A month has already passed since the U.N. announced that we have 12 years left to prevent climate change catastrophes around the world. If we don’t start acting now, countries will be under water, and heat and poverty as well as everything that comes with these will be prevalent in our lifetime.

As many of you might have heard by now, everyone going vegan could make a massive impact in reducing greenhouse gases and saving wildlife. While this may be quite true, it is unfortunately not practical for everyone. But all hope is not lost.

You may not be able to go vegan for any reason, but that doesn’t mean you should continue your regular eating habits and not care. Every small action counts and by doing these, you inspire those around you and set off a chain reaction that could literally save the world.

The first thing would be to cut down meat consumption. You don’t have to eliminate it completely, but you can slowly start by having it in one meal per day to eventually just once a week or even less often. This is not only good for the environment, but a quick google search will also show you how beneficial it is for your health. Cutting down meat consumption does not have to be a pain in the neck; vegetarian or vegan dishes can be just as filling, flavorful, and affordable as countless vloggers such as Jess Beautician and Pick Up Limes have shown us. It’s not all salads! When you do go for meat, choose chicken or fish over beef because of the environmental and health benefits. And lastly, do your research and go for meat that is ethically raised and slaughtered whenever possible.

The second thing is to limit or replace dairy consumption. Again, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Try the different kinds of plant based milks when they’re on sale, or make them at home (Hint: It’s super easy and often even more affordable)! You may find that giving up on cheese and yogurt is impossible for you but you can try to limit your milk consumption by simply replacing your regular coffee cream with coconut milk and adding almond milk instead to your smoothies. And if you can’t afford almond or coconut milk, then water and banana in your smoothies is great too! Or maybe yogurt is something you can live without and buying the dairy free kind as a treat once in a while works better for you. Better yet, you can do both! It is up to you to figure out what you can practically cut out.

Many of you might be thinking that it’s not affordable. But I would like to challenge you to try and cut back wherever possible for just one week. There are thousands of videos on YouTube to educate and guide you. Plus with the rise of veganism, almost every restaurant now offers at least one vegetarian option and you can even encourage your friends to all try out a vegan or vegetarian only restaurant together!

Never underestimate the power that your actions can have, no matter how small. Yes, they may not solve the world’s problems by tomorrow but they will eventually.

Photo: Daria Shevtsova

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