If you have paid attention to the news at all in the past five years, you will have seen the dramatic increase in coverage on the environment and issues surrounding climate change. Our world is changing rapidly through global warming. It can feel overwhelming to know how to deal with what you are learning and your individual efforts can feel insignificant. However, we all have a role to play. Every single person can contribute to environmental stewardship at home.
Environmental stewardship can be defined as:
“The responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices to enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being”noaa.gov
By adapting sustainable practices at home and increasing your knowledge about environmental issues, you are on the right track to make sure you are doing your part in the overall effort for environmental stewardship. In this article, we will look at the top three ways you can increase your environmental stewardship at home.
1. Get Educated
One of the main barriers to starting a sustainable lifestyle is knowing why it is important. Knowing your why helps to motivate you and inspire creativity in your approaches. Get reading and listening. Start to dive deep into resources about the environment and learn from those who have done the work. There are many different podcasts and books that you can read to make sure you are getting the best information possible. By focusing your vision and knowing your why, you can then ensure you are making the best efforts in environmental stewardship.
2. Evaluate Your Impact
Now that you know you are on your way to learning all about the environmental crisis, it is time to take a long look at how you are making an impact on the environment. This can be a very eye-opening experience but also can be made a fun experience. There are many areas to look at when it comes to calculating your impact. Here are our three suggestions to start:
a) Calculate your Carbon Footprint
Start by knowing your overall impact on the environment by going through the various areas of your life and see how much carbon is created through your daily activities. This is meant to be a guideline to help you make smarter choices towards environmental stewardship. To calculate your carbon footprint, click here!
b) Examine Your Food
Knowing what you eat can help you make more environmentally conscious decisions. Take a look at an average week in your life and start to make note of everything you had to eat that week. Did most of your food come wrapped in plastic? Was meat or other animal products consumed at every meal? Once you know what you eat, you can start to make plans to shop for more foods that support a healthier environment. Try to cut down on how much plastic is used and maybe try to make 1-2 nights a week be a plant-based meal. This individual action is a great way to start increasing your environmental stewardship at home.
c) Sort Through Your Wardrobe
What you wear matters. It may be a surprising fact, but even for those who would not consider themselves to keep up with trends, the clothing that they wear has an impact on the environment. Fast fashion is an industry that has one of the highest negative environmental and social impacts. Take time to look through your closet and see if there’s anything that can be brought back to life. Prioritize wearing what you have and then fill in any gaps by purchasing through sustainable brands or even second hand! Environmental stewardship not only focuses on specific environmental impacts but also the impact on the well-being of humans. Your closet can be a way to speak up and fight for better lives for people around the world.
3. Get In Community
Life was never meant to be done alone. Starting on your journey towards environmental stewardship can feel incredibly scary to start. There are so many resources out there and areas for change. However, you are not alone in this journey. Millions of others around the world are joining in on increasing their environmental stewardship at home but also in many other areas of the world. Check out your local area and see if there are any environmentally-based groups that you can get involved with. Try using your social media to connect to individuals around the world who are just like you to support one another. We are stronger together.
Environmental stewardship starts with you. It starts by making an active decision to create change for good. Prioritizing our environment will have significant, positive impacts on our world and make a big difference. Learn about the most pressing issues, start to make changes right at your own home, and surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can support and encourage you. You can make an impact.