It is no secret that the planet Earth is in a state of crisis. Pollution, global warming, and other factors are making it difficult for plants and animals to survive.
Fortunately, there are many ways to make an individual's life more environmentally friendly. By just following 8 easy steps, individuals can do their part to save the planet.
Recycling actually doesn't require much effort, only a few extra moments of your time. It is so simple to drop off paper, plastic, and aluminum in the recycling bins at school or work. And you can recycle almost everything – food cans, glass, plastic bottles – everything that is recyclable.
For example, paper recycling is one of the most popular types of recycling because it doesn't require any extra effort to separate your paper from your other garbage.
On the other hand, the clothes we wear every day are mostly not recyclable. If you buy clothes only when necessary or made from recycled or plant-based materials, you will eliminate a lot of waste. Many fashion brands make sustainable clothes, for ladies especially.
Nowadays, you can find sustainable clothes in stores or through online retailers, something that was not possible only a few years ago.
Not using plastic containers
Did you know that plastic is made from petroleum? Petroleum comes from the earth and takes millions of years to develop. It also requires a lot of resources to extract it, usually in an environmentally harmful way – specifically when drilling for oil or mining tar sands.
Also, when digging up fossil fuels there are toxic chemicals released into the air which can lead to respiratory problems in humans and animals alike. Once extracted, petroleum products then must be shipped over long distances to get them to their intended destination.
Once plastics reach their destinations, they are often used just once before being thrown away because they cannot bio de!
Why do we still use this harmful material if there are so many natural resources available? Be sure to carry reusable bags when grocery shopping, and say no to plastic containers.
Use less paper
Nowadays, we use paper for everything – printing emails, taking notes in class, printing out the results of an online test. All of this paper has to be made from trees, which can take up to 40 years before they're ready for harvest! How much time do you spend just writing down everything you need on paper?
Look into getting a pencil or pen pal so that you don't have to print out your correspondence with this person. Most importantly, try not to print anything unless it is absolutely necessary.
Turn off the lights
This might seem like an obvious green living tip, but it can be really easy to overlook when you're in a rush. This is why it's important to develop good habits for going green.
By leaving lights on in rooms we do not occupy or when nobody is home, we waste electricity and create more pollution. If you live with other people, make sure to schedule a time where all the lights will be turned off so no one forgets!
Taking shorter showers
The average shower takes up about 17 litres of water per minute at an average temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) (EPA WaterSense). So by turning down your water heater and taking shorter showers, you will save money and conserve natural resources!
Most importantly, try taking showers instead of baths – most people uselessly let the tub fill up and then use only a tiny amount of water. You can also install low-flow showerheads in your showers, which will help decrease the amount of water wasted.
Also, when washing dishes in a dishwasher, do not pre-rinse them. Let the dishwasher clean the food particles instead. This will help save water and energy because less hot water is needed – which means lower electricity bills!
Learn to unplug
Did you know that even when your computer, phone, or other devices are turned off, they can still use power? When you leave appliances plugged in, they continue to draw electricity from your outlets even when not in use.
This ‘phantom' power is often called “Vampire Power,” and it accounts for 5% of household energy consumption (EPRI).
So, next time you're leaving home or going to sleep, make sure that all appliances are unplugged! Every little bit counts when it comes to living green, so make sure you start small and set realistic goals for yourself – like unplugging electronics when not in use.
Power strips are another great way of eliminating this need for vampire power, so go out and buy one today! You'll be surprised at how much money you can save just by plugging all your appliances into one strip and powering it off when you leave.
Using renewable energy
Many people don't realize that they can use alternative energy sources like wind and solar to help power their homes! While we currently rely heavily on non-renewable resources like coal and oil, there is a growing movement towards using cleaner natural sources.
If your electric company offers green energy as an option, then you should definitely switch! If they don't, then be sure to contact them and ask why. It's also a good idea to keep an eye on local governments to find out if they provide tax incentives for green energy use!
Walking or riding your bike
Depending on where you live, it might take you an average of 15-20 minutes just to walk across your neighbourhood! Taking the time to pedal your bike or walk instead of hopping in a car will improve both your physical fitness and also has many benefits for the environment.
And if you don't have a bike, borrow one from a friend! Bikes are extremely popular, so you probably know someone who has one that they don't use.
On the other hand, if you have to commute longer distances, try carpooling! It is a great way to save gas and money and to spend more time socializing and saving the planet!
There are many things that can be done to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint or save money, there is something here for everyone!
The 8 tips we have provided should help get you started on the right track and provide inspiration as well. Remember, every little bit counts!