Every year we write down our goals for the next 365 days and most of the things we want to do are selfish. We want to lose weight, start working out regularly, eat healthier, spend more time with our family, and so on. But who is going to think about our home, the Earth?
Climate is changing. We can’t ignore it any longer. Ice sheets are shrinking, oceans are getting warmer, glaciers are retreating, snow cover is decreasing, and sea level is rising. According to NASA the planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.
If you want to help the planet and yourself, follow our easy steps from this day and forward!
Many people think that recycling is complicated, but it is actually quite simple. You can lower pollution just by putting that plastic milk can in a different bin. Easy!
Recycling helps reduce the pollution caused by waste. Take a look at EPA guidelines on proper recycling.
Because of human actions a lot of waste goes into the ocean. The ocean, and more specifically marine plants, give us 70% of the oxygen we breath.
Our actions also influence animals. For example, every year up to 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die from eating plastic that people throw away. They mistake it for food, eat it, and ultimately cannot digest after. You can read more about the consequences of our behavior here.
Changing your shopping habits and buying used goods can help not only your wallet but also the environment. For example, going to a local thrift shop can save you a couple of bucks. To produce clothes manufacturers use a lot of chemicals that can cause harm to the water, the air, and also to the workers. If you buy used clothes, you can reduce the negative impacts on the environment by saving energy, labor costs, and transportation expenses.
Moreover, buying less new items will reduce the amount of waste in our landfills. No one wants to live surrounded by mountains of garbage!
Use LED Lights
Did you know that by using LED light bulbs you can save up to $75 a year? By replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs you can reduce your energy use by 75-80%. In addition, LED light bulbs last 25 times longer.
Learn more about LED lighting on the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) consumer resource Energy Saver. If you want to save even more energy, don’t forget to turn off lights when you’re not in the room.
The next time you buy traditional bulbs that are cheaper than LED lights, think about how much money you can lose per year.
Plant a Tree
According to the article “Mapping tree density at a global scale” by Thomas Crowther from Yale University, and colleagues, there are over three trillion trees on Earth, around 422 for each person on the planet. It may seem like a lot, but every tree is important. The researchers found that around 15 billion are lost every year because of deforestation, forest management and changes in land use. Moreover, the study found that total number of trees has fallen by around 46% since the start of human civilization. Terrifying?
We should not be afraid of the data that research shows. We have to take actions and help the Earth. Trees produce oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil, and give life to all. Even a sapling counts!
Eat Less Beef
Many people love steak. It’s a part of American culture. But have you ever thought how many resources it takes to produce it? According to this article, in order to produce about 2 pounds of beef you need 4 gallons of water, 66 pounds of carbon dioxide or equivalent greenhouse gas emissions, and 54 square feet of land. Eating less meat, especially beef, could help the environment.
In addition, high consumption of red meat increases the risk of eight diseases including heart disease and diabetes.
Buy Only What You’re Going To Eat
When you go shopping, don’t do it on an empty stomach. You might make poor decisions. According to this EPA article about 95% of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. By reducing our waste we lessen methane emissions from landfills, therefore lowering our carbon footprint.
Free advice that you probably know: always have a shopping list and follow it!
Walk More - Drive Less
Fewer miles driven means fewer emissions. Try to switch from four wheels to two, or just walk! By walking you burn more calories than while sitting in the car. For example, if your weight is 170 pounds and you walk 1 mile, you burn approximately 79 calories.
Reducing the amount you drive is better not only for the environment but also for your health!
Composting is easy and has a lot of benefits. First, it’s good for the environment. Second, it reduces landfill waste. Finally, it’s rich humus for your garden and lawn because it helps retain moisture in the soil and adds nutrients.
If you are not familiar with composting, read the EPA article about composting basics. There are several ways of composting: you can find a spot outside to compost or do it indoors using a special type of bin, which you can buy at a local gardening supplies store or order online.
Learn more about conservation in your area. Be the first one to know about events, announcements, fundraisers, and advocacy campaigns. Visit Stateline Area Conservation Coalition Group and invite your friends!