Guide to Sustainable Gift Giving

The Christmas season has begun, with ads for new gadgets, clothes, and toys displayed everywhere. As wonderful as giving and receiving gifts is, the holiday has become a pit of consumerism with copious amounts of waste. However, there are many ways to make gifts more sustainable without dampening the meaning.

  1. More isn’t Always Better 

Sometimes in life, less is more. Gag gifts and cheap plastic items may be fun at first but they inevitably end up in the trash. Oftentimes, people value quality over quantity, even if the mass of gifts they are giving does not serve long lives. However, buying many small gifts for the fun of it often does not compare to one more expansive, durable, and meaningful gift without extra waste.

2. Sustainable Wrapping

Around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away every Christmas, and while it adds a bit of beauty and surprise to presents, many of the materials cannot be recycled. Luckily, wrapping paper isn’t the only option when it comes to covering gifts. Utilize the recyclables, finding spare boxes and containers (mason jars, cookie jars, shoe boxes, cloth bags), pre-owned wrappings (newspaper, cloth). Furoshiki, reusable Japanese wrapping cloths, are a great substitution for single-use paper, tissue paper, or other fillings. 

3. Experience the Gift

Gift giving does not necessarily involve a physical item wrapped up in ribbon. Tickets to concerts, plays, or conventions, as well as cooking, dance, or art classes could still hold up as memorable gifts. Gift certificates and memberships are also an often waste-free way to grant a special gift.

4. Repurpose Items

Gifts don’t need to be new to be meaningful. Especially now when thrifted and vintage clothes, toys, books, jewelry, and other items are climbing in popularity in order to combat overconsumption, there is no harm done in giving away preloved gifts. For many objects, such as instruments, pre-owned gifts may be even more valuable than those that are new, as prices and rarity climb with age.

5. Shop Local

Providing a treat to not just a loved one, but also small businesses owners, shopping locally decreases your carbon footprint while also supporting local establishments. Items that are sourced and produced in local areas reduce the impact of shipping on the environment, as well as ease their wait time. Many quickly made products are not sourced or produced ethically, which can be voided by questioning your local shops about their making and selling process. 

While the holidays are a time for giving and sharing -, the environment does not need to be set aside as quickly as last year’s cheaply made gifts. Any occasion can be an excuse to share with loved ones in an eco-friendly heart-felt way. Buying in-store, repurposing items, sharing experiences, and wrapping a truly special gift in innovative ways can speak to the heart in a far more detailed and personal way than before. 


Goddard, Sara. “An Eco-Friendly Gift Giving Guide to Green Your Holiday Season.” Green That Life, 18 Nov. 2021,

“A Guide to Sustainable Gift-Giving.” Life with Less, 24 June 2020,

“Tips for Sustainable Giving.” Eartheasy Guides & Articles,

The Reality of Climate Anxiety

Climate anxiety. It’s a real phenomenon, and a common one among young adults and teens, at that. Climate change is something that many people of younger generations have been hearing about their whole lives, with activists against the cause starting out younger as well. It is no secret that rising temperatures are a colossal problem, affecting every aspect of human life, so it makes sense that it might spark distress, worry, and anger in people. In a 2021 study, documented by, out of 10,000 people, aged 16-25, in 10 different countries only 5% reported to have no worry for climate change at all, with 27% reporting extremely worried, 32% very worried, and 25% moderately worried, and 11% a little worried. Overall, the feelings associated with climate change fared with feeling afraid, angry, powerless, and guilty, with few feeling optimistic or indifferent, and the majority feeling sad and afraid. Anxiety and fear related to the climate has disrupted over half of young people, as well as their ability to live daily life. However, although the future is frightening, there are ways to calm these nerves.

Connect to a Community with Your Concerns

    Everyone’s experience with climate anxiety and how they handle it may differ, but there is no one right or wrong way to feel it. Someone who witnessed the disappearance of bees in their neighborhood may have just as valid climate fears as someone who is living in a hurricane zone. There are numerous ways to reach out to those around you, whether it be something as simple as finding a group online or lending your time to a Climate Cafe or network. Climate Cafes work to bring together individuals willing to share feelings and reactions surrounding climate in a hope to alleviate hopelessness, anxiety, and confusion. Alternatively, a 10-step plan is offered through the Good Grief Network, to help develop empowerment over climate chaos and turn the process of anxiety into action. 

