I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a home that had, I kid you not, no less than five waste bins in the kitchen alone. One each for regular rubbish, paper recycling, compost, general plastic recycling and bottles and cans that could be taken to a facility. Being from California, home to some of the country’s most stringent environmental policies, it seemed only natural. Perhaps because of this, the topic of sustainability has always deeply interested me, from my grade-school recycled art project to the environmental science class I took in high school (everyone else was just there for the easy A). I even pondered studying the latter at university—but the romance of being a writer won that round. However, it’s still something I think about constantly, especially with the state of the world we find ourselves in. Scientists say it’s imperative that we prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, and the way forward is to drastically decrease our greenhouse gas emissions.
It's a daunting problem that won’t be resolved by the actions of a single person. I do believe that I alone cannot make a meaningful impact by changing my actions, but revolution does start on the granular level. What would it look like if we all made one small change in our daily routines that reduced (if slightly) our carbon footprint? Each action might not count for much, but together? The results are compounded. That’s why I’m committing to five (pretty easy!) ways I can be more sustainable in 2023. Hopefully, you’re inspired to make a greener choice, too.