Climate change is a big issue nowadays. But even more so is the sixth great extinction event in the last 500 million years and the first since the extinction of the dinosaurs 66 millions years ago. This mass extinction is led by human activity and is known as the Anthropocene extinction. Some 1000 animal species have already gone extinct in the last 100 years, and according to the IUCN Red List 41,415 species are now endangered, including 16,306 threatened with extinction. This means that the worse is still to happen if we don't act quickly. This guide will help you do your part is preserving Earth's amazing biodiversity.
What impact could personal care and home cleaning products have on the environment? A lot actually. Many ingredients in ordinary brands are derived from palm oil, which comes from huge plantations that destroy tropical forests and threaten to wipe out hundreds of animal species due to loss of habitat. Eco-conscious brands will either ban palm oil from their products or use sustainable one. They will also use recycled plastic bottles to reduce plastic pollution and avoid chemicals toxic for human health and for water life.
The single biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon region, which is home to 50% of Earth's plants and animals, is cattle ranching to produce beef and leather. Make sure you don't buy any beef or leather from South America, or if possible not at all from anywhere. Other crops linked to tropical deforestations are soy, coffee and cocoa. Additionally cocoa and coffee plantations are also linked to child labour (or even slavery). How can anyone enjoy a cup of coffee or a piece of chocolate (or chocolate cake, ice cream or whatever) knowing it was made by child labour and caused deforestation endangering biodiversity? That doesn't mean you should stop consuming it. An easy alternative that everyone should seriously consider is to purchase ethical & sustainable brands of chocolate and coffee.
Every product we buy has a carbon footprint, meaning the equivalent of CO2 emissions for its manufacturing, transport and end-of-life recycling. We made a clear table showing the carbon footprint of common consumer products. For most people the two biggest CO2 emitters are their vehicle and home heating. If you don't want to let your conscience nag you about your own contribution to climate change you can plant trees to offset your carbon footprint.
Banking institutions play a major role in the world economy and quite a few of them invest or provide credits to companies that destroy the Amazon or other rainforests. Other do the same to support the expansion of fossil fuels, thus exacerbating climate change. Choose where you invest your money carefully, ideally in a bank that cares about the environment.
If you really want to further reduce your impact on the environment, climate change and society, then choose the most sustainable brands of clothing, cars, and electronics and home appliances. Even among big polluters like airlines and petroleum companies, not all companies are equal and some are defintely try harder to reduce their environmental impact than others. Choose wisely!