Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Fight back against the negative effects of climate change by taking small (or large) steps to change your behaviors. Climate change is a social justice issue, and everyone, no matter who they are or what their financial capability is, has the ability to do something. Caring about the environment is caring for people because people need a clean environment to sustain life and livelihoods. Climate change and the destruction of natural ecosystems has been shown to disproportionately and negatively effect people of color. Therefore, caring about the environment is an anti-racist activity that we can all participate in.
Doing something may be as simple as reducing the amount of disposable products that you personally consume. Did you know that billions of single use plastic items are littering our land and oceans? After just a single use, a plastic water bottle or drinking straw will need hundreds of years to breakdown. Making matters worse, some of these plastics never fully decompose, but will instead become small particles that pollute our drinking supplies and are ingested by humans and wildlife. Yuck!
Globally, there are 300 million tonnes of plastic waste produced each year and half of this plastic is manufactured as single use items. That is outrageous when you take a moment to think about it. Plastic straws, sandwich bags, coffee stirrers, plastic cutlery, disposable water bottles, fast food containers, polyethylene grocery bags, food packaging, and much more. All of this ends up in landfills, our oceans, or is incinerated. You can do your part by reducing or eliminating the amount of single use plastic items that you personally consume. It does not seem like a lot, but the more people that do it, the better for the environment.
Ultimately, we have become a ‘throw-away’ society, and this hurts the people around us. Rich countries have a tendency to dump their garbage in poor countries because it costs less to ship garbage for disposal in Africa or Asia. Not only is it cheaper to dump the garbage in poor countries, but there are often lax regulations about what can be dumped. This has led to corporations dumping toxic waste in Africa and Asia. Is that fair? Why should rich nations dump their garbage in poor nations where people are already facing difficulties in accessing clean food and water?
The Earth is for everyone, not just powerful elites. Keep it clean so that EVERYONE has a chance to share in the Earth’s bounty.