- Scott H Young - https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog -

Save the World and Improve Your Life at the Same Time


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.


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:

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 Involved

This post was written as part of Blog Action Day. Get involved in the issues. Check out their website [2] and take a look at the upcoming documentary, the 11th Hour [3].