10 Ways to Reduce Your Impact on the Earth Every Day

Earth Day (April 22) is once again approaching, and while most people will do something on this day to help the environment it’s still not enough. In order to help our planet we need to start making changes to our everyday habits so we can have a beautiful, green planet to live on for many years to come. So, here are some tips to help the earth on a daily basis.

10 Ways to Reduce Your Impact on the Earth Every Day

1. Compost

There are so many reasons to compost, least among them that you are reducing the amount of garbage that goes to landfills. Even if you live in an apartment or are renting there are many portable, small models of composters that can sit on your patio, or you can inquire into setting up a compost location for your building or neighborhood.

2. Reusable Bags

Plastic bags use valuable resources to make and it takes over 100 years for them to degrade. Replacing these with reusable cotton bags helps cut down on trash, and may save you at the cash register as many stores are now giving you a refund for each bag you bring to reuse. Target and Whole Foods are just two major stores that offer a bag refund.

3. LED Lights

A few years ago we all madly changed our light bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent, to save energy and reduce waste. While this is absolutely a great idea, LED lights are even better – they last up to eight times longer than CFL bulbs, and can give off more brightness per watt so you pay even less for lighting.

4. Cold Water Washing

This is an easy switch that will save you money on electricity and help to reduce greenhouse emissions. In fact, you probably won’t even notice a difference as far as your clothes are concerned. Remember to get eco-friendly cold water detergent as well.

5. Transportation

Switching from driving a car to taking transit, riding a bike, or carpooling can significantly help the planet and save you money. Even if you can only make the change for one or two days per week you are having a positive impact. If you have to drive make sure your car is tuned up regularly. Consider upgrading to an electric or hybrid model.

6. Reusable Bottles

Disposable water bottles, even when properly recycled, use up a ton of resources. Buying a good quality water bottle can save you from buying expensive bottled water – simply fill up at home. If your water is less than delicious consider investing in a Brita or water filter to give you better tasting water. Some newer water bottles even come with a built in filter so you can have fresh water wherever you go.

7. Ceiling Fans

Adding a ceiling fan to your living room or any large space in your home can help you feel more comfortable without having to reach for the thermostat. When it’s warm the ceiling fan will circulate air so you feel cooler, in cold weather it will help by pushing hot air down from the ceiling so you are warmer.

8. Incorporate more Plant-Based Food into your diet.

Animal farming is inflicting damage on a grand scale. It is a major contributor to climate change, discharging more greenhouse gases than all the cars, planes, and ships in the world put together.

Raising animals to be killed for food releases more than 100 million tons of methane gas into the atmosphere each year, and cattle belch out huge volumes of it. Methane is a major contributor in global warming—it’s twenty-three times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is another dangerous gas being unleashed into the environment due to human acts.

If you and your family go 100 percent plant-based, you can save two hundred animals a year, according to PETA. Not only that, but you can take a giant step toward preserving the planet. Leading authorities say that if every person ate the same diet (including animal-based foods) as the average American, we’d need 3.74 earths to sustain the world’s population by 2050.

Borges, Marco. The Greenprint (p. 109). Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition.

9. Buy Local

Sure, those Peruvian strawberries are delicious, but do you know how much carbon dioxide was created to get them to your grocery store? By buying local you are supporting your own economy as well as reducing air pollution, something that will benefit everyone, not just you and your family.

10. Recycle!

You've heard it over and over again, but there are still many people who don't recycle or do not recycle properly. Check out the rules on what your community will recycle. For those items they do not accept (certain plastics or CFL light bulbs) you can recycle at other locations like home improvement stores or Whole Foods. Now you have ten new ways to be environmentally friendly. Don’t wait for April 22nd, get started now!  

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