Nothing is more important than safeguarding the future of our planet. The first step to making a difference in the world is empowering yourself to be part of the solution, and the best way to do that is through gaining knowledge. You might think it’s hard to become more ecologically conscious, but gaining perspective can be simple. Here are five easy but powerful ways to nurture an environmental consciousness.

Learn About How We Affect Our World

The first step to being ecologically conscious is getting hard data about our global footprints. Thankfully, that information can be had at the touch of a button. Go online and ask questions that you might have been thinking about, like “How does deforestation affect the water cycle?” or “How many pounds of carbon dioxide does a gallon of gasoline produce?” The answer to this last one is about 20. There’s no wrong place to start. If you really want to learn about ecology, do a deep dive into some college textbooks. Give yourself an education, then spread what you know to others. 

Personally Engage With Nature

One direct and effective way of getting in tune with nature and being more ecologically conscious is to experience it firsthand. Being out in the wilderness, even if it’s close to home, requires a fundamental appreciation of your surroundings for safety’s sake if nothing else. This necessity triggers the need to think about yourself as a part of nature rather than separate from it. If you can’t get to the great outdoors, bring the outdoors inside with a garden or potted plants. Certain houseplants like English Ivy even help clear toxic chemicals like formaldehyde out of the air. Again, you’ve become part of an ecosystem!

Study Astronomy

Quite possibly the most powerful way of raising your environmental consciousness is to learn about Earth’s place in the universe through astronomy. Back in 1968, the famous Earthrise photo taken from the moon kicked off a wave of environmental movements. Seeing our world from afar gave a whole generation added perspective on how precious a living biosphere truly is and how united we all could be. If you have a telescope in the attic, take it out. Even better, find a local star party and gather with others who share a thirst for wisdom. 

Change the Ways You Get Around

According to EPA research, the transportation sector accounted for 29% of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Since most of us do need to drive, finding ways to boost your vehicle’s fuel efficiency is important, as is shopping around for an efficient automobile if you’re in the market for one. Right now, over 90% of transport fuel is petroleum-based, but that won’t last for long. Already companies like Tesla are expanding their electric vehicle offerings and maverick organizations are starting to experiment with entirely-solar cars and fresh approaches to energy storage such as carbon nanofiber electrodes. Innovation in automotive technology could become a game-changer for environmental responsibility, so stay up-to-date with developments.

Be Aware of Your Energy Consumption

In 2020, the average American citizen consumed a hefty 4,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s roughly six times the global average. It’s no secret that we could use less energy and still maintain our quality of life. The mystery for most people is how to accomplish that. It’s a good idea to have an energy audit performed on your home or business so you can see exactly where unnecessary waste is happening. You can either call a professional (the best option, but sometimes costly) or do it yourself (cheaper, but you’ll have to learn the techniques). If you plan on switching to renewable energy sources, be aware that there are many tax breaks and incentives available at the national, state and local levels which will vary widely by location. Research the range of options available for going green and being eco conscious. 

We may not all agree on how to solve the environmental crises of the modern world, but the one thing that anyone can do is grow in awareness. Keep these tips in mind, and stay learning. 

Author: Finnegan Pierson