We all live in an age where we know that reducing our carbon footprint on the environment is vital to the Earth’s general well being. In honor of Earth Day this past week, here are 10 ways to reduce your impact and help save the environment one step at a time. You may not think you can do that much, but if every person does just enough, than we can actually make a difference.
1. Meatless Mondays. The meat industry generates nearly 1/5th of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide. Cutting out meat just one day a week can help slow this trend.
2. Buy recycled products. Nowadays, you can buy recycled paper; clothes made of recycled fabric, and recycled office products.
3. Re-usable water bottles/grocery bags. Of the 45 million bottles we consume daily, 88 percent are not recycled which means 1.14 billion plastic water bottles enter our landfills monthly.
4. Have receipts emailed to you after you make a purchase – don’t print them.
5. Unplug your electronics when you are not using energy aka when they are on standby. You won’t only save money on your electricity bill, but you are actively wasting energy that doesn’t need to be wasted by keeping them plugged in.
6. Throw away bottle caps. From Harvard Law's Facilities Management Website: removal of the cap allows for evaporation and prevents retention of residual liquid.
7. Recycle glass, aluminum and plastic. A lot of people don’t realize you can recycle these products, but according to Steve Larkin, recycling old cans into new ones uses 95 percent less energy and produces 95 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than producing new cans entirely from scratch. In fact, the recovered aluminum processed in a typical year saves the energy equivalent of 1.3 billion gallons of gasoline.
8. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. This just saves water that doesn’t need to be wasted.
9. Only do laundry when you have a full load. This also saves water and energy. Why waste an entire load of laundry on five articles of clothing?
10. Buy organic, pesticide-free foods. Organic farms use 70 percent less energy than industrial farms, and since they don’t use pesticides they help preserve ground water.