It is becoming more and more evident every day that the earth is being negatively affected by what humans have described as “progress” for the past century. Excess in almost every industry, in every corner of the world is causing damage which, if not stopped or reversed soon, will get to the point of no return. From excessive use of fossil fuels, over farming, to non-biodegradable waste entering ecosystems, the planet is being damaged in so many ways, and this affects every single person even if we don’t notice it. Here are some steps you could take to live a life healthier for you and the earth.

Reduce or eliminate single-use plastic use

If you have one reusable water bottle you could refill constantly for free, why waste your money on bottled water that is finished in an instant, but leaves packaging that will never degrade? Invest in a good quality water bottle that may cost twenty times the price of a single-use one, but will save you from buying hundreds in the long run. Not only does this make sense from an environmental perspective, but also from a financial one.

Support businesses that are environmentally responsible

We get it, the purpose of a business is to make money, but at a certain point many become greedy and this comes at the expense of the planet. Consumers are accustomed to fast-fashion, but the damage caused by the procuring of materials and the manufacturing, really takes its toll on the planet. Many garments and accessories, for example, are made from plastics or materials that are created through harmful processes. If you were to buy raincoats for women, for example, they may be made from mainly plastic to ensure water resistance, so look to purchase from brands that source their materials ethically and have processes to reduce waste. Some major brands offer repairs to damaged garments to improve their longevity and reduce the number of clothes that end up in the landfill.

Buy fresh, organic produce

Sure, supermarkets and large retailers are able to use their size to buy in bulk and then pass on those savings to customers, but these companies usually do so at the expense of the environment. From using fertiliser on crops, the fuel burnt during transportation, to the huge amount of packaging used and ultimately disposed of, all of this can be avoided by buying from local suppliers where possible. If you buy from a local farmer or store, you can almost be sure that the produce is fresher and that you are helping smaller vendors, unlike the multinational corporations.

Walk, cycle or use public transport where possible

By walking, not only are you limiting harm to the natural environment, but it will also play a big part by keeping you physically healthy, if done regularly. Cycling is just as effective as walking and will help you travel further, faster. Not only are these methods of transport great for the environment and your health, but they are also free! If you absolutely must take transport for whatever reason, stick to public transportation – buses and trains take up much less space and produce much less pollution than an equivalent number of people travelling by car.