When was the last time you experienced a power outage? Depending on where you come from or where you’ve lived, you probably know what that’s like. When the lights are out, you aren’t 100% available at work anymore because your devices might die. You can’t microwave anything so you use a gas stove or a fire, or eat simple snacks or fruits. Life suddenly becomes more simple and you take that time to pause. The truth is, having the lights on 24/7 has made us more likely to be “on” 24/7 too.
Earth Hour is drawing attention to this constant consumption with the symbolic action of switching off the lights for 1 hour on every last Saturday of March. What do initiatives like these mean to us as nomads?
No one appreciates Earth like us
How much did the climate and weather weigh on your process to find the place you are now? I know it’s been a top priority for everywhere I’ve lived. I’ve sought out cities that are sunny for about 70-80% of the year and appreciate the ability to be outside most of the year in light clothing. However, I’ve experienced the changes in the past few years. Winters and rainy seasons are much harsher; same with the summer and dry seasons. And it gets worse every year.
As nomads, we love beautiful, exotic destinations with different surroundings to enjoy. We have a very special appreciation for the natural world because we know the benefits of a flourishing earth and what we gain from it. This means that wherever we find ourselves in the world, we shouldn’t take our world for granted and should be mindful about the impact we have.
Data from Nomad List shows that, on average, nomads generate 78% less CO₂ than the average American on travel and commuting. The data also shows that nearly half of female nomads don’t eat meat compared to 26% of male nomads. Another interesting fact is that hiking is the top exercise for nomads. Our community is already having a positive impact on the climate but we can do even more!
So, what exactly can we do?
My lifestyle as a digital nomad involves minimal consumption, mainly due to the circumstances I find myself in. I don’t drive and mainly make use of public transit and communal transport because it’s cheaper for me. I eat local and purchase produce and meat that isn’t processed because it’s widely available. However, we can be more intentional about how we live. Here are some examples:
- Consume less by using what we have: When you travel often, minimalism becomes your friend! Nomads are more conscious about buying what they need and what will last. From clothes to household items, we usually stick to the necessities. Using what you have prevents waste and gets the most value out of purchases. If something is fixable, fix it! If something can be repurposed, do that!
- Eat mindfully: Cutting down on meat (especially red meat) is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint. We can also be careful about wasting food and disposing of leftovers in a sustainable manner, i.e. composting.
- Travel sustainably: A lot of us can’t help but take flights but we can definitely be thoughtful about how we travel within our destinations. When possible, choose to ride a bike, take a walk, or hike! Buses and shared forms of transportation are also great ways to travel sustainably.
Our unique lifestyles are significantly impactful on the environment, whether we realize it or not. Earth Hour’s mission is to spark conversations all over the world about tackling the climate crisis, protecting nature, and creating a brighter future for everyone. Let’s do our best to live thoughtfully and also add to this conversation to help the planet!