A friend once posted an article stating that the little changes consumers make in their homes to be more environmental “don’t matter” very much and we need to attack climate change on a much larger scale, by using carbon pricing. I completely agree that large scale environmental protections like carbon pricing are critical for combating climate change and preserving the environment.

That said, I also believe that as consumers we have a responsibility to live more environmentally friendly lives.

My little piece of earth: I sometimes picture myself having a small piece of the earth that is my responsibility; a piece that is magically made up of the area in which I live, and then the areas where my actions directly impact the earth. All my trash would be accumulating in one corner of this personal piece of earth that is my responsibility. The blue dye from my new denim jeans might be in one of the rivers. The atmosphere’s health would reflect the changes I made when I decided to walk instead of drive. Availability of water would increase when I decided to eat plants instead of animals. I would be able to see the impact of each decision I made, directly influencing the health of the land.

If you could see the environmental impact of your choices, would you make different ones? None of us has a magical plot of land that shows us how our actions impact the planet… but think about how your actions might change if you did. Would you buy more bulk items in the grocery store if you could watch the trash your family generates add up each year? Would you impulse buy that new plastic toy that will just clutter up the living room if you could see the C02 emission caused by the manufacturing and shipping it over on an oil-powered boat?

The good news: We can make little changes in our lives that help reduce our negative impact on the environment, and our little corner of the earth does matter. Moreover, we may inspire others around us to do the same.

I bring a reusable water bottle with me everywhere. Buy as much as possible in bulk. I did several years of cloth diapering. We use cloth napkins, cotton washcloths, and I read books on my kindle or borrow them from the library unless they’re reference books. I avoid disposable plates and take the extra time to run a load of plates and wine glasses through the dishwasher after events.

I don’t notice many of these little changes anymore, but they all reduce my carbon foot-print as well as saving me money.

Here are some posts with easy changes you can make to live a little greener.

Tips for Stopping Junk Mail

Non-Material Holiday Gift Ideas

Rent a Dress Instead of Buying One: My Rent the Runway Review

Less Waste Race: Run Greener

Buy More in Bulk

Eat More Plants