Lifestyle

As a society, we have become afflicted with an “unsustainable addiction to economic growth.”

The luxuries we have and the luxuries we covet distance ourselves from the motivation to implement the change necessary to meet the scale and urgency of the environmental challenges facing the world.

Realizing consumerism is a product of capitalism, not a necessity of life, can help us live more efficiently.

Capitalism is very efficient at making money, but progress is at the expense of our environment. Our government and corporations are dragging their feet on contending environmental issues, and it is up to us to create change.

Buying in Bulk

Buying in bulk is surprisingly beneficial when done the right way. First, purchasing larger quantities is more economical. Additionally, bulk allows fewer trips to the store, decreasing the frequency of carbon-based travel and saving money

Shopping bulk at the grocery store isn’t an option for everyone. Based in Atlanta, we can appreciate the shopping variety a large city has to offer. Cotton bags for bulk products are a must. Flour, grains, beans, nuts, or the almighty granola are fantastic items to buy in bulk and, if done right, you will be surprised by how much money you save.

Composting is an essential step in minimizing our actual and psychological carbon footprint. Turning food scraps back into organic material is a first hand look into the life cycle of our world.  It gives us a connection to the earth and adds to the desire to utilize the organically rich soil.

Composting

Minimize

As consumers in a capitalist society, we are programmed to desire the newest car, gadget or house. 

In reality, there is very little we need to survive.

Our society has programmed an unrealistic desire for an unsustainable standard of living – unsustainable to the environment as well as our bank accounts. 

In a world so reliant on taking from nature, as a society, we have probably never been so disconnected.

There is beauty in simplicity, enjoying the little things, and using creativity instead of Amex to solve problems.

There is no exact mold to live sustainably. 

Thus, creativity is key. 

A waste audit is an exciting way to see how much waste you produce and decide where you need to reduce. If you eat packaged berries in the morning, think about switching topackage-free alternatives or take a trip to a farmer’s market.

If you are addicted to buying clothes, start to think secondhand. Find a shop that buys clothing from people with your taste, and you will be surprised at the gems they have hidden. 

Travel is another way to get creative and have some fun. Biking and skating are great ways to get around, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Prioritize Creativity

Reusability

In order to move away from single-use plastics, implementing reusability into your everyday routine is important.

A fun way to implement reusability is packing every day like it is an adventure. Bring everything you need to sustain yourself. Grab silverware and a coffee mug before you leave the hose.

Pack your lunch and think about leaving your car at home.

While single-use has crept into our society, it doesn’t have to stay. If you really need a new razor, research your options. Buy quality and try to stay plastic-free.

Evidence

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Global Temperature Rise

The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change is driven mainly by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.4, Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, With the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010. Not only was 2016 the warmest year on record, but eight of the 12 months that make up the year — from January through September, except June — were the warmest on record for those respective months. The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of more than 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.

Ocean Acidification

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent.13,14 This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year Glacial Retreat

Decreased Biodiversity

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Glacial Retreat

Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the worl — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.

Sea Level Rise

Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the previous century and is accelerating slightly every year.

Volatile Climate Events

The number of record high-temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low-temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.
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