Climate change has been suggested by the United Nations as a topic that not just affects the current generations, but also as a topic that is bound to change history as we know it. With changing weather patterns threatening food production; and with rising sea levels causing calamitous floodings globally, drastic actions must be taken if humanity as a whole wish to avoid a point in time where major ecosystems and Earth’s climate have suffered irreversible damage. If you are interested in reading more about human’s impact on the environment, you can visit justoneearth.co.uk for more information.
Saving the earth might seem like it is out of your hands but there is much that individuals can do to help. These range from actions taken to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, to lifestyle changes to reduce one’s carbon footprint. It’s no longer just personal responsibility, but a personal necessity to play a part in protecting the environment. Here are some tips on how you can live more sustainably.
Use less water in your daily activities
A little goes a long way, and if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. Start small by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, or by finally getting around to fixing that leaky tap. This could save as much as 90 gallons of water each day, and not just saves the environment, but also saves you some money on your monthly hydro bills.
If you are a fervent drinker of bottled water, consider opting for filtered tap water instead! This not only saves you money but also reduces plastic waste used for bottling the water.
Maintain your car if you cannot opt for public transportation
If you are unable to use public transportation when you head out, then try your best to plan your trips and stay off the roads as often as possible. This can help to reduce as much as 1590 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis. This can easily be done by planning out your errands and combining them in one trip.
Working from the office? Why not consider asking your boss if you could work from home? This not only saves you a trip to and fro but is sure to also do wonders for your mental health.
If these are not possible, then be conscious about maintaining your car, as well-maintained vehicles produce fewer emissions than poorly maintained ones. By inflating your tires properly, for instance, gas mileage can be increased by as much as three percent!
Opt for public transportation whenever possible
If you can do so, opt for public transportation. It’s a cheaper and more eco-friendly alternative to driving. If not, you could also consider walking or biking to your destination if it is nearby.
For people who live in far-flung areas, consider carpooling if public transportation is not available. Not only does it help the environment, but it could also help you save on gas money if your friends or the people who share your car are willing to pay you back for gas.
Whenever possible, you can help the environment by following the 3Rs— Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Just had a can of pop? Try putting the can into the recycling bin rather than into the general waste bin. Need to print something? Why not give double-sided printing a go? The small amounts add up and can make a difference to the emissions we generate.
Other small actions include bringing along recyclable bags when you do your weekly grocery shop, using reusable cutlery rather than opting for disposables, and buying eco-friendly products!
Americans were the reason behind over 260 million tons of trash in 2015, but of this figure, less than 10% were composted. Most of the trash ended up in landfills. Imagine the amount of solid waste produced if people just gave composting a go? Not only does it help to reduce the amount of waste that eventually goes to the local landfill, but it also makes for a great fertilizer for your lawn.
Make the switch to LED lights
Progress has been made since the invention of incandescent bulbs, with the commonly used compact fluorescent bulbs lasting 10 times as long and using only one-third of the energy used by their predecessor. Yet, they are difficult to dispose of due to the mercury they contain.
With the advent of LED bulbs, this can be something of the past. LED bulbs are energy efficient as they emit light in an extremely narrow band wavelength. Though they are slightly more costly than compact fluorescent bulbs, they will last much longer.
Have an energy-efficient home
By having an energy-efficient home, you save money! Did you know that your windows are the culprit for nearly a quarter of the heat gain or loss of your home? If your windows haven’t been changed for a while, it’s high time you consider replacing them. It is also important to ensure that your home has proper insulation, which differs from home to home due to the climate and the type of HVAC system you install.
By regularly replacing your HVAC’s air filter, you help to keep it performing at an optimal level. This means less energy used, and more money saved.
Opt for sustainable foods
Food production is responsible for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions nowadays. By choosing to eat more sustainably, you can help cut down the number of emissions produced. This means buying from farmers that try to be sustainable and use organic means of production. Cutting down on your meat consumption also does wonders for the environment, as livestock can produce as much as 500 litres of methane each day. If you have a lawn, consider growing your own fruits and veggies too!
Cut down on plastic usage
Globally, we use as many as one million plastic bottles each minute, and over a trillion plastic bags each year that is only used once. Yet, the sad truth is that less than 10 percent of all the plastic we use gets recycled. Do your part to cut down on the waste by opting to use reusable bottles and recyclable cloth bags. Furthermore, you can avoid the use of plastic straws by opting for paper or reusable metal ones instead.
With these tips in mind, you’re prepped and ready to start living sustainably! Remember, a little goes a long way, so start small and see where it leads you.