By Elizabeth Mullett
In the book we are reading for class, it talked about consumerism and how it has pretty much consumed our entire lives. We do nothing but consume, and not just as in buying things like a new laptop or new shoes. We as living organisms must consume to survive. Now we consume in abundance. This, as you might imagine, has a huge effect on our environment. Whether we’re going to a fancy restaurant or buying the latest trendy jacket, that all comes from our environment. Now you can help reduce how much you consume so you can be more environmentally friendly, and there are many ways to do this. In the article “20 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Save Our Planet,” it discusses options in which you can decide how you will cut back on certain habits and in turn save the environment. First thing you could do, the article states, is to be mindful of what you are buying, “Research what kind of things you buy from where and if there are better alternatives that are close in price.” Another thing you can do is to watch what you are throwing away, see if it can be recycled or repurposed or even given to someone else instead of adding it to the already full trash dumps. Additionally, if you really want to help the planet, you could become a vegetarian. Meat, regardless of how tempting and delicious, uses a lot of resources to make, you have to have enough land to hold all the livestock, have enough food to feed the livestock, and then you have to process it and ship it all over the country for sale, “A vegetarian diet is healthier for you, the planet, and kinder to animals that meat production has disconnected you from.” Another thing you can eliminate is paper. Paper of course comes from trees and deforestation is a big issue facing our planet. You can help reduce this problem by going paperless, “Most companies are pretty good about rewarding their clients or customers who go paperless, or at least providing the option to go paperless.” One thing that people don’t usually think about when they want to be more environmentally friendly is water. Most people nowadays waste tons of water and don’t realize what effect it has on the environment. The article points out that, “There are people on the planet with no water to drink, yet we waste water at an alarming rate.” So be courteous about how much water you’re using, don’t run the dishwasher half full and take shorter or less frequent showers to preserve water.These are just a few examples of how you as a consumer can help the environment by making smarter choices in what you consume.