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It’s impossible to ignore the effects of our actions on the environment. According to NASA, we’re dealing with rising global temperatures, warming oceans, glacial retreat, and many other environmental concerns that will have a lasting negative impact on our planet.
Because of this, more companies are taking the initiative to be more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprints. As consumers, getting on board with those companies can make a big difference.
Doing so requires an understanding of which kinds of companies and brands you should be supporting, and why that support can ultimately make a difference in our environmental future.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the industries with the largest carbon footprint, and how you can support the right businesses within those sectors.
Travel and Transportation
It’s estimated that greenhouse gas emissions from transportation make up about 28% of all emissions in the U.S. Unfortunately, that’s also a number that continues to rise.
The biggest contributor to these emissions is the fossil fuels that are burned for almost all of our main methods of transportation, including:
The problem starts with drilling for oil. It requires land clearing which disrupts entire ecosystems in the process. Oil drilling also contributes to dangerous emissions thanks to the extraction process, further contributing to climate change.
The easiest way to support certain transportation brands is to look for those who are “steering” away from traditional fossil fuels. Thankfully, electric vehicles are becoming more popular and prominent. Thanks to advancements in technology, some of today’s EVs can even outperform their gasoline counterparts.
Some of the most notable car manufacturers taking steps toward sustainability through EVs include Tesla, Hyundai, and Chevrolet. Looking for companies that are willing to change their methods is crucial when it comes to helping the environment, and all of these manufacturers have taken a step away from fossil fuels for a more promising future.
The manufacturing industry is another problematic area when it comes to greenhouse emissions. Support for these industries is usually steadfast since they create and produce products most people use daily. Unfortunately, most people don’t give the things they use and wear much thought when it comes to how they were created or sourced.
For example, that new shirt you just bought may not have been sustainably made. It might be a “fast fashion” item that wears out quickly, causing you to get rid of it. The problem is that the U.S. generates 25 billion pounds of textile waste each year, filling our landfills and causing major issues. Choosing to shop with brands that make quality clothing and use sustainable practices can help to combat this problem.
The jewelry you’re looking at in the window of your favorite shop might be pretty on the outside, but the process of sourcing it is certainly less attractive. Some mining tactics harm the environment since they utilize chemical pesticides and plasticizers. Supporting brands that promote ethical jewelry will help to ensure that the mining process was sustainable or the jewelry has been recycled.
The everyday items you use can all have an impact on the environment, including:
- Hand soap
- Laundry detergent
- Wet wipes
Thankfully, some brands offer eco-friendly alternatives for all of these. Doing your research and switching to those brands (and learning about why they’re different), will help you to see how these products traditionally do damage to the planet, and why a change is so important.
You might think agriculture and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, it’s an industry that is currently doing more harm than good. The agricultural industry has gotten out of control thanks to endless demands.
The vegetables on your plate may have been grown with pesticides and chemicals to speed up the process. They were likely harvested using large machinery that contributed to carbon emissions. Then, they were probably shipped across the country, contributing to even more emissions.
Instead of going to your local supermarket for things like produce, consider shopping locally at farm markets, or get to know some local growers. When you know the source of your produce, you can take comfort in the fact that it was organically grown and didn’t require hundreds of travel miles to get to you. In this case, supporting smaller businesses and brands is the way to go.
Alternatively, you could decide to grow your produce at home, reaping the benefits of spending time in nature. But, if you want to support businesses and the environment, go local whenever possible.
It can feel overwhelming when you consider how different industries have such a large impact on our planet. By doing your part to support brands that benefit the environment, you’re helping to keep those brands moving forward. As a result, it’s more likely that other businesses will start to follow sustainable practices, and we can see some positive changes in the alarming statistics surrounding the planet.Print