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With news reports in the past few years constantly reminding us of the growing climate change crisis, many people are wondering how they can minimize their impact on the environment. Businesses and individuals across the country and the world are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and to add more green practices to their day-to-day lives. Today we’re going to share some of the simplest ways you can lower your personal impact on the environment. All of these ideas are easy to implement, yet if all of us did these together, the power they would have on our world would be incredible.
Recycling at Home
If you aren’t already recycling in your home, this is the first step anyone should take to begin their journey. All of the materials you use each day can easily be sorted, and items such as plastic and glass bottles and paper and magazines should be recycled accordingly. If everyone in your neighborhood recycled, think how much waste would be reduced. Most homes or apartment complexes have recycling bins or facilities, so make sure you take advantage of these.
You may enjoy growing your own vegetables in your garden, which you can then enjoy fresh or freeze if you have excess produce. This will help to reduce packaging from cans and bottles as you’ll no longer need to buy certain products from the grocery store. You can also take this further by composting your food waste, such as fruits, vegetables, and cooked food. The amount of food that goes in the trash each day is unbelievable, and it’s something we should all work to reduce.
Consider Your Energy Use
Do you often find you or your family leave lights on in your home when you are out? Switching your electricity and heating off when it’s not in use will help to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases you produce. At the same time, you’ll find it also reduces your bills, which is something we can all benefit from. There are also alternative energy solutions, such as solar power, to consider. If these are available in your area, you may want to look at whether this is a viable solution to make your home more energy-efficient.
Reduce and Reuse Your Purchases
Many of us are guilty of purchasing food and household items we don’t need. To avoid putting items in the trash, try to minimize your purchases. Meal plan for the week ahead so you don’t over-buy in the grocery store, leaving food to go off in your fridge. You’ll also want to consider any household purchases carefully, whether that’s clothing, magazines, furniture, or anything else. If you already have something you can use in your home, think about whether you really need the new purchase. Where possible, try to reuse items or give them to other family members and friends so they can be given a new lease of life instead of being put in the trash. You’ll find that many items you were about to put in the trash could easily be repaired, whether that’s by sewing up an item of clothing or gluing a broken toy back together.
Consider Your Water Usage
Are you and your family guilty of taking long showers or regular baths? You may want to try and cut back your water usage. The energy that is used to heat your water creates emissions, which can be avoided by reducing the length of your shower, or lowering the temperature. If you can manage colder showers once in a while, this is a great first step to save energy. Water is a precious commodity, so also consider other ways which you waste water. If you regularly wash your car or use water when gardening in your yard, pay attention to your usage and find ways you can cut back on your water consumption.
Assess Your Transportation Options
One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to consider your travel options. While planes are avoidable for some journeys, consider offsetting your carbon footprint on these journeys where possible. In your day-to-day life, look at car sharing, walking, or cycling if this is available to you. Public transport is also a much more environmentally-friendly option than driving a large car just by yourself to get to work each day.
Stop Using Single-Use Products
Make-up wipes, cotton wool pads, plastic bottles, and any other single-use items should be eliminated from our lives as much as possible. There are some fantastic alternatives to nearly all single-use products nowadays. Even healthcare and beauty items have environmentally-friendly alternatives, such as solid shampoo bars, reusable period underwear, and powder toothpaste. These little switches can make a huge difference and reduce the amount of packaging you use daily.
By making a few small switches to your everyday activities, you can quickly begin to reduce your carbon footprint and impact on the environment. By implementing any of these suggestions into your life, you’ll also begin to see benefits to your personal finances, as many of these reduce your living costs and waste.