The biggest crisis facing the modern world is climate change, and climate change is happening all around us
The world is getting hotter, wildfires are out of control, and companies are taking a stand to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These are big scary problems, and it feels overwhelming to think about them. It can be hard to understand how we can help as individuals.
You might feel like climate is not your fault and, thus, not your responsibility. The big companies are the culprits – the same with entire countries. You might even wonder how your individual choices can affect change on a large scale. But your choices matter. All change begins with small decisions. Everyone has to get on board for things to move in the right direction. We need to be the ones to influence big companies and the countries where we live to cause these changes to happen.
Carbon Footprints: What are they, what do they include?
Instead of focusing on energy use like turning off the lights when you leave a room or taking shorter showers, the focus needs to shift toward a better understanding of our total carbon footprint. The total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions paints a more all-encompassing picture. The amount of carbon that gets put into the atmosphere over the total life cycle of a product is worth understanding.
We need to consider every step of the process when examining the total carbon footprint. For example, think about that wooden spoon in your kitchen drawer. The carbon footprint includes the amount of effort it took to get the logger into the forest to fell the tree and the amount it took to bring that tree back to the manufacturing plant. It also includes the fuel used to produce the product and that used to transport the spoon to the store where you purchased it.
The total carbon footprint of that one wooden spoon includes the energy used to power the lights that were on at the store, the gas you used to drive to the store to pick it up. If you throw that spoon out, the process continues all the way to the landfill. Even though it may not seem like a lot, every step in that process results in the emission of carbon. When you multiply that by all the items in your home, it adds up.
How you can downsize your own carbon footprint
The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce the impact of the carbon emitted into the atmosphere. Here are three tangible things you and your family can do right now that can make a difference in the fight against climate change.
The first is to bring your own. Whether bringing your bag to the grocery store or bringing your plastic containers to restaurants to do takeout, it helps. Do not use single-use utensils if eating out with friends or ordering takeout. When you order coffee, bring your mug or thermos. These things are challenging – especially during COVID – yet it is beneficial to get into the habit of having utensils and a mug or thermos in your purse or backpack.
Second, extend the use of the items you use. Think about all of the ways you can extend the use of things you already have. You can cut the sleeves off of a t-shirt or sweatshirt to get a different look. You can make cutoff shorts out of old jeans. You can mend holes in your jeans with patches to extend the life of them. If you are handy with sewing or know someone who is, you can repair items of clothing that you might otherwise throw away. Add new buttons, fix hems or seams, and replace elastic or zippers to breathe new life into your fabrics.
The suggestions above can even apply to furniture. Why not sand that worn table and repaint or stain it instead of buying a new one? You can update the hardware on your cabinets, reupholster chairs, and restuff cushions or pillows.
Third and Final suggestion, is all about letting the item go. If you know that you cannot use the item anymore but you still think it has value, think about ways of diverting it from the landfill. You can recycle it but make sure that you wash and recycle it. On the other hand, maybe you can give the item to a friend who needs it, you can donate it to a charity, or even sell it.
Lendy can help you widen your reach
We want to help Canadians make sure that end-of-use items get into the hands of someone who wants them, whether someone in a different area of the province or the city. Sometimes selling things without knowing anyone who might be interested is hard. Perhaps you don’t want to use some of the big online platforms because you don’t want to meet up with people or negotiate with them. Enter Lendy.
We’re a simple option for Canadians who want to make sure that their useful and valuable items don’t go into a landfill. When you are sitting on a mountain of things that need to leave your home, Lendy will pick these items up from your home, and take them off of your hands. Whether it is an item that’s hard to sell or you just don’t have the time or bandwidth to try to sell it, we’ll deal with it. Drop your items off at our warehouse, or fill out this form to see if we can offer a pick-up.