When we think about helping the environment, we often think about major changes needing to take place. Changes like having to switch to a different means of generating power, or switching to electric cars on a global scale. While it is indeed true that the above would be necessary to ensure a stable environment for the future, it’s far from being the only scale on which changes must take place. Many changes must start on a much smaller scale, but be done in high volume. These would be changes in the way individuals and families do certain things.
That’s right, we’re talking about things that everyday people like you and me need to change in order to make a big difference for our world. And not just you and me, basically everyone. Even though the individual action may seem small, imagine if billions of people participated. That’s how big results can be obtained with relative minimal effort on the part of each person.
In terms of what specific actions people would need to take, let’s start with a basic and simple one: recycling. It’s well-known by now that things like plastic and paper are manufactured from sources that are non-sustainable and that actually harm the environment. Paper, coming from trees, is sources by the destruction of forests. Plastics usually are oil derivatives and again, this leaves a lot of harmful byproducts for the environment to then have to deal with. Not to mention the habitats that are destroyed by both the cutting of forests wholesale and the digging and drilling for oil and other fossil fuels and resources. So recycling plays a big part in reducing this damaging action.
It’s not hard to recycle. Most cities have recycling programs and it’s only a matter of getting accustomed to sorting out your recyclables and placing them in the appropriate bins. Many cities even have systems setup wherein you don’t need to sort them at all, and can place all recyclables into the same bin (known as “single stream” recycling programs). So it’s really quite an easy action to undertake.
Sure, things like plastic bags and batteries can’t be recycled with the same ease, but if you do a quick internet search, you’ll find somewhere in your area where you can dispose of these items for recycling. Just take the 3 minutes required to find a nearby location.
OK, now that recycling has been covered, what else do you think you can do to help the environment? And ideas? Learn how to save on electricity bill costs! Yep. Saving money on electricity can also help the environment. Here’s how that works:
Electricity is generated in a variety of different ways. Some of them are “clean” (like solar and wind power) while most of them, unfortunately, are not. Many plants use fossil fuels like coal or burn wood to generate power. This produces harmful waste which can harm the environment and atmosphere. It’s already happening, actually.
So saving electricity in your home is a good way to help out. The less power you use, the less demand there is on the power company, the less power must be generated, the less pollution. You get the idea. Also, it’s quite easy to save power. For example, you can:
- Use LED light bulbs instead of incandescent ones
- Use natural light during the day
- Wash clothes only in large loads rather than many smaller ones
- Use only cold water for laundry and doing dishes
- Get a digital thermostat with energy saving settings for your air conditioner
- Turn off appliances after use and unplug them if you can
- Set your a/c 2 degrees higher than usual
- Ensure your fridge and freezer aren’t set too cold (40° and 30° are good)
- Ensure your water heater isn’t set too hot (115° is fine)
- Insulate your water heater
- When buying new appliances, choose Energy Star certified ones
See? That’s not all that hard to do. Anyone can implement the above actions in no time. They will help to keep your own power bills low and assist the environment.
Lastly, there is the matter of one’s own pollution and litter. I don’t think I need to tell you not to litter. It’s negative effects are obvious, as it makes our cities and neighborhoods look awful. But in terms of personal pollution, I’m referring to ensuring that you don’t dispose of things improperly. If you do your own oil changes, then dispose of the waste oil properly by taking it to a local garage. Things like that do make a difference.