Scott H Young

Save the World and Improve Your Life at the Same Time


Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Helping the environment and helping yourself don’t have to be in conflict. Although I wouldn’t consider myself to be much of a tree-hugger, I actually do a lot of the things environmentalists recommend for a sustainable future. I’d like to list a few of those things and others you can do to save the world and improve your life at the same time.

Walk

I rarely drive. Any commute that takes less than twenty minutes on-foot automatically becomes a walk. This includes the winter, and where I live that can mean -40 degree colds. Walking over driving may seem inefficient and time-consuming, but I prefer it for a number of reasons:

  • Less stressful, no traffic jams.
  • Exercise.
  • Forces you outside. Most people spend the majority of their day inside boxes. One for their house, another for their car and back into a cubicle in their office. Get outside the box.
  • Listen to audio tapes/music. If you don’t feel like taking a silent, thought-walk, put on an audio book and learn while you move.

Eat Vegetarian

The meat industry has a huge environmental impact. Livestock consume mass amounts of grain that could be used to feed the world’s poor and reduce the land area needed to grow crops. Animals also produce huge quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas.

Eating vegetarian also has benefits for your health. Most of the nutritional data I’ve seen points to a near or completely vegetarian diet to be the ideal diet for human health. Even if you aren’t willing to give up steak and chicken, consider having a vegetarian day once per week. It will be better for your health and the planet.

Live Minimally

Waste not, want not. Don’t buy food you don’t plan on eating. Don’t waste electricity or water. Don’t expand your lifestyle to overwhelm the things that are truly important. Living minimally doesn’t need to be a sacrifice, instead it can be refining out of life what really matters and forgetting the distractions to that.

Consumerism is a disease that infects a lot of people. It is also a disease that has been laying it’s side effects on the planet. “The things you own end up owning you.” (from Fight Club)

Go Digital

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about how computers are distancing us from nature. I believe this technophobia is unwarranted. I think going digital can actually be the step humanity needs to take to save the planet we live on.

In the past, much of our social wealth was physical. This meant that any net increase in social wealth resulted in using more resources of the planet. As we become more digital, I believe social wealth will be more virtual than physical. The result will mean that an increase in net social wealth has less impact on the physical environment.

At the very least, try to go paperless with many of your documents. It will save a few trees and save you a few minutes at the printer, shredder or fax machine.

Other Tips

Here are a few more small things you can do that help the world and yourself at the same time:

  • Get Cloth Grocery Bags – Many grocery stores now sell cloth bags to carry groceries in. Not only does this cut the need for plastic bags, the cloth bags are far more durable and easier to transport groceries with.
  • Compost – If you live in a house with a backyard, consider getting a composter. It makes great fertilizer for lawns and gardens and it reduces the organic waste in your garbage bins.
  • Green Appliances – These can save your electricity bill and energy consumption at the same time.

Get Involved

This post was written as part of Blog Action Day. Get involved in the issues. Check out their website and take a look at the upcoming documentary, the 11th Hour.


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8 Responses to “Save the World and Improve Your Life at the Same Time”

  1. Thomas says:

    On the other hand, computers use a lot more electricity than pieces of paper.

  2. Everyone can make a difference! If you are passionate about stopping global warming and the environment you should check out this website http://www.nvisioncfl.com . Changing to CFLs is a great way for individual people to really make a difference! You should also check out this site http://www.youtube.com/user/helpourworld for more ideas on how to help our world!

  3. […] Scott H Young – Although I wouldn’t consider myself to be much of a tree-hugger, I actually do a lot of the things environmentalists recommend for a sustainable future. […]

  4. Agreed! It’s the little things that add up quickly. I must admit I’m as guilty of “excess” as the next guy, but I am trying harder to make better choices. Good post!

  5. Eugene says:

    Great post! I think the most important point is that we can all do something to make a difference, however small. If everyone realized that and acted on it, we’d be well on our way to solving the planet’s problems.

  6. Eric Monse says:

    Ah, the old computers-use-electricity versus killing-trees-with-paper argument.

  7. […] Scott H Young points out some great methods to take to keep your life and the Earth’s in balance. Check it out at Save the World and Improve Your Life At the Same Time. […]

  8. […] H Young goes a similar route with Save The World And Improve Your Health At The Same Time. His final suggestion to Get Involved is a vital element when discussing any of these posts. What […]

Debate is fine, flaming is not. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. Personal attacks, insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers.

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