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Can Individuals Acts Really Help Our Planet?

At Freightzy, we do believe that individual acts can make a difference. Though big business and government interaction have been the big players in allowing our climate to reach the state it is in today, they evidently have not played a role in dedicating funds towards fixing it. This opinion can be supported by looking at the trajectory of the 2016 Paris Agreement (quite far off from the goals set by the participating countries). Therefore, it is up to us, regular citizens, to create daily changes. If enough of us do these little things, we will make a significant impact. We should acknowledge that this issue disproportionately affects populations based on geographic location, level of wealth, and availability of resources. So, for us northern folk, we should be aware of any changes that can help slow down the trajectory of our planet.

This article is not an attempt to guilt anyone for using plastic straws or forgetting which containers are recyclable--both of which are entirely understandable when we get caught up in our own lives. Instead, this post is aimed at presenting a few mindless alternatives, so that hopefully, as we go through daily life, we take a second to remember the options we have available!

  1. Purchase metal straws. This act alone will help decrease plastic pollution, especially for avid drive-thru coffee drinkers. By having clean metal straws in our cars, we are replacing up to seven straws that would be discarded each week!

  2. Use reusable water bottles. Again, just making this quick switch every time will minimize the amount of waste we generate every day. Even better, companies such as Fill It Forward provide the opportunity to make an even greater impact by donating to water-related projects around the world each time a bottle is filled. All you have to do is scan the barcode on their sticker.

  3. Try an earth-focused browser extension. Extensions, such as OceanHero and Ecosia, perform an environmentally-friendly act each time you search the web, such as removing ocean plastic or planting a tree. Especially within the confines created by the pandemic, we are all on our computers for hours anyway. We may as well do some good while we’re at it! This change is less effortful than others, which means there is most likely a tradeoff. Some of the revenue generated by the companies goes towards personal affairs. However, the results are measurable, traceable, and incredibly impressive. We always appreciate it when companies center their business model around conservation!

  4. Lessen your contribution to fast fashion. We recently learned that 84% of clothing ends up in landfills. Instead of contributing to this level of waste, consider purchasing clothes second-hand. As well, you can donate clothes to secondhand stores or charities when you clean out your closet! Fast-fashion providers offer mass-produced clothing with low-quality, harmful materials, which leads to a high rate of discarded clothes, significantly as trends change. If you want to buy new clothing, we recommend buying from companies designated as certified B corporations. The classification indicates that they are making decisions to actively benefit the climate. Patagonia offers the option to repair damaged items, encouraging recycling over repurchasing. Uniqlo, as well, will take back old purchases to repurpose them into new clothing items!

  5. Offset, offset, offset. Freightzy offers a carbon offsetting program for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint. We can apply this same concept to individuals as well! Many airlines now offer the ability to offset a flight, meaning you can feel better about your future vacation decisions as we begin travelling more again. Gold Standard offset provider Less has an ‘offset my flight’ option that makes the process fool-proof. If you are planning a road trip or have recently gone on one, you can also calculate your carbon emissions using weight and/or distance to offset your trip! Offsetting is an easy yet more pricey action, mainly depending on the project provider you use. However, this is one of the most impactful ways to deal with climate change, as this option creates a net positive effect on the environment.

  6. Eat sustainably. When shopping for your next meal, consider companies that offer sustainably sourced ingredients. Niceland Seafood, for example, provides transparency and traceability to its seafood offerings. Even visiting a small farmer’s market can help ensure you are buying sustainable produce. Locally-grown produce doesn’t contribute to emissions and pollution from long-distance transportation. As well, it is most likely grown small-scale, which minimizes the use of chemicals and is healthier for the soil.