Only when we become aware of something, we can start making changes. That’s how it is with our impact on the environment as well; which habits harm the environment and what can you change
The Hidden Impact
The average Westerner lives as if we have more than one planet.
Our impact on the environment goes beyond where we can see it. As westerners we have a huge impact on the environment which stretches way beyond our country borders. Because we can’t see this impact, and can’t ‘feel’ it. we aren’t aware of it. By creating awareness, we can start making choices that help the environment and put less stress on it.
What’s your impact?
We can’t see what happens beyond our vision, but because of this, we impact the environment the most. The stuff we use here is often manufactured abroad and shipped here. That is not only bad because precious raw materials are being used for it, the transport weighs heavy on the environment as well: the sixteen largest cargo ships emit just as much sulphur as all the cars in the world combined.
Babette Porcelijn researched our impact on the environment and what we can do to limit this. She designed a tool that let’s you calculate your own impact per category. This way you can see what behaviour influences the environment how, and based on that, make better choices.
These are the things that impact the environment the most:
- Stuff: buy as little as possible. When you buy something, try to buy it second-hand or at least locally. This way you influence how many raw materials are used for your stuff as well as the transport of said stuff.
- Meat: It takes an incredible amount of water, materials, land and energy to produce meat. Did you know that 1 kilo of meat takes about 15.000 liters of water? That’s 300 days of showering!
- Living: It takes both energy and resources to redo your house.
- Car: It’s clear that driving your car isn’t exactly environmentally friendly. Try using public transport or a bike when possible.
- Plant based food, fish, drinks: Fishing, how sustainable they may go about it, remains harmful to the environment. Eating a plant-based diet is a great step! But try to eat stuff that is produced locally, to avoid harmful transportation emissions.
- Flying: flying is incredibly harmful to the environment. When possible, try any other mode of transportation!
- Dairy and eggs: Not only does it often cause a lot of animal cruelty, the dairy industry is very polluting. The water and resources used to feed the animals is only equal to the amount of energy the industry uses.
- Bathroom: For how long do you shower a day? And how warm is your shower? Try to cut down on the length of your shower, as well as on the temperature. This can make quite the impact, and it’s also great for your health.