Unfortunately, humans have never been excellent stewards of the Earth through the years. We only have one Earth so let’s all pull together and protect our planet. To protect the environment and conserve the world for our children and future generations, most of us should take proactive measures toward cleaner living habits. Most of the harm to our environment stems from ingestion: what we eat, how much we eat, and how frequently.
Whether it’s gas, food, clothes, furniture, cars, water, toys, knick-knacks, or other products, we’re all retail consumers. The key isn’t to stop consuming but to consider our consumption habits, and how everyone buys or activity affects the ecosystem.
The good news is that it is often not too difficult, costly, or inconvenient to become more eco-friendly. It can even be a good challenge to employ one of your loved ones or coworkers. Also, though small changes at the individual level might appear trivial, think how much cleaner the entire world would be if everybody adopted even a number of the subsequent behavior modifications.
So here are 14 ways you can begin to protect the environment now:
1. Reduce Consumption
Curbing consumption can have a massive effect on the environment. The three “R’s”–reduce, reuse and recycle– get a whole lot of attention, but the world could benefit from some attention on the most critical and most underrepresented “R”: refuse.
When you refuse, you say “no,” which isn’t always simple. Freebies at occasions, cheap goods on clearance, the hot new children’s toys, or the hottest gadgets that promise to make your life better–none of them are essential. And they almost always end up in the garbage or forgotten in the back of a cupboard. The next time you are tempted to buy or take a non-essential item, consider whether it would truly enhance your life. Otherwise, it is okay to say, “No, thanks!”
Bonus: Refusing to allow unnecessary items into your daily life can help save you money and reduce the amount of clutter in your dwelling.
Another”R” that does not get much attention but has significant environmental implications is”rust,” As in, let your yard and food waste rot naturally in the soil rather than sending it to the landfill. Quite simply: compost.
Composting your food scraps and yard waste offer double benefits: it retains an extraordinary quantity of trash from the waste stream, and it makes free, rich soil to use in your garden. Some towns now pick up organic waste along with regular recycling and garbage pick up. If your area does not provide this service, no worries– you can set up a low-maintenance compost pile in your backyard.
3. Pick Reusable Over Single-Use
Consider how many people you find daily drinking drinks from disposable cups or disposable bottles, carrying disposable grocery bags, sipping from disposable straws, eating from disposable containers or plates, and utilizing disposable utensils. All that single-use plastic must go someplace, and it has had a devastating impact on the soil, oceans, and marine life.
All the above items (and more) have more environmentally responsible sockets. Switch to reusable items and commit to using them as frequently as possible. You will have less trash piling up on your curb, and you will be helping to protect the environment in a significant way.
4. Upcycle More
Get creative with your useless or undesirable items by upcycling–essentially, turning trash into treasure. Creating something new like artwork, jewelry or toys is fascinating and among the best ways to safeguard the environment. Not only does this keep things out of the trash, but it can also prevent having to buy new things, which require a lot of resources to create. Children love making things, so instead of going into the craft shop, look in the recycle bin and let their imaginations soar!
5. Recycle Properly
If you can’t refuse it and can not rust it and can not reduce it, and can not upcycle or reuse it, then it is time to turn to the final “R”-recycling. Train yourself on what can and can’t be recycled in your bins at home. Throwing the wrong things in the recycle bin may cause a whole load to be rejected, which means back to the back, fill.
You can also easily discover how to recycle exceptional items like electronic equipment, batteries, and appliances. See your local municipality for drop-off sites, and attempt to get your items to the appropriate disposal websites.
6. Shop Secondhand
Did you know it takes more than 700 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to create just a simple t-shirt?
Rather than heading to the mall to purchase new clothes, consider buying first in a thrift shop or classic shop or purchasing clothes with friends. You can get new life into your wardrobe without squandering the precious resources required to create new clothing.
Shopping secondhand also applies to several other consumer products: children’s toys and games, shoes, appliances, furniture, cars, and much more.
7. Buy Local
While we are shopping, it is essential to consider the route your stuff takes to reach you. All that packaging, along with the fuel required for delivery, really needs a toll on the environment. Instead, have a look at your local farmers market for fresh, package-free food; try eating in a farm-to-table restaurant; and purchase from local artists, clothing manufacturers, and retailers until you click for this two-day delivery.
8. Use Fewer Chemicals
Want to protect the environment? Use fewer dangerous chemicals, and you will be on the right path. It’s tough to be sure about the long-term unwanted effects chemicals can have, both on our bodies and Earth, so it’s better to avoid them if possible. Opt for chemical-free yard and garden care, organic beauty, and hygiene items; organic household cleaners; and organic food. The Earth will thank you!
9. Walk, Carpool or Bike
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average passenger car emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Any amount of them we can cut back on will help. For short trips, try biking or walking –you will also get a healthy dose of exercise without setting foot in a gym. If traveling on foot or two wheels is not feasible, try carpooling with friends, neighbors, or coworkers into a mutual destination. And when all else fails, and you will need to drive your vehicle, line up errands at the most effective path to save time and miles driven.
