I believe that everyone can make a difference in the environment. You do not have to be a bee keeper or a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer to do something good for the world every day. So I have compiled a list of 10 easy changes that anyone can make to be more environmentally friendly.
1) Recycle– it is often easier to find a garbage can than a recycling bin, but recycling that water bottle or soda can makes a big difference in our landfills and in the struggle for sustainable resource use. If you don’t have recycling in your home or office, there are often recycling centers at schools that are there for everyone to use!
2) Drive less– This is not always possible, but when in a bigger city or tourist destination there are often subways, trains, and buses that are both cheaper and give your trip a lower carbon footprint. Walking short distances instead of driving is also cheaper and gets you some exercise. When you do have to drive, try to consolidate trips to save on gas and time.
3) Buy local– Buying local produce and goods not only cuts down on fossil fuel emissions, but helps support your community and local producers. Farmer’s Markets are easy to find and fun to shop at!
4) Plant a tree or a garden– Planting a tree in your yard or in a park provides shade, cleans the air, sequesters carbon, and helps prevent erosion. Trees that shade a house or apartment reduce air conditioning costs in the summer! Also, home gardens are a great way to enjoy the outdoors while keeping your carbon footprint low.
5) Turn off the lights– When you are not home or not in a room be sure to turn off the lights and other electronics. Leaving electronics on when you are not using them is wasting energy and money. Also, think about using natural light on sunny days and leave the lamps off if you can.
6) Be smart about laundry– Make sure to buy detergent that can be used in cold water. Using cold water to in the washing machine instead of hot reduces heating costs. Also, avoid using permanent press, which will add about 5 gallons of water use to every load.
7) Reuse containers– Use containers for lunches or leftovers instead of plastic bags. Containers work just as well and can be reused over and over again.
8) Buy secondhand clothes– Going to the thrift shop can not only be fun and inexpensive, but can reduce environmental impact.
9) Make your own cleaning products– This is a super simple and Eco-friendly change that saves the environment and your wallet. All the ingredients needed can be found in the pantry and there are a ton of recipes online.
10) Eco-friendly gift wrap– Instead of using wrapping paper from the store, reuse old gift bags or make your own wrapping paper from newspapers or magazines.