7 Good Habits That Can Save the World
by Great Green Cleaning — April 18, 2016 in Green Living
We all know the world is in need of help, but on a personal level making a difference can seem nearly impossible. However, if we as a species are powerful enough to have such a negative impact on the environment, then we’re powerful enough to set things right. If enough people make small changes to their everyday lifestyle and reinforce good habits, not only can we prevent further harm done to the environment, but collectively our efforts can make the world a healthier place to live.
These 7 habits are quick and easy to pick up:
Hit The Lights
You don’t have to walk around with a candle, but any small effort in consuming less energy will reduce the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants. Not to mention the fact that shutting off your lights when not in use, and replacing your bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs can save you over a hundred dollars per year.
Easy on the Water Waste
Using water you don’t need wastes energy and money, but also diverts water from our rivers, bays, and estuaries which help keep the environment healthy.
Here are few things you can do to reduce water usage:
Skip the Bath
You don’t have to ban them completely, but choosing to shower instead will use half as much water.
Use a Car Wash
Seriously, if everyone in the US had their car washed professionally just one time instead of hand-washing, we’d save up to 8.7 billion gallons of water.
Don’t Leave it Running
whether you’re brushing your teeth or cooking in the kitchen, never leave the water running unnecessarily.
Scrape, Don’t Rinse
Instead of rinsing each dish before it goes into the dishwasher, just scrape it well with a scrubby pad or utensil.
Skip the Harsh Chemicals
Besides being bad for your health, traditional cleaning products also hurt the environment. Harsh chemicals found in things like Febreze, Comet, and Chlorine-based cleaners pollute the air you breathe and the oceans we depend on.
There are many alternatives available made with natural components that are affordable and effective.
Recycling & Compost
We all know recycling is vital in stopping the waste of non-renewable resources, but throwing out unprocessed food also contributes to landfills where it has little chance of properly biodegrading.
Composting is easy and even minimizes the smell coming from your trash bin. Simply keep a container with an air-tight lid in your kitchen. If you don’t have a yard where you can dig a hole, you can always drop it off at your local farmers market.
Here’s a great infographic on composting.
Bring Your Bags
The world uses 500 billion plastic bags per year which end up in lands fills and pollute oceans. Cutting down on plastic bag use is easy and affordable. Reusable bags are usually just $1 each, and they even have insulated bags which keep your food cold.
To get into the habit simply keep them in your car or by your front door to help you remember to use them on your next shopping trip.
Get a Reusable Water Bottle
Recycling the plastic would be a solution if not for the fact that 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled at all. These bottles take thousands of years to decompose and, among other non-recycled plastics, are a major cause of the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch“. Moving towards a world without plastic water bottles would be a great place to start.
Getting a reusable water bottle and refilling it from filtered tap water is great for the environment and in the end, saves you a lot of money.
It’s surprising that so much, which could otherwise be handled by computers, is still being shipped and thrown out all over the world. If everyone in the US alone handled bills online it would save 18.5 million trees every year.
There’s a number of things one can do to cut down on material waste in a now digital age. You can stream your movies, download your software, buy books on a tablet, receive and pay bills online, have receipts sent to your phone or email, and find services that stop junk mail from reaching your mailbox; all helping to stop the use of trees, plastics, and the fuel used for transportation.
A Good Start.
This article isn’t a guilt trip; it’s here to empower you toward creating a better environment for all creatures here on this dome we call home.
We can often make a huge difference without having to lead protests or write letters, because our behaviors themselves are contagious. Just stick to it, and even if you see others treating the environment without care, remember: it begins with you.