[Ecoaction] What To Do When You Can’t Do Anything

Even at the best of times (i.e., not on a pandemic lockdown), many of us have constraints on what we can do for the environment. Biking to work sounds great, unless you have mobility or health issues, or you are too far away from your job to make it practical, or the weather is terrible. Not using an energy-intensive clothes dryer sounds wonderful, if you have the space to air dry your clothes, the time to set everything out and later pull it all down, and the time to wait for it to dry. Switching to an electric car might not be feasible yet, if you live in a condo that doesn’t offer charge points.

So what ecoactions can you take when your options are limited? Here’s some suggestions:

Ecosia: Switch your default search engine on all your browsers to this ecofriendly service. Every time you search, the ads served earn money that go to planting trees. So far, our family has contributed to planting more than 3000 trees.

Buy Trees or Carbon Credits: At NatureLab, you can buy trees for planting in degraded areas, linen bags for shopping that support tree purchases, and certified carbon credits.

Rejig Your Retirement Investments: If you’ve been lucky enough to sock any money away for retirement, have a good look at what you’re invested in. When it makes sense to do so without taking a hit, talk to your adviser about getting out of polluting industries like oil or coal, and into green or ethical stocks or funds.

Change Your Bank: Yeah, we know, moving your bank accounts is a huge hassle. But many banks finance polluting industries (look at https://www.fossilbanks.org/), and their business practices have caused a lot of direct harm (e.g., selling people credit products they don’t need, fees for just about everything, and HR practices that leave their front line workers overworked, insecure, and underpaid. Check out your local credit union instead.

Change One Product Purchase: Take a good look around your house. What’s one thing you routinely buy that you could switch over to something lower impact? Toothbrushes? Make your next replacement a bamboo brush. Pasta in non-recyclable plastic wrappers? Change your brand to the stuff that comes in recyclable cardboard. Dishwasher soap? Move to something that doesn’t foul up the water supply.

Remember: Even small actions count as ecoaction. You can do something today.

Photo by Madison Nickel on Unsplash

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