7 Ways to Make a Difference to the Environment

This post was originally published on Social Nature today, 22 November 2014.

 

Sunset after a Hazard Reduction, Australia

Today is an exciting day for many reasons. Not only because it’s Saturday and I have the day off, but because today I sent my website live for Social Nature – my online content service for eco conscious small businesses!

The underlying philosophy of Social Nature is that the most effective way to create change is through small positive actions and thinking – it’s the little changes we make and the nuggets of positivity that we spread both online and offline, that make a difference.

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.

To celebrate the launch of my website, I have put together 7 Ways to Make a Difference to The Environment, right now.

1.       Encourage your office to go green

It may seem difficult to do, especially with well established processes. It’s all a matter of doing small things to create change. Don’t get scared off by that idea. Keep it simple. Start bringing BPA free drink bottles to work instead of buying new plastic bottles. Instead of getting take-out, pre-plan your meals to bring to work. Don’t blast the air con if you don’t need it. Go paperless where possible – print only when necessary. Buy plants for the office to clear the air! These are just a few things you can do and it’s not just the office your greening – these actions translate to better choices for your body and your pocket. Start a trend.

2.       Join a local bush care group in your spare time

If you love the outdoors and you’re interested in caring for the environment, one beautiful way to make a difference is to join a bush care group. I haven’t had any experience with a group like this but I imagine I would find it satisfying. You learn how to identify native plants and weed species, you discover the world of natural regeneration and you have the opportunity to connect with other members of your community. Here’s my local group: Hornsby Shire Bushcare.

3.       Shop less; experience more in life

We’re used to shopping but it’s no use when don’t use what we buy, or the products we’re buying crowd our homes. Even if they’re useful ‘things’, the truth is we buy too much. When we buy less (or we stop before we buy more), we’re forcing ourselves to make more conscious decisions. Buying less often means we’re likely to experience more in life, which, while it seems vague, means more to our relationships and personal development than latest gadgets or products, and in turn, will hopefully reduce our contribution to landfill. The earth has finite resources and it’s not our junkyard. Think Wall-E. Think recycling.

4.       Take time to enjoy the outdoors

The outdoors is one of the calmest places on earth: it’s perfect for rest, play, adventure, and exercise. Unfortunately when most of us are stuck behind our computers all day or we’re at work most of our lives, we forget – or at least I sometimes do – to take time outside to refresh the system. Nevertheless, your local parks, green spaces, and Australia’s beautiful bushland each play a part in keeping our communities healthy and, most of the time, happier too. Go outside!

5.       Support local business, shop local

Local community businesses not only strengthen bonds and preserve the community’s character, they also contribute to environmental sustainability. Sure, it’s a buzz term but put another way, local businesses support you – whether that’s by providing local food (less transportation) or building up the local economy.

6.       Donate your time, skills or money to charityWentworth Falls Bushwalking Hiking Blue Mountains Photography

There are many organisations and businesses out there making a difference to the environment and it’s worth being a part of what they do, even if only temporarily, especially if you are passionate about using your skills for good. Volunteers are the heart and soul of many communities. These are just some of the organisations that I love: OzHarvest, Oxfam Australia, 1 Million Women, WIRES NSW, and NSW Rural Fire Service. Issues in the world seem full on, but when you’re surrounded by big-hearted individuals, you’re learning interpersonal skills or you’re potentially increasing longevity, things start looking a little peachier!

7.       Share your love for the environment

Whether that’s by sharing photos on Facebook or positive stories like animal rescues or elephants in water, supporting local environmental groups, or making small changes to minimise your footprint, there’s no use keeping your love for the environment to yourself!

There are so many ways to make a difference. We can get caught up thinking we’re too small to make an impact because consumerism is too ingrained in our daily routines. My advice is to chew it off one piece at a time: much like social media marketing itself (but that’s another blog entirely).

What are your top tips for going green?

If you’d like to find out more ways to make a difference to the environment, contact me. Don’t forget to comment below and share this post on social media too. Thank you for reading – it’s fabulous to be writing again!

Much love & light,
Julie x

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