Many people care about animal wellbeing but often think it is too difficult to find simple ways they can make positive contributions to animal welfare in everyday life. Animal rights activist Jenny Brown suggests some small but impactful ways we can change our routines in order to protect animals and simultaneously reduce our waste in the process.
- Cut down plastic consumption and waste. Plastic takes anywhere from 50 to 500 years to decompose, and often ends up in the ocean where it directly harms aquatic habitats. The easiest way to cut down on plastic consumption is to find more sustainable swaps when shopping. These alternatives will look different for each individual, but for example: next time you go grocery shopping, opt for glass soda bottles instead of two-liter bottles. Or, try to bring your own produce bags instead of using the plastic ones offered in-store. These changes will take time, but it is more important to make sustainability a conscious, long-term habit than a one-time decision.
- Buy in-store and locally as much as possible. Of course, coming off the heels of the pandemic has made this more challenging, however buying items in-store reduces unnecessary packaging that often comes with shipped items. By shopping in-store you can bring your own shopping bags to further reduce waste and make sure less trash ends up in landfills.
- Don’t feed wild animals! With summer almost here and more people spending time outside, it might feel somewhat normal to go to a park and feed any animals you might see. It might seem harmless, but feeding processed human foods to wild animals triggers them to then search for more human food. This results in wild animals staying closer to human populated areas, expecting to get fed by people and thus ignoring their natural instincts to hunt and forage for food.
Making the conscious choice to seek out sustainable swaps in your everyday life is the first step towards making a positive impact on animal habitats. Reducing plastic consumption, buying items locally and in-store, and leaving wild animals alone are great ways to help improve animal welfare.