- Buy in Bulk!
Buying in bulk is eco friendly for a lot of reasons. First, buying in bulk creates less waste. There is less packaging involved in bulk sized, which means less resources and energy being used. Plus, with less packaging more product can be shipped in the same amount of space, reducing carbon emissions caused by shipping. Though many think buying bulk can be wasteful because the food will go bad, but the potential benefits can outweigh the potential for waste. If you are smart about your bulk purchases, you will be creating less waste, using less energy, and spending less money!
- Wise Showering
Every shower taken wastes an insane amount of both water and energy. We can’t avoid showering, but we can definitely reduce some of our wasteful habits in the bathroom. Leaving the water running while putting on shampoo and conditioner or letting your shower “warm up” for half an hour are both wasteful habits many of us have fallen into. Water is an incredibly vital resource that many of us take for granted. Reducing your shower time by splitting your showering “tasks” is a great way to reduce waste. For instance, alternate days you shave and wash your hair so that you aren’t doing both in one shower. The most important step is taking shorter showers to reduce the water and energy consumption.
- Reduce your Red Meat Consumption
The production of meat, specifically red meat from cows, pigs or lamb, is one of the most environmentally costly industries in America. Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of food, land, water, energy, and not to mention varying degrees of animal abuse. Roughly 51% of global greenhouse gases/emissions are caused by the animal product industry. To reduce your red meat consumption, try designating certain days of the week where you don’t consume meat, like meatless Mondays.
- Buy a Reusable Water Bottle
Americans consume over 8.6 billion gallons of water coming from plastic bottles annually. All of that plastic will take 400 to 1,000 years to decompose. That waste will still be around when our grandchildren’s children are alive. Instead of wasting money and plastic using disposable water bottles, buy one good reusable water bottle. This change is easy to achieve and can make a huge impact on the environment.
This should be a really easy one. Carpooling saves energy, fuel, money, and pollution; plus, it is so much more fun than driving alone!
- Go Thrift Shopping and Donate Clothing
Thrift shopping saves money and resources. There are so many great opportunities for thrift shopping all around the country. It saves money and waste. When you buy second hand, you are saving the energy, resources, and money that would be going into making and buying new clothing. Also, always donate the clothing you don’t want anymore. No matter how “out of style” or old they look to you, there is probably someone out there that would really appreciate your old clothing.
- Switch to LED lightbulbs
LED light bulbs use less electricity, emit more light, and last longer than any other traditional light bulb. They also do not contain any toxins. The longer lifespan of these bulbs saves both money and space in landfills. If you have traditional light bulbs, just make sure to replace them with LED ones when they die.
- Reduce your use of disposable paper and plastic products
Obviously our surplus of landfill waste is one of the largest environmental problems to date. The average plastic product is only used for 15 seconds, making this issue especially frustrating. Make a big impact, by simply replacing plastic with reusable items. For example, if you go to Starbucks every morning, buy a reusable cup for your coffee. There are so many reusable options out there, and it’s easy to make the switch.
- Bring reusable bags to the supermarket
Buying reusable bags to bring to the supermarket can be hugely effective to reduce your environmental impact. Even if you choose the paper bags instead of plastic, you are still creating unnecessary waste. In fact, in 2014, California became the first state to impose legislation charging 10 cents per plastic bag used at the supermarket.
- Spread the Word
Last but certainly not least, spread the world about environmental problems and ways to help end them! Spreading the word will help educate others, and keep you accountable!
–Staff Writer, Susanna Montgomery