How Can You Help The Environment at Home
The environment is a topic that many people are interested in these days. How can ordinary people help the environment without making drastic changes to their lives? In this blog post, we will examine nine easy ways to make a difference and do your part for the planet!
Recycle to Help the Environment
The first item on our list is to take advantage of your local recycling services. Many municipalities have recycling services for most recyclable items. Plastic, paper products, and glass are the biggest categories of items that can be recycled in your community.
If you cannot find a recycling center near you, look into drop-off locations or programs to pick up materials at homes such as grocery stores’ bins or clothing donation programs where they will give you a tax-deductible receipt.
While recycling is an important part of reducing the amount of material headed to landfills, it’s just as helpful to reduce consumption and reuse items whenever possible.
Compost to Help the Environment
Compost is organic matter that has broken down into a soil-like substance and can be used as fertilizer for your garden. While you do not need to have a yard or even own plants, composting helps reduce the amount of food waste ending up in landfills where it emits methane gas.
You can compost your own kitchen scraps at home and create healthy soil for free as long as you keep the right balance of “green” (food) to “brown” (woody matter).
If you don’t have room for a large compost pile, there are compost barrel options that can be placed outside your backdoor.
Even if you are short on space, indoor options such as worm bins speed up decomposition and create nutrient-rich castings.
Stop Using Plastic Bags
Every year, millions of plastic bags are used for grocery shopping and discarded.
Plastic bag bans have become more common in many jurisdictions across the United States to reduce this waste stream.
Paper bags are a better alternative to plastic because they can be reused multiple times. However, reusable canvas shopping bags are the best option as they have many uses and will break down in landfills after hundreds of years.
Even if your municipality does not ban or charge for single-use grocery store plastic bags, you should consider bringing your own bags. It takes a plastic bag roughly one thousand years to break down in a landfill. A reusable bag will last until it breaks and serve multiple functions for you.
Use LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs save a lot of energy and last much longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. They are a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint.
While they are more expensive, the long-term cost savings can be well worth it for most people. The average LED bulb has an estimated lifespan of 25,000 hours or 22 years (at three hours per day) compared to just 1,000 hours for the average incandescent light bulb.
It is estimated that if every home in the united states swapped 1 incandescent light bulb for an LED bulb, it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 100 million pounds. That’s equivalent to removing about 20,000 cars off the road for a year.
Use a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic water bottles
Reusable water bottles are an easy way to reduce the amount of plastic you use and save money.
There is no need for most people to buy single-use plastic water bottles when you can fill up your own reusable bottle from the tap at home or work. It’s even possible in some places to get free filtered tap water from special machines located around the city.
If you live in a city that doesn’t have high-quality tap water, consider purchasing a filter like Zero Water. It will improve the taste of your water and remove any contaminants in the tap water.
It is estimated that if every person in the United States reduced their consumption of single-use plastic water bottles by just one per day, it would save over two million pounds of plastic from entering our landfills and oceans each year.
Use Resealable Silicon Bags Instead of Plastic Sandwich Bags to Help the Environment
Sandwich bags are a type of plastic bag that can be reused multiple times. While they are popular, single-use sandwich and food storage bags contribute to an enormous amount of waste each year in the United States alone.
Silicon resealable food storage bags may cost more than their plastic counterparts but will last for years without any issues and save money in the long run.
Use Glass Mason Jars
Mason jars are a type of glass container that can be reused for years. They have been popular in recent years as drinking glasses and make excellent storage vessels for leftover food and liquids such as soups or stews.
Glass mason jars will never leach chemicals into your food like plastic containers might, and they are dishwasher safe, so they are easy to clean.
A lot of people report that food lasts longer in mason jars than plastic tupperware. This may be because the lids are tighter, so there is less chance that air will seep inside and destroy your food.
When You Eat Out, Pass on the Plastic Straw
Most single-use plastic items such as disposable straws are not recyclable. Millions of these straws end up in the ocean every year and can kill various animals that eat them or get caught in them.
When you need to use a drinking straw, consider getting one made out of glass or metal instead, which will last much longer than plastic. If you have young children, consider getting a glass or stainless steel sippy cup with an attached straw instead of buying disposable cups, which are often made out of thin plastics that can break easily when dropped on the floor.
Buy Products That Come in Environmentally Friendly Packaging
Some products are packaged in materials that can be easily recycled. Other items may come in various forms to minimize their environmental impact while still getting the job done.
More and more items are being packaged in paper-based materials or cardboard instead of plastic. Unfortunately, not all companies make this switch, so you need to be vigilant about reading labels when shopping in the supermarket aisle.
Whether you’re looking to make a single change or overhaul your entire lifestyle, ordinary people have many easy ways to help the environment. As we mentioned in this article, making small changes can have big impacts, and it’s not always necessary to switch everything out at once- just one new item is enough sometimes! Let us know if you want more information about how our experienced team of experts can work with you on environmental projects that will save time and money while reducing your impact on the planet.
Interested in what it means to live a Zero-Waste Lifestyle? Check out this article to learn about the benefits and challenges.