As environmental concerns continue to rise, we all must understand how we can help to preserve our planet. Doing our part is so much more than using a particular recycling bin. If we’re going to make planet-saving changes, we’ve got to put in planet-saving efforts. The focus is on understanding what you could be doing to hurt the environment without knowing. What you can do to help and what everyone else is doing.
Put on your cape, GR8 friend. Becoming a friend of the environment is one thing, but if you’re ready to make some more aggressive changes, start with these tips.
1. Rethink Your Vehicle
According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, transportation is now the heftiest source of carbon emissions in the United States. The average vehicle contributes approximately 6 to 9 tons of CO2 yearly. Using your car less is one way to make a difference. Using an eco-mode or driving strategically to limit how much gas mileage is used can also help.
Another way is by purchasing a green vehicle. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends these guidelines for those wanting to make the switch. If you’re able to omit having a car altogether, choosing public transportation may also help to limit carbon emissions.
2. Cut Out Red Meat
One study suggests that an even more significant factor than vehicle emissions is the production of red meat in the United States. Sources of beef such as cows and bulls produce a high amount of methane, which can drastically affect the climate. Other sources of excess methane are gas and oil-related from industrial operations.
The EPA and recent government regulations have been able to limit these. However, the impact is still significant. Cutting red meat consumption is a change that depends on people to make at an individual level as government policies waver.
3. Overall Water Reduction
Saving water is theoretically an “easy” way to help the environment, but it is work. The bottom line is that water is a limited resource, and only 2% of the Earth’s water is stored in ice caps. The rest is saltwater.
Improving your water usage is a series of a lot of small changes like turning off the sink when you brush your teeth or using water-saving showerheads. Another way to save water is by hacking your toilet. Use a one-liter bottle filled with sand or pebbles halfway and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Place the bottle in the toilet’s tank. This can save up to five gallons of water per day as less water is being used to fill the tank for flushing.
4. Participate in Initiatives Regularly
Everyone knows the environment is in danger. We know certain things like avoiding using straws and recycling are best practices, and yet, they remain challenging. Participation in this way is less of a once-a-year check-it-off-the-list event and more of an ongoing effort. Participating in your community requires seeking out activities and opportunities, hence a powerful life change for most.
5. Reduce Your Food Waste
Did you know that Americans dispose of approximately one-third of food waste each year? This waste is ending up in landfills and eventually gets turned into methane, further affecting the environment. Paying attention to labels, eating your leftovers, donating food, and learning to compost are all ways to reduce the amount of waste you produce individually.
6. Go Green with Your Shopping
According to National Geographic, 1.7 billion people are contributing to the negative impact of consumerism on the environment. This impact affects up to 60 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as land, water, and the use of other resources. Make a difference by using your shopping bags, buying local products, and choosing companies who value and prioritize sustainability.
Working to preserve the Earth is quite the endeavor, but would we be here if we weren’t equipped to make it happen? Be resourceful, resilient, and never give up on this planet of ours.