Many of us care about the city, state, country, continent and planet we live on, but we think it is too much effort to take an active role in protecting the environment. While the only way to save our planet involves a shift in priorities from the whole world, every little change makes a difference. You might think you are only one person, who cannot make a huge impact on our environment. In reality, all major changes come from individual actions.
No act is small; be it like car pooling with your friends or colleagues, riding bike instead of car, buying eco-friendly products, cleaning up the litter, recycling old items, avoiding food waste, using less plastic bottles, doing organic farming, buying items with less packaging, throwing old items in compost bin and many more. All that is required is willingness to do our part to make this planet more sustainable.
Here is a look at 30+ ways you can protect the environment and help save Mother Earth for future generations.
- Replace old light bulbs with LED’s
This may seem like a minor change, but experts believe that if every single house in the United States switched one of their lightbulbs with a fluorescent bulb, it provides a reduction in pollution that equals the removal of almost a million cars.
- Switch off your computer in the night
Many people like to leave their computers on all night, even if they are not using them. If you turn your computer off for those extra 8 or 9 hours each day, you save around $15 a year. In addition, you are saving 40 watt-hours of energy each day.
- Avoid rinsing the dishes
It is common practice to rinse our dishes before we put them in the dishwasher. However, skipping this step saves around 20 gallons of water per loan, along with a lot of your time. In addition, there are energy savings from not having to heat up water for each rinse.
- Do not pre-heat the oven
Unless the recipe specifically requires it, there is no need to always pre-heat your oven. Turn it on and put your dish or food item inside within 30 seconds. This saves a few minutes of energy each time you use the oven.
- Switch to environmentally-friendly diapers
Stick to environmentally-friendly diapers, even if they are more expensive. It is estimated that each baby requires around 6,000 diapers before they are trained to use the toilet. Think of how many tons of waste that adds up to per year.
- Drying your clothes on clothesline
Is it really necessary to put your clothes through the dryer every time they are washed? Air dry your clothes to conserve energy. You will also notice your clothes lasting longer as they avoid the rough and tumble of a dryer.
- Switch to vegetarian meals for couple of days in a week
Meat might be delicious, but it takes up thousands of gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. Try skipping animal food altogether for a couple of days a week.
- Walk or ride a bike
How about taking a walk to cover short distances and using bike for longer distances. Not only it will keep you in shape but will also reduce your carbon footprint on the environment.
- Cut your usage of paper napkins
While it may be unreasonable to cut out your use of paper napkins altogether, everyone taking one less napkin for each use can save billions of pounds of waste per year.
- Print on both sides of the paper
Is it necessary to leave one side of a printed paper blank every time? It is much more efficient to consistently use double-sided printing. Only use single-sided printing if you really need the back for taking notes.
- Recycle newspapers
It may seem unusual, but only 31 percent of newspapers in the United States are recycled. The other 69 percent are thrown out each day. Think of the millions of trees you can save by always recycling the newspaper you buy.
- Use old gift wrapping papers
There are so many types of paper you can reuse while wrapping gifts, instead of having to buy a whole new set each time you want to give out presents.
- Say no to bottled water
Most bottled water is not even 100 percent pure, and it creates so much unnecessary waste that is not recyclable. Buy a water bottle with a filter and use tap water instead!
- Showers over baths
It may not seem that way, but showers actually use half as much water as running a full bath. Limit relaxing baths to a few times a month, not every other day.
- Brushing your teeth
It is common knowledge, but everyone still needs to do better in terms of shutting the water tap when brushing their teeth. This is an example of a completely unnecessary waste of resources.
- Buy eco-friendly products
While purchasing goods purchases online or offline, make sure that the products you buy are made from sustainable materials. One way to make sure is to look out for the recycling symbol on the logo.
- Buy second-hand items
There is nothing wrong with buying second hand electronics or machinery, especially if it works properly. This is especially true for kids toys that outgrow them within a few years.
- Increase temperature in thermostat by one degree during summers
If you have a specific thermostat setting for the summer, increase it by one degree. For the winter, set it one degree lower. The changes you feel are negligible, but you are saving around 10 percent in energy.
- Buy your own coffee cup
Stop buying coffee from Starbucks or another shop in plastic cups, especially if you get one every day. Buy a cup you can reuse each time.
- Combine your trips
It is common for us to run errands every day, but we could get the same things done in one or two trips a week. Batch up your errands to save on time and gasoline.
- Turn off the lights
Do not leave the lights on if you are no longer in a room. It is another example of a completely unnecessary expenditure. Also make sure your porch or backyard lights are off in the morning and afternoon.
- Recycle your old phone
Instead of throwing your phone out so it ends up in a landfill, send it to a company or program that recycles the parts.
- Perform regular maintenance of your car
Always keep up with your car maintenance. This ensures it is running at an energy efficient level. In addition, it will last you a lot longer.
- Recycle aluminum cans
It takes the same amount of energy to make 20 recycled aluminum cans as compared to one new can. Do not throw these into the trash – recycle them!
- Avoid getting junk mail
If you keep getting junk mail from companies in your mailbox, call them or send them an email that asks for the mailing to stop.
- Matches vs. Lighters
Cardboard matches are made of recycled paper, which is the most environmentally friendly way to light something on fire. Comparatively, billions of lighters get dumped into our landfills every year.
- Donate old clothes or items that are no longer in use
It is unnecessary to throw away clothes or other items you no longer need, when there is probably someone who could make good use of the same item. Donation leads to less purchases, which leads to less manufacturing.
- Buy reusable bags instead of plastic bags
Buy reusable bags from your local grocery store – they usually sell them for a dollar. Stop throwing away hundreds of plastic bags each year.
- Try downloading software and games from internet
If you are buying software for your computer, or a game for your console or PC, think about downloading it via the internet. This saves on the packaging and disc creation that accompanies traditional software packaging.
- Avoid using coffee stirrers
If you want sugar and cream in your coffee, ask the barista to put it in the cup first. Then it gets mixed perfectly as they pour coffee over it. This avoids the unnecessary use of a coffee stirrer. It is estimated that around 130 billion coffee stirrers are thrown out each year in the United States alone.
- Use Fan instead of air conditioner when weather is pleasant outside
Why not to switch off your air conditioner for some time and use fan when it is pleasant outside. Just open the windows of your room and let fresh air come in. Fresh air is any day good for health instead of artificial air.
While large scale efforts to protect the environment are very necessary, everything must start on an individual level. These thirty tips will help you conserve energy, use less resources and accumulate less waste. If everyone followed these steps, we could make a drastic difference to environmental preservation.