How I Upped My Environmental Responsibility in 2018

There was a lot to be upset about this year. The Kavanaugh hearings and the outcome alone, UGH. But a consistent ball of rage burned inside me for pretty much all of 2018 because of the environment. For one, there were the terrifying reports and continued evidence of climate change as well as the photos in the news illustrating the collateral damage of how recklessly we’ve treated the planet; the garbage-filled waves on the beaches of the Dominican Republic come to mind as do the striking images inside National Geographic’s June issue. That was coupled with the ignorance and laziness that I witnessed closer to home, whether it was your standard litter (flattened Tim Hortons’ cup, cigarette butts, food wrap) strewn about the streets, the excessive single-use waste at children’s birthday parties (plastic cutlery, balloons and loot bags filled with useless items from Dollarama) or idiots (yes, I silently judge them) using plastic water bottles at the gym.

Since it felt like the general population was in denial or aware but just couldn’t be bothered to make changes in their own behaviour, I was determined to up my own game. I’ve been bringing my own bag when shopping for years, but this year I cut down on my consumption of red meat, made a concerted effort to pick up after other people, from plastic bottles on the street—especially when they are near a sewer—to fishing aluminum cans out of my co-worker’s garbage bin and ensured anything that was going in my recycling bin was properly rinsed since it only takes one item to contaminate the batch. Here’s what else I did: