Spoiler alert — just like everyone else on the planet, we can’t accurately predict how it’s all going to shake out on November 3. Do we have preferences? Sure. Do we want you to vote? Hell yes. And… no matter who is inaugurated this January, we all still have plenty of agency when it comes to how the future unfolds.
Here’s what we can tell you: each of us votes every single day with our actions, whether it’s an election year or not. Let’s not give all our personal power away to what can only be described as an insane election year. Our collective, individual, daily choices can make a huge difference when it comes to the quality of our future lives.
Right now, the western part of the United States is devastated by an extended and extreme wildfire season. There is a global pandemic. There are 25 million climate refugees across the planet. One hundred and fifty species of animals go extinct on a daily basis. Extreme weather events are a regular global occurrence. And wow, these are just a few of the effects of climate change.
Most climate scientists agree that climate change is due to human impact. How we vote in an election year matters because the outcome affects environmental policies and corporate regulations when it comes to polluting the planet — but let’s not write off the personal power we share as individuals to affect the whole.
We just took Alpine Provisions plastic-free and plan to do the same with the rest of our family of brands next year. Our hope is that this will be the new beauty industry standard, as single-use plastics are a massive contributor to climate change.
We can do more — and so can you! Here are six simple ways to take personal responsibility for reversing climate change:
1) Replace single-use beverage cups with reusable ones. This is really the bare minimum each of us can do. Disposable coffee cups are made from trees and usually come with a lid made from single-use plastic, both of which will end up in a landfill or the ocean. Plastic disposable cups are not actually recyclable (and the so-called “compostable” plastics are only compostable if they end up as the correct facility). Even when you factor in the manufacturing and washing footprint of a reusable cup, it’s got a lot more eco-viability than a single-use cup.
2) Eat locally grown, organic food whenever possible. Doing so reduces carbon emissions, groundwater poisoning, and supports local economies. Not to mention, it is an investment in your long-term health.
3) Better yet, grow your own food. There are so many great reasons to have a garden, from personal health to community and global health. Not to mention, gardening is super satisfying, gets us off our screens, and offers a more personal connection with the magic of nature. Let’s all replace our water-guzzling lawns with raised garden beds and fill our terraces with potted tomato plants and herbs, shall we?
4) Reduce meat consumption. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that livestock production is responsible for as much as 51% of greenhouse gas emissions. And if the rest of the world ate as much meat as Americans do, we would literally run out of water because of the amount it takes to grow alfalfa hay for livestock. Meatless Mondays (and maybe Wednesdays and Fridays), that’s all we’re sayin’.
5) Buy stuff with less packaging, or choose products that come in recyclable packaging, such as paperboard, glass, or aluminum. Did you know that plastic can’t actually be recycled? It can only be downcycled, and only a small percentage of it actually gets downcycled. It might not be practical to avoid single-use plastics altogether, but if you have a choice in packaging, know that less is waaaayyyy more. Not only does it reduce the amount of high greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere during production, but it spares our oceans and landfills of having to contain said packaging once you’ve discarded it.
6) Go non-toxic with your cleaning products. Conventional household cleaning products are considered toxic because, besides being petroleum-based and carcinogenic, they contribute to high levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. We like to make a great, all-purpose household cleaner with vinegar, Castile Body Wash, and Essential Oils and a reusable spray bottle.
There is a Chinese curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.” Some might consider our current circumstances a curse; we consider it an opportunity.
So vote, damnit. But also, let’s make little changes that feel good, and make a huge difference when done collectively. Be kind. Eat nutritious, plant-based food.
Say thank you. Get plenty of rest. Dink plenty of water. And oh yeah, vote.