As more and more people live with the consequences of climate change, from flooding to wildfires, there is a growing determination to do something about it. In a piece for Earth Law Center, Helga Luest balances the absence of government initiatives with individuals who are thinking about what they can do on their own to address global warming. In particular, she raises ways we are scrutinizing our consumer culture habits to determine how we can become less wasteful. Luest discusses how improving our consumption and waste patterns is a monumental undertaking because it requires significant social and behavior change. But the effects of climate change and the prohibitively expensive cost of recycling are great motivators to move toward zero waste.
Luest offers key steps we can take to achieve this goal, including:
- Advocate for recycling processes to be streamlined to lessen confusion and contamination
- Make things last longer: line dry clothes and don’t charge your phone overnight so the battery will last longer
- Donate what you don’t need so that it avoids a landfill for a bit longer—and helps the recipient
- Compost table scraps
- Avoid single-use items
These common-sense steps, she says, can reduce waste and prevent further damage to nature and our planet.