Caring for the environment has become a top priority for many people today. As we face increasingly dire environmental predicaments, such as global warming and increased pollution, we are beginning to realize that our day-to-day decisions can have a major impact on how the environment fares moving forward. However, the question of how to best care for the environment has been debated for years.
Beyond recycling your everyday waste and taking shorter showers so you don’t waste water, have you ever thought about the simple, easy lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on the environment? The broader scientific community is starting to come together and agree on what we need to do in order to make a difference. But, there are still many people who don’t know about these changes or refuse to acknowledge them. Here are some small changes you can make that will have a big impact on the environment.
Shop With Environmentally Forward-Thinking Businesses
When you shop for groceries, clothes, and other day-to-day necessities and luxuries, always look for businesses that have a strong environmental awareness on their product labels. A quick internet search can help you find environmentally responsible companies in your area. Not only will these products be more environmentally friendly, but they are also usually cheaper than their non-environmentally conscious counterparts, and they usually taste better too.
Living Minimalist Lifestyle
One way to reduce your environmental impact is by adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Instead of buying everything you want and need, only purchase the things that are necessities whether it’s eco-friendly pens from https://www.trvst.world/sustainable-living/eco-friendly/pens-and-pencils/ or reusable water bottle. This not only reduces clutter in your home but also means less waste going into landfills and more money saved (because you’re not spending as much).
By choosing clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton and wool, you can make a huge difference in the environment. Synthetic materials take a lot of resources to produce and require toxic chemicals, so by choosing natural fibers you’re reducing your carbon footprint as well. And if you want to live an even greener life, try cloth diapering instead of using disposable diapers for your kids.
Eat Organic Food
People buy organic items for many reasons: whether it’s to avoid GMOs, to lower their risk of exposure to harmful pesticides and herbicides, or simply because they like the high quality of the food. Eating organic is good for you and good for the environment. Using fewer pesticides means fewer chemicals running off into the soil – which, in turn, reduces damage to wildlife and marine life.
More organic farming practices also mean more carbon dioxide absorption from the earth as a result of photosynthesis. This will help reduce global warming and climate change. By eating organic food, you are doing a small part to ensure that future generations of humans and animals alike will have access to clean air and food.
Live Close to Work or School
Living close to work or school will help reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on fuel and public transport. Each household can save thousands of dollars per year by choosing public over private transportation options. The average commute in the United States is around 24 minutes each way.
That’s 96 minutes behind the wheel every day, which can add up to 4 hours per week. If you live 9 miles from work, that adds up to 1500 miles driven every year! Even if you utilize public transportation for part of your commute, that’s still a significant amount of gas used. Living close to where you work or school will benefit the environment and your wallet! If you’re unable to live close enough to work or school, consider working from home one day per week (or every other week) to reduce your drive time.
Did you know that walking for just half an hour a day can provide you with health benefits equivalent to briskly walking for 3 hours? And that’s without even factoring in the benefit it has on the environment! Replacing one 5-mile car ride every day with a 30-minute walk will reduce your carbon footprint by 4.3 metric tons per year. If you don’t have time to walk, try biking or taking public transportation to work every day.
Instead of sending food waste to the landfill, consider composting it. Composting is an important step in sustainable living because it diverts organic waste from landfills, where large amounts of methane are produced as it decays (a harmful greenhouse gas). It also provides nutrients for your soil, so you can grow your own food without having to buy fertilizers.
If you don’t have a garden, consider volunteering at a community garden or asking a local farm if they’d be interested in the compost you’ve made. They might even be willing to pay you for your compost.
Recycle Your Trash
Did you know that recycling just half of the trash found in an average home could save enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours every day? By recycling, you’re reducing your carbon footprint, saving landfill space, and conserving energy.
If you’re not sure what kind of trash is recyclable, check out this list of common items that can usually go in recycling containers:
- Aluminum foil and cans
- Bi-metal and steel cans
- Corrugated cardboard
- Glass jars and bottles
- Newspaper, magazines, catalogs. Paper bags, phone books, and paperback books
- Plastic containers
So help save the environment and make a difference by recycling!
Choose Energy Efficient Products Whenever Possible
Being conscious about the energy use of new appliances is one of the easiest ways to save energy. By using appliances that are Energy Star rated, you can reduce your carbon footprint without compromising too much on quality or convenience. By replacing your old refrigerator with one that uses only 300 kWh/year, you’d save over 200 kWh each year, which is almost the same as the amount of energy used by powering two 60-watt light bulbs for an entire day.
Doing this with all of your household appliances will significantly reduce their carbon footprints. If one or more of your appliances are relatively new, you might be able to change the settings so they use less energy. By lowering the refrigerator or freezer temperature by just 2 degrees, you can save up to 5% on your energy bill each year.
Giving up one car will not only benefit the environment, but it can also save you money. If both of your cars are paid off (or if one is) and you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, you might be able to get away with giving up one car completely instead of continuing to own both.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and have a positive impact on the environment, there are several things that can be done from changing certain behaviors to making small adjustments in our day-to-day lives. In this article, we’ve outlined some of those changes as well as how they could help save resources for future generations. The key is being mindful about what you do each day so that even little actions add up over time!