Focus on What You Can Tackle

    Gaining insight and educating yourself on a situation is always important, but only in proportion. The oversaturation of information can do more harm than good, especially to mental health. As one person, you can learn about situations that you can take on, but once you place yourself in the shoes of a superhero trying to save the world, you are taking on much more than you can chew. The struggles of the world can be hard enough to chew without the constant reminder that it is a persistent change. One person will never be equipped to stop climate change overnight, so the participation in what is available to you counts just as much. As helpful as it is to learn and tackle climate change objectives, it can do just as much good to take a break from the negatives of the world. 

Remember That Any Fight Counts

    The transformation to a greener society is not something that can occur overnight, so any contribution can count towards helping. There are many accessible and out-of-the-box ways to help change your lifestyle for the better. For example, while turning off lights when they are not in use is a productive and effective way to cut down energy consumption, check energy use elsewhere, such as washers, dryers, air conditioners, and heaters to limit consumption even further. Help in its easiest form is still a form of help. Starting up organizations, such as the Climate Cardinals, is another path of the contribution that may not be commonly thought of. Though the Climate Cardinals do not directly contribute to the saving of electricity, cleaning of litter, or the act of recycling, it spreads the word of climate change to those who do not speak English. The organization works with volunteers to translate information in over 100 languages, making the movement more accessible to those worldwide. 

Although the effects of climate change are daunting, they will not be the end of this generation. We have the power to prevail and the ability to get the help we desire to do so. Angst in response to our changing world is understandable, but it will not limit what we can do as a society. 

Works Cited:

“About.” Climate Cardinals,

“About.” Good Grief Network, 13 Oct. 2021,

Renwick, Danielle. “7 Ways to Manage Climate Anxiety.” Teen Vogue, 6 Oct. 2021,

Thompson, Tosin. “Young People’s Climate Anxiety Revealed in Landmark Survey.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 22 Sept. 2021,

The Fight Against Line 3

Recycle, save energy, carpool: all common advice given to those who can take the course of climate change into their own hands. But, what about the corporations actively undoing these progresses made by the working class and damaging natural life? 

What is the Line 3 Project?

Built in the 1960s, Line 3 is a pipeline transporting crude oil southeast from Canada’s tar stands region to Lake Superior’s western tip near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. However, from the age of this pipeline branched the proposal of a new pipeline, constructing 330 miles of 36-inch diameter pipe to replace the 282 miles of the 34-inch line. The aim of the redesign, according to Enbridge Energy, is to reduce future maintenance, create fewer disruptions to landowners, and restore the historical operating capabilities, though it could do more harm than good. Even the first proposals of a new pipeline in 2013 had been met with much restraint and fight by First Nations, tribal governments, landowners, environmental groups, and communities from the Great Lakes, and are still ongoing.

Why fight against the project?

The reasons for combatting the project are vast, extending from climate concerns to sovereignty complications. Undoubtedly, Indigenous peoples, directly impacted by the fate of the pipeline, hold a majority of concern about the ethics of the construction. The rebuilding of the pipeline, due to the path of operation running through the land of tribal and Indigenous people, is a violation of the right to self-determination and self-government. Even ceded territory, where usufructuary rights are agreed upon between Ojibwe tribal members and the US government to allow sacred preservation and significant culture sites, is at risk with this plan. Pipelines, prone to oil spills and endangered resources, threaten the way of life, culture, and survival of the Ojibwe people. The US government, affirmed by the Supreme Court, had granted sovereignty to tribal nations only to breach the agreement and deny consent, establishing modern-day colonialism for their own corporate gain.

