Individual actions impact earth

Grace Clark, managing editor

A few years ago, promoting personal changes to help the environment, such as zero waste and veganism, was very popular on environmental social media pages.

But lately, these blogs seem to have abandoned focusing on personal changes and mostly focus on targeting large corporations.

While it is crucial to pressure large corporations to limit their environmental impact, we cannot forget the value of individual environmentalism.

I am not denying that corporations severely damage the environment, because they are actually responsible for a lot of climate change.

In fact, according to an article in the British daily newspaper, The Guardian by Tess Riley, only 100 corporations are responsible for 70 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.

However, if we completely abandon the individual’s role in climate change, then people can shrug the blame off their shoulders and live as if the world is not dying.

By promoting lifestyle changes, we force the individual to think about the environment during their everyday life.

In order to lessen my individual impact on the environment, I compost, thrift, and shop locally.

Those are easy changes. Almost everyone could make these lifestyle changes, without disrupting their routine.

Every time I thrift, use reusable cutlery, or choose a vegan food option, I consciously think about the environment. The more people who think about the environment on a daily basis, the longer we can preserve our Earth.

In my experience, choosing sustainable options usually starts a conversation and can influence those around you to also make sustainable choices. This can work like a domino effect.

After seeing my passion for the environment, my mom made a conscious effort to help reduce her environmental impact. One of the changes she made was switching our detergent and dish washer fluid.

We previously used  detergent and soap that came in individually wrapped plastic capsules, but she switched to a different brand that was packaged in a cardboard box.

Even though the new brand she uses still comes in a package, cardboard is easier to recycle than plastic, so it is better for the environment.

In addition to promoting environmental activism, individual actions also help reduce emissions, and the sum of individual actions can help produce a dramatic change.

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), if the entire world went vegan, emissions would drop by 70 percent.

While this is an unrealistic goal, it demonstrates the power of the individual and how everyone can make a difference.

Valuing individual lifestyle changes will lead to a domino effect that can help save our planet for as long as possible. People need to work towards individual changes, because they help spread environmental activism and if everyone works together, can make a big difference on the environment.