It’s not hard to combat climate change and help the environment at the same time. By doing just a few things differently every day, you can be kind to the planet. Here are 12 things you can do to help the environment:
Reuse Water Bottles & Mugs
Every time you run the dishwasher, you use valuable energy and water. Every time you throw a cup away, you create waste. Cutting down on the number of wash cycles you run, and cups you throw away, are great ways to conserve resources. Get in the habit of only using one or two refillable mugs, thermoses/ sports bottles etc... each day. If you’re refilling it with water, tea, coffee or juice over and over again, just wash it out & reuse it.
Start a Compost Pile
We create an incredible amount of natural waste through peels, shells, grounds, leftovers etc... Instead of tossing all that in the trash, start a compost pile and recycle it through you municipal compost facility, or separate compost trash bin (if available in your city), or in your own yard/ garden.
Use Energy Star Appliances
Appliances that require less than a specific amount of energy when compared to their traditional counterparts and/ or have the ability to shift into a smart energy saving mode when needed, receive an Energy Star mark, indicating to the consumer that the item in question will reduce energy consumption when compared to items not carrying the label. Certain products have additional stipulations that must be met in order to receive the Energy Star mark.
Turn off faucets when not using water
Save water by running faucets only when you really use water.
Stamp Out Energy Vampires
Unplug any appliances that you’re not using, including electronic devices like computers. Don’t keep chargers plugged in, either. These all suck up energy even when they’re not in use.
Stay in For Dinner
From the gas your car uses to bring you to the restaurant to the trucks needed to deliver the food to the kitchen, dining out is a major cause of environmental distress.
Go to a farmer’s market rather than the grocery store for your produce. It will taste fresher and you’ll be supporting local companies rather than gas-sucking national ones.
Turn Out the Lights/ Use Eco-friendly Lights
Turn off lights in rooms/ on patios when not needed. Once a week, have a brownout. Pretend that the electricity has gone out and you must make do in the dark. Light candles and use flashlights while you save money and energy. Use energy efficient CFL or LED lights when you can.
Not bring your own beer, but rather bring your own bags to the grocery store to reduce the number of plastic bags floating around. If you do use those free bags at the grocery, recycle the plastic or brown grocery bags in designated bins at your grocery store, or save them up at home and recycle them at the appropriate mixed paper/ mixed plastic dumpsters at your local recycling center. Do the same with phone books and junk mail.
Order as many multicolored, separate recycle bins as available from your municipality. Also, locate your local recycling center, and visit it to see how many different categories of goods you can recycle. Yes, you’ve probably been recycling your soda cans and milk jugs for decades, but did you know you can recycle batteries? TVs? Cardboard? Old sneakers?
Grow a Garden
The planet likes it when you grow things. It helps filter out bad air and is a great sustainable practice. Plus, you can’t beat home-grown tomatoes or herbs.
If you're not ready for solar panels on your roof, try solar garden/ patio lights to get your feet wet. Also, depending on your location, you might have community solar available in your neighborhood or clean energy/ renewable power option available from your utility.
This post is by:
James White Freelance Writer