Even the process of workers carrying out this plan, in the form of “man camps,” plays a devastating part in the corruption of Indigenous lives. Temporary housing offered to accommodate the majority of male workers in the project have been documented to be tied to inceeases in drg trafficking, sex trafficking, and violent crime. The MMIW, or Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic, is only one result of women, Two-Spirit people, and children having to unproportionately defend their lives from the harmful industries that target them. 

In addition to the threat the pipeline places on the lives of Indigenous people, rapidly increasing effects of climate change have no intent to seize under this plan. It is no question that climate change is on the rise under industrial rule, causing unfathomable numbers of natural disasters, wildfires, droughts, famines, and wars. In the midst of melting polar caps, accelerating greenhouse gases, and the decline of natural habitats, a new oil pipeline should not be in question. The carbon that Line 3 would move is equivalent to 50 new fire coal power plants and requires a colossal amount of electricity. The cross sections of ethics, both for the endangerment of people and ecosystems, will indefinitely impact Indigenous people. Globally, indigenous people are among the most impacted groups when it comes to global warming, even though their contributions are relatively small. The ties Indigenous people have to the land usually lead to a dependence on natural resources for survival. Yet, with the pollution of landm healthy materials as well as their stability are decreased. If natural disasters caused by global warming increase, it is less accessible for Indingenous people to leave their land. There is a plethora of social problems already being faced on these lands, political and economic marginalization, loss of land human rights violations, lack of health care, education, employment, discrimination, and the addition of claimate change does nothing to ease these problems. Even the State of Minnestota’s Environmental Impact Statement regarding Line 3 acknowledges the “disproportionate” impacts that the Line 3 Project will have on Native people, in a case of environmental racism and dismissing environmental justice (Section 11.5). 

What is being done?

The project has brought thousands of protesters to the surface, fighting against the construction of the pipeline and the implications that come with it. As of Saturday, August 28th, it was reported that 69 people had been arrested for charges of “disorderly conduct, third-degree rio,t and felony threats of violence.” Although the Line 3 pipeline is reaching completion in Minnesota, protesters are not backing down and are still calling on Governor Tim Walz and President Joe Biden to shut down the project.

    Regardless of whether plans to slow the pipeline connor or not, there are still many ways to help the slow of the project and support Indigenous people through the global climate. Doing research, reaching out to politicians, and amplifying native voices are essential in these times. Learn more from

Works Cited:

9, FOX. “Troopers Arrest 69 People at Line 3 Protest OUTSIDE Governor’s Residence in St. Paul.” FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul, FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul, 28 Aug. 2021, 

“Enbridge Line 3 PIPELINE Replacement Project.” Line3, 20 Sept. 2019,

“Issues.” Stop Line 3,

Climate Change Myths Debunked

    In recent years, the topic of global warming has become much less taboo, with the consensus of people understanding the severity of climate change. However, there are still many misconceptions and incorrect facts on the subject. 

1. “The climate is always changing. This is no different” 

Yes, the earth’s climate has constantly been changing during its 4.5 billion year lifetime. However, the unprecedented and rapid cycles of warming faced by the earth right now would normally be seen throughout hundreds of years, not decades. The regular intervals in which the earth usually warms and cools, demonstrated by Milankovitch cycles, are impacted by the tilt, rotation, and orbit of the earth and its effect on surface temperature and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The current rise of Co2 and warmer temperatures has illustrated what Milankovitch cycles describe of periods hundreds of millennia-long in a span of a hundred years. 

2. “We are facing a period of global cooling” 

    It is a common misconception that just because winters are still cold that means that the world as a whole is cooling, but that is entirely untrue. While the world should be in a cooling period right now, there are new records of high and low weather being reached all over the world daily. If temperatures remained stable, there would roughly be the same number of highs and lows throughout the year. Temperature trends during the 2000s  in the United States have concluded that the 1:1 ratio of high and low temperatures has been replaced by a 2:1 ratio, where every one low record was met by two high. That ratio only continues to rise, as by 2012, it was pushed to a staggering 5:1. 

