OPINION: 5 easy ways to be more environmentally friendly in your daily life


Courtesy of PRo KANSAS

Sign outside PRo KANSAS Miller Recycling Center.

Environmental consciousness has become trendy in the last few years. In 2019 alone, thousands of Americans bought reusable straws in hopes to save the turtles, thrifting made its first comeback since Macklemore released his hit single “Thrift Shop” in 2012, and the hashtag #savethebees became a trending topic on social media. 

Hopefully, instead of fading into the background alongside frosted tips and chokers, this trend turns into a lifestyle. If you’re a concerned citizen of planet Earth, but don’t know how to become more eco-friendly in your daily life, then this list of five easy tips is perfect for you. 


  • Goodbye plastics, hello reusables

We have all used plastic bags in our lifetime. We have all also bought styrofoam and plastic drinks from Starbucks, Quicktrip, and every other fast food chain there is. But plastics take up to 1,000 years to decompose in our landfills, and they can’t be sent to incinerators because they release some seriously harmful chemicals into the atmosphere when burned. 

So if you’re looking to be a decent human being, then cut down on your plastic waste. Buy reusable bags for all of your shopping needs, bring your own container for take-out, use a reusable bottle or cup when purchasing your daily coffee, or just don’t use plasticware at home. Small changes like these in your daily life will do wonders for the health of our planet. 


  • Be bitter about litter

Over the summer, I was driving behind this random car on the westside of Wichita. When we came to a stop, the driver opened his door and dropped a McDonalds bag full of trash onto the middle of the street. I was infuriated. 

Littering harms the environment, it makes public areas look dirty, and it’s just so ill-mannered to begin with. If you know anyone who litters, call them out. It’s not that hard to clean up after yourself. 


  • Bad news

This piece of information will probably be the hardest one to swallow for our meat lovers, but I love being the bearer of bad news. Meat consumption is terrible for our planet. Livestock sectors generate 9% of carbon dioxide emissions from human-related activities, and a whopping 65% of human-related nitrous oxide. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to go vegan, but even just cutting back on the amount of meat you eat every week can help. And if you do decide to give vegetarian or vegan eating a try, then all the more respect to you.


  • Reduce, reuse, recycle, thrift

The majority of us learned about “reduce, reuse, and recycle” when we were in elementary school, and the phrase is pretty self explanatory, so I won’t get too much into it, but just reuse your items (see tip 1), reduce your daily trash, and recycle anything and everything that can be recycled. You can accomplish all of these R’s by thrifting. 

Through thrifting, you can reduce your carbon footprint, limit the amount of natural resources it takes to create new clothes, save a lot more money, and level up your fashion game. Out with the new and in with the old.


  • Stay informed

The best way to help our planet is to be aware of the impact we as human beings have on the environment. Stay informed, keep your friends informed, and take the issues seriously. Maybe you don’t want to change anything in your lifestyle just yet, but making yourself aware of environmental issues is always the first step towards taking action. Stay educated and stay, as the kids call it these days, #woke.