10. Clean Water And Use Less Water
Conserving water in the home is one of the simplest ways to protect the environment. Think of all of the times you have water, both indoors and outside your house; afterward, make adjustments as possible. These are only the basics–you can get very creative when it comes to saving water.
- Collect and use rainwater for watering plants.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Make your water usage more efficient by aerating taps, utilizing sprinklers that reduce runoff, and installing low-flow bathrooms and efficient showerheads.
- Only run your washing machine or dishwasher when it is full.
- Shorten your shower with a couple of minutes–or bypass it all together in case you don’t need one that afternoon.
- Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.
- Do not do the dishes till you’ve got a complete load. Your dishwasher uses 12 gallons of water whitewater, full or half-empty.
- Don’t allow the water to run while you shave or brush your teeth. Could you turn it on only when you want it? Every moment the tap runs, 5 gallons of water go down the drain.
- Do not trash our streams. Volunteer groups sponsoring yearly cleanups find everything from old tires to older appliances in our waterways.
- Do not water more than once per week, and then only if it has not rained. Set up lawns need just 1 inch of water weekly.
- Do not water the sidewalk – it won’t grow. Place your sprinkler to keep the water onto the lawn.
- Install faucet aerators. You can reduce your water use by up to six percent.
- Mulch around your landscaping. A three-inch layer of compost holds moisture and prevents evaporation, decreasing the need to water.
- Never pour anything mainly waste oil or leftover yard chemicals — right into a storm drain. It will end up in the nearest stream.
- Fix leaky taps and toilets. You can tell whether the toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If shade shows the color of the bowl without flushing, there is a leak.
- Sweep your sidewalk and driveway rather than cleaning them up by spraying with the hose.
- Take a shorter shower. And change to a low-flow showerhead.
- Use a bucket when you wash the car rather than the hose. Allowing the water to run while you work costs money and wastes water. Use the hose to clean.
- Use less fertilizer on your garden. When it rains, extra fertilizer runs off into storm drains and pollutes streams.
- Wash a whole load of laundry. Your washing machine takes 40 gallons of water. Run it entirely, or adjust the water level to the size of your load.
- Water your lawn in the early morning, once the water will soak in rather than evaporate in the heat of the day.
11. Use Your Purchasing Power For Good
The positive thing about being a customer is that we can choose where we spend our hard-earned bucks. Consider your cash as your voice and your vote for a cleaner world. Spend it wisely on products, services, and experiences that render a bigger carbon footprint. Opt to do business with companies that support sustainability efforts, use renewable energy resources, and walk the walk when it comes to saving the environment.
Money talks–if enough people use their buying power for the benefit of the planet, it will create a need for sustainable practices. Businesses will have to honor or be left behind.
12. Conserve Electricity
As you can imagine, we are pretty fond of this way of protecting the environment! Anytime you can use less electricity, it is a win for Earth. Try some of these quick ways to conserve energy around your house:
- Maintain your heating system, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
- Ensure that your house is appropriately insulated to the recommended level of heat resistance (“R-value”) for where you live.
- Seal air leaks around windows and doors.
- Trade incandescent bulbs for more energy-efficient LEDs or CFLs.
- Use a programmable or smart thermostat.
- Use ceiling fans to circulate hot air in the winter and cold air in the summer.
- Use smart power strips, which turn off the ability to electronics when they are not being used. (Or, unplug power cords from the wall if things are not being used.)
- When it is time to get a new appliance, choose an Energy Star-certified model.
13. Clean Air
- Conserve energy. You’ll decrease your utility bills and help avoid peak demands on plants.
- Don’t burn your lawn waste. It is illegal in many Ohio areas because burning yard waste sparks soot, mold spores, and other contaminants that can worsen allergies and cause respiratory issues.
- Do not top off your gas vessel. Overfilling causes spills that discharge hydrocarbon and other deadly chemicals into the atmosphere.
- Get a tune-up. Adequately serviced vehicles get solid gas mileage and release fewer pollutants.
- Are you painting your house? Use latex paint. Oil-based paints discharge hydrocarbon fumes.
- Park the car. Walk, bike, or use mass transportation whenever you can. Vehicle traffic is an essential contributor to smog.
- Plant a tree. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.
14. Clean Land
- Do not buy more than you require. When it comes to lawn pesticides, chemicals, paints, and other toxic materials, purchase a smaller bundle so that you will not have leftovers to dispose of.
- Do not put hazardous materials in the garbage. Save pesticides, yard chemicals, paints, car batteries, waste oil, and similar substances for your local household dangerous waste collection day.
- Give it away, do not throw it away. Several charitable organizations receive donations of wearable clothes and gently used household items.
- Paper or plastic? Even better, have a canvas bag at the supermarket store and reuse it every time you go shopping.
- Recycle. If your community doesn’t provide a recycling program, ask local officials to begin one.
- Please turn on your mercury thermometer and replace it with a digital one. Mercury is a tenacious pollutant that moves up the food chain and can cause serious health issues. Never vacuum spilled mercury. Those who have mercury in your house, call the EPA to discover how to eliminate it safely.
- Use both sides of the paper. Set your copier to create double-sided copies, and you’re going to lower your paper use substantially.
- Use rechargeable batteries. Several batteries contain metals that are better kept out of landfills.