3. “Not all scientists agree on climate change” 

    While it is true that not every single scientist shares the same views of climate change, there is an overwhelming agreement on the topic. Research on Anthropogenic Global Warming in Scientific Literature has examined the peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate change from 1991 to 2011, and of those papers, only 2% (83 papers) denied climate change, while 97% (3,894 paper) found evidence to back up the existence of a human-caused climate change. While there is also not a unified agreement that humans are the cause of climate change, surveys of the 97% of scientists that feel that humans have a large impact on climate change have shown to have the greatest expertise among those scientists. 

4. “Plants need CO2 so it cannot be a cause of climate change” 

    Plants do need CO2 to live, absorbing much of the carbon dioxide in the air to thrive, but there is a limit to how much they can store. With an increase in deforestation in the past years, there are even more limitations to how much CO2 can be absorbed. CO2 alone does not pose a threat to the climate, it is the large amounts that are being produced by human beings. The production of CO2 is natural to the global environment however, this level of CO2 has not been reached in the last 800,000 years. It is largely recognized by scientists that mass greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are one of the number one causes of climate change and the most common of these gases are methane and CO2. 

5. “It is too late to do anything now” 

    One of the most common and dangerous myths out there is that there is nothing humans can do to ease the impact of climate change. Right now is a critical time to take action against rising climates to achieve net carbon emissions by 2050. We have better access to the technology and systems needed to transition to clean energy than ever, meaning that with time climates will be able to become stable again. Although it will take time and effort, achieving regulated climates can be done in the future. 

Works Cited:

“10 Myths about Climate Change.” WWF,

“6 Myths about Climate Change Busted.” National Grid Group,

“10 Myths About Climate Change: Earth.Org – Past: Present: Future.” Earth.Org – Past | Present | Future, 25 June 2021,

Karl Burkart Director of Innovation and Technology, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. “Top 6 Climate Myths.” Before the Flood, 21 Oct. 2016,

“Myths vs. Facts: Global Warming.” OSS Foundation, 6 Apr. 2014,

The Buzzkill of Climate Change

When most people think of bees, it is often accompanied by the thought of their taunting buzzing and hazardous stingers. However, the truth is that if you enjoy cucumbers, melons, oranges, apples, and of course, honey, as well as dozens of other fruits and vegetables, you rely on bees. In the United States, honey bees are responsible for 80% of commercial crops, contributing to pollinating many of the plants fed to cattle for the milk and meat industry as well. Essentially, bees are vital both for our needs and for the health of the environment. Yet, as climates rise, so does the fatality rate of the bee population.

How Does Climate Affect Bees? 

    As stated by the Smithsonian, something as colossal as climate change makes it difficult to pinpoint the reasons for the declining bee populations. However, it’s not a coincidence that bees have faced a 46% population decrease in North America and 17% in Europe from 1901 to 1974, mainly in areas with climates higher than average. Historically, bees have had a range of threats against them, including pesticides, habitat fragmentation, and human interference, with unfavorable temperatures just making it harder for bees to thrive. The main factors of climate change on these populations are a change in their phenology, loss of habitat, and disease.


           – Phenology, the change in when something occurs, plays a role in bee populations because as temperatures begin to rise, snow melts faster, which brings the blossoming of flowers earlier than usual. However, conducted by Rebecca Irwin, an associate professor at Dartmouth College, it is unknown whether or not the bees are going to keep up with these changes. Plants and bees depend on each other, with plants needing bees to transfer pollen and bees needing plants to eat nectar. With climates changing so fast, plants will likely begin to bloom when bees are not active, trivializing both of them. 

Loss of Habitat

           –  Due to the fluctuating temperatures and changing phenology, bees are unable to adapt to warmer weather, making it difficult to find cooler homes. “They just aren’t colonizing new areas and establishing new populations fast enough to track rapid human-caused climate change,” remarked Jeremy Kerr, a professor at the University of Ottawa, theorizing that large changes in these populations are soon to come. Studies on bumblebee migrations show that in the north, bees struggle to make it to the North Pole, and in the Southern end, many end up dying. As a whole, bees have lost a range of almost 200 miles in North America and Europe. 


