You Can Help Our Planet
Mother Earth could use your help. We’re seriously polluting her air, water and land. We’re quickly depleting her resources.
There is a growing trend to recycle and reuse, and that’s a good thing. But that’s addressing the symptoms not the disease itself: overconsumption. We live in a disposable society with a lot of waste. We need to reduce and also stop creating so much waste.
Fortunately, there are some fairly easy things you can do right now to give Mother Earth a break and help turn things around. Here are just a few things you can incorporate into your lifestyle to make a difference. It may not seem like much but it all adds up.
Gain Awareness When You’re Wasting Water
A mere 1% of the world’s water is usable. Water is a precious commodity we take for granted. A whopping 95% of water entering a typical US household goes down the drain.
Become more conscious of when you’re wasting water. A bathroom faucet spurts out two gallons of water per minute. Turn the tap off while you’re brushing your teeth. Consider taking a quick shower instead of a lingering shower or a bath.
Avoid Using Disposable Plastic Whenever You Can
America goes through an astonishing 100 billion plastic bags every year just for shopping. What’s worse is these plastic bags cause hundreds of thousands of deaths in marine animals and birds because they mistake the plastic bags for food. Always bring reusable bags when you go grocery shopping. Bring additional bags for fruits, vegetables and flowers.
In the US, we use more bottled water than any other nation. Americans were responsible for 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. Only 23 percent of those plastic bottles were actually recycled. Investing in a water bottle or filtering your tap water will shrink your carbon footprint. The oceans thank you.
There are other ways to prevent plastic wastage. When dealing with leftovers, forego the plastic wrap and use a container with a lid. Avoid individually wrapped snacks, prepackaged fruits and vegetables. Eliminate disposable items like plastic straws, cups and eating utensils.
Cut Down on Paper Wastage Whenever Possible
Nearly 900 million trees are cut down every year for our paper and pulp mill needs. One third of an average American household’s garbage consists of paper. What’s also alarming is the huge greenhouse gas emissions generated by the paper manufacturing industries.
So much of this paper wastage is preventable. Use cloth napkins at home and in lunch boxes. Clean or wipe up messes with washcloths or kitchen towels instead of paper towels. Whenever possible, avoid using paper plates, paper coffee cups and disposable cleaning cloths. Print on both sides of the paper.
Conserve Energy with Simple Habits
An average US home has approximately 40 idle products which waste up to 10% of household energy by being plugged in. Turn off and unplug appliances when they aren’t being used like your phone charger, toaster oven, coffee maker. Turn off the TV when no one is watching it. Get in the habit of flipping light switches off when not in use. Avoid unnecessary trips in your car and carpool when possible.
Change Starts With You
There are endless ways to help Mother Earth. I haven’t even begun to address so many things that leave a big carbon footprint on the planet, like eating meat. These are a few simple things to help you become more aware and start making a difference.
Pick one, two or all of the above suggestions and turn them into habits. Be more mindful of ways you can reduce, recycle and reuse. Shift out of wasteful behaviors. Making one change is better than none at all. You can have a huge impact in creating a better world for all of us and future generations.