Your guide to saving the world – from the comfort of your couch

Each of us has a role to play in improving the planet and promoting a sustainable future for all. Ending world hunger or fighting inequalities and injustices undoubtedly seem like titanic feats for the average citizen. But they aren’t because even the laziest among us can make our contribution, as shown by “The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World”, which suggests actions we can all take in our daily lives, divided into 4 levels: from the couch, from home, in the neighborhood and at work.

And brilliant results can often be achieved with minimum of effort.

Here are some ideas for action we can take “from the couch”

• Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use, including your computer.

• Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile.

• Speak up!  Ask your local and national authorities to engage in initiatives that don’t harm people or the planet.  You can also voice your support for the Paris Agreement and ask your country to ratify it or sign it if it hasn’t yet.

• Turn off the lights. Your TV or computer screen provides a cosy glow, so turn off other lights if you don’t need them.

• Do a little research online and buy only from companies that follow sustainable policies and do not harm the environment.

• Try to offset your remaining carbon emissions. You can work out our “carbon footprint” at Climate Neutral Now. By doing so, you can help reduce global emissions more quickly!

“from home” 

• Let your clothes dry naturally instead of running a drier and when you wash your clothes, make sure the load is full.

• Take short showers and remember that bathtubs require gallons more water than a shower.

• Eat less meat, poultry, and fish. More resources are used to provide meat than plants.

• Compost food scraps to reduce the climate impact while also recycling nutrients.

• Recycle paper, plastic, glass and aluminum to keep landfills from growing.

• Buy minimally packaged goods.

• Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency.

• Adjust your thermostat, lower in winter, higher in summer.

• Replace old appliances and light bulbs with energy efficient models.

 “in our neighborhood”. 

• Buy local. Supporting neighborhood businesses keeps people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving long distances.

• Let your favorite businesses know that ocean-friendly seafood is on your shopping list.

• Shop only for sustainable seafood. There are now many apps like this one that will tell you what is safe to consume.

• Bike, walk or take public transport. Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.

• Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop.

• Bring your own bag when you shop. Pass on the plastic bag and start carrying your own reusable totes.

• Take fewer napkins. You don’t need a handful of napkins to eat your takeout. Take just what you need.

• Shop vintage and from second-hand shops. Brand-new isn’t necessarily best.

• Donate what you don’t use, from books to clothes and even furniture.

• Take advantage of your right to elect the leaders in your country and local community.

“at work” 

• Give any fruit or snack you don’t want to someone who needs them and is asking for help

• Mentor young people. It’s a powerful and inspiring way to guide someone towards a better future.

• Voice your opposition to inequalities in pay for equal work.

• Make sure your company uses energy efficient heating and cooling technology.

• Raise your voice against any type of discrimination in your office.

• Bike, walk or take public transport to work.  Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.

• Organize a No Impact Week at work. Find out here how to live more sustainably for at least one week a month.

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