By Gisselle Zaragoza
Through years of careless inaction and the constant denial of climate change, we have lost significant time proving to be vital in the attempt to reverse the effects of climate change. According to an article written by Herring and Lindsey, we have a limited amount of time to implement hard action to at least begin to subside the effects of climate change. We have discovered the leading causes of climate change, such as burning gas, coal or deforestation. We have established what is happening and why, but where do we go from here?
The obvious fact is the average citizen is not to blame for climate change or the lack of respect for the environment. When twenty companies account for over a third of carbon emissions produced, we get an idea of where to tackle the problem. While that’s being mishandled amongst the government and said companies, people worldwide are left to take matters into their own hands.
Our lifestyle choices play a big role in pressuring companies to adapt to more eco-friendly practices or actively pursue something towards change reversal instead of heavily contributing to it. It seems like a long stretch to end these practices by merely opting for some lifestyle changes; however, the effects can certainly add up over time.
There are countless ways in which we can incorporate environmentally conscious decisions into our daily lives. We can opt to pick non-plastic packaging or even compost. One excellent resource, thankfully available locally to us in Davis, is the opportunity to visit the student-run Aggie Reuse Store on campus. The Reuse Store is a thrift store that provides not only clothes but also office supplies and appliances, all creatively crafted to fit environmental sustainability needs. Besides having items like these available for purchase, they also upcycle materials they have and turn them into useful and unique products.
In an article by the University of California, Berkeley, thrifting has numerous benefits. One huge benefit amounted to plastic being used and ultimately tossed is significantly lower when thrifting. Another benefit is that resources used are heavily reduced by thrifting. One example they gave was that a pair of jeans takes about 1,800 gallons of water to make.
There are substantial amounts of resources that are put into items such as shirts or pants that go unnoticed or unknown. It was not as simple as cutting and sewing cloth; an entire process, indeed, using a mass amount of resources to deliver the product you buy in stores. It goes even beyond making it and even providing the clothing to your store.
If there is a better, more creative way to go about shopping, then why not go for it? The items are sure to be high quality, and there are even bonus points knowing you’re contributing to the reversal of climate change, even if it’s just a little bit. You will be saving money and come across items you may not see in the mainstream stores.
The environment needs us. The future of humanity depends on the choices we make. Even if it seems like it would make a minimal impact, it’s still more for the planet than what was being done before. So challenge yourself to switch out a lifestyle choice to something more environmentally conscious or grab a friend and go thrift shopping. Our choices today impact our tomorrow, so let’s make the correct ones.
Gisselle Zaragoza is a third-year Political Science-Public Service major with a minor in Chicanx Studies. She is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada and is pursuing a career in immigration law. She is one of the Opinion Editors for the Davis Vanguard at UC Davis.
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