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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
man staring out at green pastures thinking about the environment
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10 Ways to Help the Environment Today [Slideshow]

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No matter who you are, what you do, where you live, or what you believe, there is one guarantee: helping the environment is your concern. Because well, you’re an integral part of it. One of our GR8EST defenses against environmental challenges is the power we have in numbers.

It’s easy to feel as though helping the planet is someone else’s responsibility. We imagine that the small differences we make aren’t enough to “save” or protect our environment. This is the type of thinking we can abolish by making change little by little and trusting that small changes are a more efficient contribution than none at all.

Here are ten ways to make it happen daily. The environment and future generations will thank you.

Man riding a bike next to public trans to help promote energy efficiency
Image by Renjith Radkrishnan / Unsplash
1 of

Go Public Trans

Sharing rides between public transport or carpooling is cost and energy efficient. Those with a 20-mile commute could lower their carbon footprint by 4,800 pounds annually by switching to public transit. That equals to planting 685 trees. 

Woman helping the environment by working at home
Image by Christin Hume  / Unsplash
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Work From Home 

Save on greenhouse gasses all together and opt to work from home when possible. Back in 2015, a study looked at the possibilities of having 50 percent of the American workforce work from home half the time. The results? We could reduce greenhouse emissions by 54 million metric tons annually, that's equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road. 

Recyclable packing paper neatly folded and tied with a piece of rope
Image by freestocks.org / Unsplash
3 of

Buy Recycled Packaging

Support companies that are using recycled tools and packaging. Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental issues our planet is facing right now. Do your best to avoid single-use plastic and keep an eye for recycled packaging whenever possible. 

Girl holding a single piece of paper to help promote paper consumption
Image by Brooke Cagle  / Unsplash
4 of

Limit Printing 

Limit your personal consumption of paper and use digital substitutions when possible. 

A collection of reusable coffee cups to help save the environment
Image by Ryan Everton / Unsplash
5 of

Carry Your Own 

Carry your own reusable coffee cups, mugs, and shopping bags when possible. The zero-packaging movement is growing across the world with more retailers joining the trend in an effort to reduce packaging waste.

A large field fully covered in piles of trash
Image by Jasmin Sessler  / Unsplash
6 of

Avoid Single Use Disposables 

Avoid purchasing or accepting single-use disposable items when possible. This ties into what we've talked about before, instead of looking at recycling options alone, we have to start looking into ways to generate the least amount of waste possible. 

Close up of a compost sticker to help promote environmental awareness
Image by Jan Kopriva / Unsplash
7 of

Give Composting a Go 

Food waste represents 21.1% of the trash produced in the US, even after recycling and composting are taking into account. Try composting your organic waste instead of tossing it, you can use it as fertilizer for your indoor plants, or see if your city has a composting system you can tap into. 

Reusable grocery bag and mason jars
Image by Shutterstock
8 of

Reuse When Indicated Possible 

Be careful not to throw away items that are marked as reusable. Follow the indicating symbols, and understand which items tend to be safe to reuse. 

A plastic fork under ocean waters
Image by Brian Yurasits  / Unsplash
9 of

Save the Silverware 

When ordering takeout, request to omit the silverware if you're eating at home. In addition, you can join the BYO revolution, and whenever you're eating out, bring your own silverware to avoid having to use plastic ones. 

an energy efficient light bulb
Image by Anton Belashov / Unsplash
10 of

Switch the Lights 

Switch out your current light bulbs for energy efficient ones. Not only will you save money on energy bills, but because these light bulbs can last up to 3-25 times longer, you'll be producing less waste in the long term. 

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Amanda
GR8NESS Writer
Amanda is a GR8NESS contributing writer who lives in celebration of self care, and endeavors to approach all things with a student mentality. Her love for the study of self-development is rooted in fitness, holistic wellness, and skin care. She is an advocate for mental health; and hopes to connect others to their own way of daring to care.
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