             – Environmental stresses can make parasites even more accessible to honeybees, spreading deadly infections. Varroa mites and Nosema ceranae, since spreading around the US and Europe, have wiped out bee colonies and caused shorter lifespans. To link warmer climates and the spread of parasites, researchers made a model using information from a previous study of parasite infections. The model simulated how diseases would spread in different temperatures and, ultimately, the cold weather helped to block a widespread. 


Soroye, Peter, et al. “Climate Change Contributes to Widespread Declines among Bumble Bees across Continents.” Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 7 Feb. 2020,

Worland, Justin. “Bees Habitat Loss: Study Shows How Climate Change Hurts Pollinators.” Time, Time, 9 July 2015, /

Dattaro, Laura. “Here’s What Climate Change Could Do to Honey Bees.” VICE, 2 Dec. 2014,

Highcountrynews, director. Wild Science: Bees and Climate Change. YouTube, YouTube, 24 Aug. 2015,

Texas Climate Threats

Rising temperatures, melting ice caps, and blazing forest fires are all key phrases commonly associated with global warming, and rightfully so. Throughout past decades, global climate has been on the rise, creating unprecedented and irregular weather patterns throughout the world. However, a warming planet leaves peril in more ways than one, a feat that Texans are now facing.

What is Happening in Texas?

    Currently, Texas resides in the middle of a snowstorm, which is unlikely for its typically hot and humid climate. Despite several warnings of atypical weather changes by climate scientists, Texans were left ill-prepared for the snow and harsh weather which led to frozen power plants, power shortages in half the state, and a shutdown of water supply. Millions of citizens have been left to fend for themselves when it comes to heat and water in what Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University, describes as “a disastrous level of under preparation.” As of February 18, it has been documented that Texas officials have done little for the people, giving inadequate responses, such as blaming the Green New Deal, despite it not yet being passed in Congress, or not giving a statement at all. 

The Connection to Global Warming 

    Failures in infrastructure, poor planning by officials, and rejecting weather warnings are all contributions to the current situation in Texas, but what does it have to do with global warming? The lead-up to the environmental disaster is a foreshadowing of other potential extreme weather events. “The future is not going to be like the past,” Co-director of the Rand Climate Resilience Center, Melissa Finucane said in reference to the changing weather. In the current age, the preparation against harsh weather that was founded in the 20th century is not durable enough to withstand into 2021. Electrical grids in the US are incapable of keeping up with weather changes for much longer as climate change poses a larger threat to communities of all kinds. 

Climate experts have gathered research connecting the snowstorm to global warming with rising Arctic temperatures. With the Arctic heating rapidly, cold air from the north pole can be pushed south, next to the US-Mexican border, proving that this is happening as a product of climate change, not in spite of it. Cold air is usually concentrated around the north pole in the polar vortex, which circulates in a tight formation during winter, though changes in the jet stream have since interfered. This change is thought to be due to the warming of the Arctic, letting air escape and shifting its position. If the vortex splits, snow and low temperatures become more common, explaining the fluctuation in Texas’ climate. 


Plumer, Brad. “A Glimpse of America’s Future: Climate Change Means Trouble for Power Grids.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Feb. 2021,

“Texas’ Frozen Power Grid Is a Preview of Climate Change Disasters to Come.” CBS News, CBS Interactive,

“Heating Arctic May Be to Blame for Snowstorms in Texas, Scientists Argue.” Google, Google,

Protect the Arctic

What is Going On?

Over the last few years, the state of the Arctic has fallen into deeper peril, with numerous species facing much danger. As of January 6th, the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, home to land and marine animals, hundreds of bird species, and fish, is up for sale. In December, a lease sale was announced from the White House, selling off the Arctic Refuge for oil and gas. The agreement to sell the land has breached many rights, such as ignoring the indigenous Gwich’in people who live on the land, being responsible for rapid declines of caribou and polar bears, and being an addition to climate change. Thawing permafrost brings along a domino effect of detriment, including deforestation and destroying food chains. These agreements of threatening and destroying this land break the very definition of a refuge, a place that provides shelter and protection.

(Polar bear in search of food)

Who is it Affecting?

