As humans, we have only one earth to enjoy and care for. Unfortunately, millions of people across the globe go about their daily lives without giving a second thought to the ramifications of their actions. While your bad habit of leaving the lights on or drinking out of plastic waterbottles may not seem like a big deal immediately, that simple act could have lasting effects that are felt for years to come. One person cannot save the environment with one big act. But when billions of people change just a few small things, we can restore and preserve this beautiful planet one healthy habit at a time.
Leaving even a single light bulb on during the day or when it’s not needed is something that many of us do without thinking. This not only increases your electricity bill but increases your carbon footprint as well. We often never stop to consider how a simple light could have a chain reaction, causing the carbon dioxide emissions from power plants to fill the air with toxins. All you have to do is flick a switch on your way out of a room or unplug appliances when you’re not home.
When there is the option to recycle or reuse something, it makes no sense to toss it in the trash instead. Yes, it may require a little more effort than opening the trash can lid, but recycling your old plastic and cardboard and many other things will prevent it from languishing in a landfill for years. Remember, landfills aren’t getting any smaller.
Using plastic garbage bags
Though it may seem like just a tiny amount of plastic that will surely decompose, plastic garbage bags quickly add up. These bags quickly make their way into the environment and will often affect wildlife and plant life by trapping panicked animals or interfering with the growth of important foliage. Many grocery stores are actually discontinuing their plastic bags and you are now required to bring your own reusable bag. Try purchasing durable reusable bags that you can easily store in your car or fold up to keep in your purse.
Of course, it is impossible to completely eradicate cars and riving. But there are ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and make every trip worthwhile. Carpool with a friend or use public transportation to limit the amount of fuel you spend and the emissions from your car. If your destination is within walking distance, you can even try switching it up every once and a while and find your way on foot.
Flushing the toilet
You may not realize it, but flushing the toilet consumes a considerable amount of water and energy. Unless you are able to invest in a composting toilet, this is one area where it’s difficult to reduce your impact on the environment. You could consider using a low flow toilet or restricting the amount you flush.
Many of us visit our mailboxes and immediately toss all of it out as trash. This junk mail makes up for an incredible amount of paper waste and contributes to landfills across the country. Try signing up for paperless billing options online and unsubscribing from many of your junk mail contributors. If you still wish to receive ads and rewards, you can try looking for an online source, as many companies are switching to digital marketing.
This bad habit is not only harmful to the environment but wreaks havoc on your health as well. Growing, transporting, and smoking tobacco all deplete the world’s natural resources and releases dangerous toxins and fumes into the air. If that isn’t enough to convince you to ditch the cigarettes, the butts are not biodegradable and will eventually become toxic waste.
Throwing away old electronics
The technological age is progressing rapidly and in the process of trying to keep up with the stream of new products, you may find yourself with a few outdated laptops and cellphones. When you throw these unwanted electronics away, you are directly contributing to the death of the planet. Not only will none of those electronics even decompose, but they also leak dangerous chemicals like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chlorine, and bromine into the soil. There are many companies that will allow you to recycle your electronics at no cost. Do some research before simply throwing them out.