Today’s Solutions: October 22, 2021

Climate change lays heavy on our minds, but as we are bombarded with news about the debilitating impact we’ve had on our environment, it can be easy to slip into feeling as though our daily efforts don’t make a real difference.

If you’re in an eco-conscious rut, try to remind yourself that lasting, meaningful change won’t happen right away and that a greener world is built on our collective choices. Our small, daily activities might not seem like much to us, but our individual efforts do make an impact, together.

Here are four small ways you can kickstart a more conscious life or get yourself back into the eco game.

Choose organic (when it makes sense). Choosing organic food and produce has a number of benefits for your health, but beyond that, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, preserves natural resources, and promotes agriculture and biodiversity.

However, if you’re shopping on a budget, then organic fruits and vegetables alone might not cut it. Check out this “dirty dozen” guide to see where you should prioritize your organic spending.

Mind the tap. Many of us have the privilege of clean water that pours straight out of our taps and showerheads, and that easy accessibility makes it less apparent that freshwater is, in fact, an essential resource that may be reduced by as much as one-third in just a few decades.

Minimizing our water intake is a powerful way to diminish the negative impact we have on the environment overall. Daily changes like turning off the tap while you do dishes, installing low-flow appliances, and opting for drought-resistant plants are all great places to start. If you have the resources, you can invest in devices like Hydraloop, which recycles the water you use in your home on site.

Rebuild, restore, regenerate. Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that focuses on techniques that rebuild soil organic matter. This means that the health of the land is not only maintained, but improved. If 10 to 20 percent of agricultural systems transition to regenerative agriculture, carbon emissions can be cut down enough to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius.

Buying produce from local farms that employ regenerative farming practices and growing a variety of goods in your own personal garden are both great ways to support the future of food.

Support from the ground up. Did you know that there are approximately one billion acres of deserted farmland across the entire globe? Once land reaches this level of soil degradation, it’s dubbed “farmed out,” and can release up to two-thirds of its carbon emissions.

Fortunately, there are numerous organizations like Cascadian Farm whose mission is to restore farmed out land so that it can be brought back to productive use. Cascadian Farm partners with The Nature Conservatory to enhance soil and support wildlife habitats. You can support their projects by looking for their products in the grocery store.

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