    The already declining state of the Arctic proves to be hazardous for the millions of species that inhabit it. The lives of many are at stake, with malnutrition running rampant among a number of species around the world. “The problem is that an ever-warmer future means polar bears will have less and less access to their seal prey, so…bears die from malnutrition/starvation…regardless of the proximate cause of this bear’s condition, this heart-wrenching footage provides us with a warning about the future,” Dr. Steven Amstrup, PBI’s chief scientist, details about the picture shown above. The featured polar bear, located on Baffin Island is a grim reality for the species across the world. The population of the Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear, native to the refuge, has dropped by 40 percent in recent decades. With the disturbance of the Refuge, a vital sanction of protection will be stripped from the suffering species. Devastation of numerous lives is inevitable with the introduction to Donald Trump’s plan, including the theorized 1 in 5 bears that it will put at risk. 

(Thinning sea ice on Arctic shores)

What Actions are Being Made?

The NRDC, Natural Resources Defense Council,, and other sights have made petitions and letters for people to send,m requesting against the selling of the Arctic. As of December 29, 2020, 5 millions letters have been sent in protest. It is hoped, though not guaranteed that the letters will be able to stop further damage at the moment. However, there are other ways to help halt climate change in the Arctic though, with climate change accelerating two times faster than anywhere else, it is a need for urgent action.

Sources Environmental Importance of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,

March 22, 2019 Clara Chaisson. “A Journey Through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.” NRDC, 2 Oct. 2019,

“Trump Administration Pushes Forward With Plan for Illegal Lease Sale in the Arctic Refuge.” Sierra Club, 3 Dec. 2020,

Vegan Diet on a Budget

In the past few years, veganism has become a staple for better health and environmental conservation, endorsed by celebrities such as Serena Williams, Beyonce, and Erykah Badu. However, for those without such luxurious budgets there are many misconceptions around the expense of the diet. Implementing a vegan diet into your lifestyle, whether permanent or intermittent, can be tailored to a wide variety of budgets, with the main essentials in veganism being grains, seeds, and legumes, often very affordable products. Transitioning into veganism mindfully can benefit both the body and the environment without breaking the bank.

1. Buy In Bulk 

    Buying basic vegan ingredients in bulk is an effective way to reduce a grocery bill, with nutritious items such as brown rice, quinoa, lentils, oats, and dried beans racking up the price per serving. Many of these essentials are non-perishable, so they are not quick to spoil and are very filling. In addition, canned products, such as vegetables, lentils, and fruits can also offer cooking help and ease the grocery budget. This does not only have to apply for shopping, but cooking as well. Pre-cooking and freezing meals offer a display of versatility, nutrients, and longevity that not only reduces the amount of money spent on groceries, but minimizes food waste as well. 

2. Purchase In Season

    Buying in-season fruits and vegetables plays a large role in reducing the cost and maximizing the benefits of fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are often sourced locally and have lower shipping cost, making them cheaper for the consumer. In addition, fewer shipping to local markets means more sustainable shopping. Farmer’s markets often offer a wide variety of in-season produce, including items that have a few blemishes, which can be bought in bulk for cheap.

3. Limit Vegan Substitutes

    Making vegan substitutes from scratch can be rather simple and much more affordable in comparison to the store bought counterparts. Black beans, mushrooms, canned jackfruit, and chickpeas are all effective substitutes in meat recipes, and are often inexpensive. Vegan substitutes are likely the biggest reason for the “veganism is expensive” argument, with many imitation products costing more than their real counterparts for less of the product. The Beyond Sausage by Beyond Meat retails for about 70% more than pork sausages at $10.30 per pound, exactly what to stay away from when shopping on a budget. Many recipes, such as burgers or even chicken wings, can be quickly and deliciously made at home with cheaper and more sustainable ingredients. 

4. Compare Grocery Stores 

    Some grocery stores carry more options for vegan items at a lower cost, which can make overall shopping more affordable. Oftentimes, Asian markets provide vegan necessities, such as coconut milk, tofu, miso, rice, and noodles, for a cheaper price and in bulk. While shopping at stores that offer speciality items, such as Whole Foods, it is easy to get lost in the selection and lose consideration for the price. Doing some research online at local stores can save money in the end.

