Sunday, June 6, 2021

How can you help the environment in simple ways


Doing your part to save the environment can seem like an insurmountable task, but there are several things we can all do on the daily that will benefit Mother Earth. Here are 20 of the simplest tasks to try right now.

Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth

Just by shutting the water off when you’re not using it, you can save up to 200 gallons of H2O each month.

Get a dishwasher

Newer energy-efficient devices use as little as four gallons of water per cycle, whereas washing dishes by hand wastes about 20!

Combine errands

If you take one trip to do multiple things, you’ll save gas, which will also be good for your pocketbook and time. Why? Because car engines run more efficiently once they’re warmed up.

Work from home

Another great way to reduce your gas consumption and emissions is to work from home whenever you can. Some experts even believe people use twice as much energy at an office (thanks to extra desk lights, coffee runs, etc.) than they do when working remotely.

Avoid expiry dates

There are now apps that will let you know when a certain product in your fridge is about to expire. This could help you cut down on unnecessary food waste because of expired produce.

Get to know what “expired” means

Another thing to do when it comes to expiry dates is to learn about what they actually mean. For some products, expiry means “sell by,” but for others it’s “use by.” You could unnecessarily be wasting food.

Skip baths

It’s hard to believe that taking a shower is more environmentally friendly than taking a bath, but it is. A quick five-minute rinse only uses 10 to 25 gallons of water, but a bath requires up to 30.

Reach for reusable bottles

It’s believed one million plastic water bottles are sold every minute, a whopping 91% of which are not recycled. By reaching for a reusable one, you’ll reduce the pressure on landfills.

Buy reusable chopsticks

Some 45 billion chopsticks are used every year in China alone, which means on a global scale the waste produced from this piece of disposable cutlery is catastrophic. Do your part to cut down on the garbage by using reusable chopsticks instead.

Defrost food in the fridge

One of the weirdest ways to waste water is by trying to defrost food in a sink full of hot water. Instead, pre-plan your meals and put anything that needs defrosting in the fridge a day or two before you plan to use it.

Buy less packaged foods

Food packaging makes up two thirds of total packaging waste in the U.S. (think plastic fruit and veggie bags or cracker boxes). By buying items in a reusable tote at a market, you’ll save an inordinate amount of waste.

Buy a portable coffee tumbler

Did you know the average coffee-drinking office worker throws out 500 disposable cups per year? Use your own mug and the environment will thank you!

Reach for loose leaf tea

Not only is loose leaf tea better for you, it’s better for the environment because it isn’t packaged in individual non-recyclable bags.

Grow a garden

By growing your own food, you’ll be learning an invaluable skill, while reducing the energy (gas, emissions, water, electricity) required to ship and shop for produce at a store. Some studies have even shown eating homegrown is more nutritious.

Ditch plastic bags

Some research has suggested that plastic bags are three times more detrimental to the world’s greenhouse gas levels than a reusable one.

Choose used

While you’ll want to buy some things new (toothbrushes, underwear, etc.), there are plenty of items to buy used (electronics, clothing, furniture)—doing so will save the earth and your pocket!

Purchase fewer paper products

Every paper product we use (toilet paper, tissue paper, etc.) requires the chopping down of a tree. When buying disposable items, reach for ones that have a “sustainable” logo on their label—the seal shows the product has been made with the earth’s best interests in mind.

Ditch plastic straws

More and more companies are banning the use of plastic straws because some estimate 500 million of them are used and thrown out every day—that’s enough waste to circle the earth 2.5 times over!

Unplug unused appliances

So-called phantom energy (the energy used to run electronics that are plugged in but go unused) can account for 10% of a home’s electricity waste.

Don’t flush the toilet at night

The toilet is the least water efficient object in any household—it wastes two gallons of water with each flush. So if it’s yellow, let it mellow.

 By Sarah Walker, Espresso


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