around. One amazing way to get in touch with nature is to spend just five minutes every morning sitting outside. You can do this before work or school and all you need is some grass and a tree (or some sand and an ocean, depending on where you live). You can even do it in your own backyard! Just sit there, without your phone or any distractions, for five minutes and take in nature. Watch the trees or the birds or the little lizards and appreciate Mother Earth.
You’ve all probably heard this before, but here we go again; knowledge is key! Being aware of environmental issues, and, more importantly, what we can do to make changes in our lives that are best for the environment is so crucial to helping save the Earth. Start this year off by researching environmental issues going on in the world today, both the issues you feel passionate about, but also ones you might not know a lot about, and from there see what you can do to make more positive choices for the Earth.
10. Talk to people
This is probably the most powerful action you can take in the fight for the Planet, and it is one of the most effective ways you can create change. Talking and communicating to people about not only the current issues the planet is facing, but also what they can do to make eco-friendly changes in their own lives has a huge impact. A lot of people want to do better for the environment, but they don’t always know how to go about it, or they are unaware that their actions have just as much impact as big organisations. Getting this conversation started on how powerful individual change can be for the Earth is the first step in creating overall change.