What you personally can do for the environment after the UN report on climate change

With the release of report on climate change by the Ingovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it has been proven once again that climate change is very real and that we should act upon it. Here are a few things you can do yourself.

Not going to lie, I’m infuriated and very saddened by the UN report. On the positive side of the medal: it seems like people are finally taking action. And it should. According to the report, the global warming will have gone up to 2°C (instead of the 1.5°C right now), which will pose a serious threat for our ecosystems, will make our corals die off, cause extremele coastal and river flooding and encourage extreme weather events (source).

That means quite practically that if you have a baby right now, the world will look quite differently by the time your kid goes to secondary school. Do you want to raise your kid in a world where it will only learn about coral riffs, the Amazon forest,… etc in a history class instead of being able to see it for themselves? And moreover, having to explain that itis our fault because we simply chose convenience over sustainability?

As I’m a big believer in the ‘one person can make a change’ statement, here are some things you can do (or be conscious of, at the very least).


1. Go vegan.

Or at least ditch dairy and consume less meat, if going fully vegan seems overwhelming. It is not even up for debate that ditching dairy, meat and eggs is the single most helpful thing you can do for the environment. The meat industry is the #1 culprit of global warming emissions. Useful resources in going vegan are:

When choosing for a milk alternative, oat milk might just be the best one out there for the environment (source). However, plant milk always is better than cow’s milk.

Read in these three articles why veganism is better for the environment:

9 ways veganism is helping the environment” – Global Citizen

The environmental impact of veganism” – SweetSimpleVegan

Go vegan, Save the Planet” – CNN


2. Buy locally and seasonally, whenever possible.

  • fresher and more flavourful produce
  • supports the local economy
  • reduces CO2 emissions (transport!)
  • less land is required for more food
  • promotes nutrient density of your meals

(source, source , source)

3. Reusable grovery and produce bags.

Please don’t use plastic bags for your grocery shopping. They fit right into the same category as single-use plastic. They’re absolutely not necessary, nor convenient.

Buy some reusable ones.

Buy yours on the Zaralima webshop and support an animal shelter at the same time.


4. Ditch the disposables.

And I’m talking about all kinds of (mostly) single-use plastic: plastic toothbrushes, cutlery, coffee cups, plastic containers, water bottles, disposable razors, straws,… There are so many great alternatives for these disposables that are way cuter than the plastic ones anyway. Here‘s an extensive article on the problem with single-use plastic and how to avoid it.

The internet is full of webshops offering environmentally friendly alternatives!

See this previous blogpost for my favourites.


5. Shop sustainable or second-hand fashion.

There’s no need for fast fashion and there are more than enough options to buy sustainably. There are so many cute(!) sustainable fashion brands and second-hand clothing has the advantage of always being original, and often way cheaper too (and it’s fun).


6. Wear and repair.

To follow up the previous one: wear your clothes and use your stuff and if broken, repair. Don’t just throw away if it’s still repair-able. Or donate. Don’t just throw away. I repeat: DO NOT just throw stuff away that you (or someone else) can still use.


7. Green your commute.

This is probably the most difficult one, since we all find our cars very convenient (guilty as charged, I admit). But it’s also a very easy one if you think about it for a second. Take the bus, tram, metro, train, skateboard, bike, go by foot, … The options are countless!


8. Lead by example.

If it all seems overwhelming, take small steps and talk about them. I strongly believe that if we all personally make the decision to change something about our lifestyle to make it more sustainable, we affect those around us. Talk about it, post about it on Instagram, whatever. Just be aware and raise awareness.


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