5. Prepare Your Own Food

    As previously mentioned, there are easy vegan substitutes for every animal-based meal that can be completed with simple ingredients. From making vegan mayo to vegan shepherd’s pie, some research on recipes can go a long way when it comes to price. Many staple items are based around produce that is easily attainable and cheap, also giving you the benefit of knowing exactly what goes into your body and what changes you can make to satisfy your wallet and hunger. 


Bristol, Liam PritchettStaff Writer |, et al. “This Is How to Go Vegan When You Have a Tight Budget.” LIVEKINDLY, 10 Apr. 2020,

“Which Is the Best Grocery Store for Vegans? (+Price Comparison!).” Serving Realness, 16 May 2020,

“The 10 Best Vegan Meat Alternatives.” ProVeg US, 18 Nov. 2019,

“Why Does Veganism Have an Expensive Reputation?” The Vegan Society, 27 Mar. 1970,


In the modern era, capitalism, a system designed for production, and climate change, an ongoing environmental battle, have a less than perfect relationship. While individual activism plays an important role in the fight against climate change, it is hard to ignore the overriding exploitation of the planet by big businesses. 

Historically, capitalism has thrived off of exhausting natural materials and producing waste, destroying the ability of nature to replenish itself. It shows a major contribution to climate change, prompting a demand for urgent action through movements such as the Extinction Rebellion in the UK and the Green New Deal in America. Established in 2018, the Extinction Rebellion has sought out to implement policy changes through protest, wanting the government to take immediate action against climate change, similar to the desire for stimulus funding to green sectors by the Green New Deal. Though, costs for radical reforms rack up high prices, granting a gradual shift towards sustainability instead. 

Since 1998, more than 71% of greenhouse emissions can be rooted back to just 100 companies, as examined in a 2017 study.  Corruption of natural cycles such as carbon, water, phosphorus, and nitrogen, interrupt processes that take millions of years to complete. The central intent of maximizing corporations through the exploitation of materials such as forests, oil, rivers, and livestock, to fit into a “quick and cheap” agenda is a dangerous cycle that is hoped to be broken in the near future.  

The approach of this climate catastrophe is battled not only by movements, however, but by an increase of incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into companies. The emergence of ESG companies is hoped to have a steady incline, tending to be a better fit for longer investments while utilizing sustainable options. Environmental criteria consider the ability of a company to function through conservation and sustainable practices, while social criteria deals with the relationship of employees, customers, and suppliers, and governance examines leadership, executive pay, and shareholder rights. Firms with ESG principles are no longer ignoring the environmental detriment created by large companies, beginning to shift the view of capitalistic corporations to become more “green.” As the future of business begins to focus on sustainability, the development of economic growth needs to take into account the costs to uphold such social and environmental policies. 

The issues surrounding capitalism when dealing with the environment are in dire need of evolving to turn the fate of global warming around. Mass movements pushing for urgent action, hoping to reach a 2030 deadline, as well as an emergence of new sustainable businesses are promising, hoping for the calls of “green” measures to be amplified. The capitalist system has the capability to shift its focus from fast and easy profit to a more conscious eco-friendly perspective. With integrating economic and environmental interest into new capitalistic strategies, the question now turns to where policies and activism meet and how radical movements need to be in order to help reverse this environmental detriment. 


Noor, Saleha. “Why We Need to Change Capitalism for Climate Action: Earth.Org – Past: Present: Future.” Earth.Org – Past | Present | Future, 19 Aug. 2020,

Reyes, Farid. “Capitalism Is Responsible for Climate Change.” Left Voice,

Hyman, Elliott. “Who’s Really Responsible for Climate Change?” Harvard Political Review, 2 Jan. 2020,

Hyman, Elliott. “Who’s Really Responsible for Climate Change?” Harvard Political Review, 2 Jan. 2020,

Zitelmann, Rainer. “’System Change Not Climate Change’: Capitalism And Environmental Destruction.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 14 July 2020,