There are a lot of talks these days about how to save the environment and safeguard the future for our kids and grand kids.
Countries like Bangladesh, the Maldives and the Netherlands are highly threatened by rising sea water. Mother earth is experiencing droughts, floods and hurricanes like never before. Families are losing their homes and the financial cost of natural disasters is gigantic; 91 Billion USD in 2018 -> CNBC.
The question is what we can do to minimize the impacts of climate change? How can we live a more sustainable life?
In Sweden, the price of plastic bags have increased from 2:50 SEK to 7 SEK as part of a so called newly imposed ‘bag tax’. But is it the right way to go to increase taxes and fees? To me it sounds like throwing medicine on a symptom instead of investigating why the symptom is occurring in order to prevent it from happening again.
There are taxes on roads, fuel, and vehicles. Toll roads collect fees and developed nations buy carbohydrate emission certificates to be able to continue to release toxic gases without being punished.
Corporations are working with climate smart solutions and the art of recycling is on the rise in many countries and I am sure these actions have positive impacts on climate change.
However, I don’t think this is enough to save the planet from more environmental disasters. We need to change our purchase habits and our lifestyle. Every time we buy a new product, that product has to be produced somewhere in the world which is resource draining. If it is produced far away from where it is being sold, it has to be shipped, and such transportation releases toxic gases.
We are stuck in a society where people are bombarded with discounts, ads, and new offers of products we really don’t need. You don’t need the latest gadgets. Stick to what you have and maintain your belongings with proper care. Buy products in second hand shops and void to buy new products as much as possible.
My solution to a better environment is the following:
- Don’t buy latest gadgets and electronics. Stick to what you have and promote minimalism in your home by buying as few items as possible.
- If you must buy new clothes, invest in quality clothes that last longer. I usually buy shirts costing 150 USD and they last for years. Second hand shops is also an environmental friendly way to buy clothes.
- Travel with public transportation as much as you can
- Use max 1 car per family. And if you can, fill your car with family members and friends and share travel cost while minimizing the burden on the environment when driving fuel driven cars.
- Change fuel driven cars to electric cars (governments need to incentivize manufacturers and make it cheaper to buy and own non fuel driven vehicles)
- Continue to recycle as much as possible: separate cans, batteries, plastics, food waste, metals, electronics, clothes, paper.
- Don’t drive if you can walk or cycle. Your health will get a boost and mother nature can relax when doing errands on foot.
- Build climate smart houses with less need for heating. Use solar cells and windmills as much as possible to generate electricity and heating.
- Use energy saving light bulbs, and get a lifestyle away from the TV. I haven’t owned a TV for years, and I seldom watch TV. I pick and choose programs on YouTube and I read books.
What is your view on how we can contribute with a better environment? Let us know your thoughts!
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Published 06 Feb 2020 by:
Anthony Eric (Antonios Papadimitriou)
MBA International Business
University Lecturer, Corporate Trainer & Author