50 Ways to Help the Planet - Save Our Environment
The following are the 50 ways to help our planet and environment ;
1. Replace your bulb
Replace at least one of your incandescent bulbs with a fluorescent bulb. If all Americans did so, the reduction in pollution would be similar to not running one million cars on the road. If you don’t like the bleach whiteness of the light, then use it in places that won’t irritate you much like your closest, basement and laundry rooms.
2. Avoid the ‘sleep mode’ in your computer
If you leave it in the sleep mode, it’ll draw 40 watt-hours a day, which will cost you $14 per year. So switch it off entirely before you go to bed each night. If you ain’t good at waiting until it starts up in the morning, then why don’t you do it while you pour your coffee or brush your teeth?
3. Omit rinsing your dishes
If you can’t, then buy yourself a new dishwasher. Every time you rinse a load full of dishes, it wastes about 20 gallons of water. What’s more, you even waste time and the energy by heating the additional water.
4. Forgo pre-heating the oven
If it’s an absolute necessity to get the recipe right, then do it, but for not more than a few minute. Otherwise place the dish in as you switch your oven on. Also, don’t forget the golden oven-rule ; peep through the window without opening the door to check on your food.
5. Don’t dump glass
If dumped, it may take over a million years for decomposition. Recycle them instead, and cut 20 percent of related air pollution and 50 percent of related water pollution.
6. Think twice about diapers
Every child needs about 5000-8000 diapers, which in total equals to about 3.5 million tons of wastes in landfills every year. So think twice about the type of diaper to use and don’t forget the option of using cotton diapers.
7. Air dry
Hang your clothes in a clothesline, or better still, in a portable rack and leave them under the sun. This will save you both money and the quality of your fabric - specially of your favourite tee.
8. Vegetarianism helps to save the planet
You may not want to avoid that delicious hamburger for life, but going vegetarian at least once a week will save about 2500 gallons of water used to produce one pound of beef. Also, note that ditching a hamburger made out of animals bred in natural rainforests will save about 55 square feet of forest.
9. No need to wash hot-hot
If all American households did their laundry using a warm-cold cycle, the energy saved a day will be equivalent to saving 100,000 barrels of oil. Also, don’t forget to launder only a full load of clothes.
10. Don’t waste paper napkins
On average, an American uses around 6 paper napkins everyday, which is about 2,200 napkins in an year. But if all Americans used one less paper napkin each day, at the end of the year, it’ll stop more than a billion of napkins from filling up landfills.
11. Put both sides of paper to use
To do so, set your printer up for double-sided or duplex printing. Later, take the used documents to the recycle bin, because every year, businesses in America alone, throw away about 21 million tons of papers. This is similar to 175 pounds per office worker.
12. Recycle newspaper
44 million, which is about 69% out of 63 million newspapers are thrown away in the US every day. If only the Sunday newspaper is recycled, it will save more than 50,000 trees every week.
13. Get creative
To wrap gifts, books and more, reuse old wrapping papers, gift bags and even bows. Use of old maps, clothes and newspapers as gift wrappers are also trending. To add a personal touch, you can design your own wrapping paper using stamps and markers on the insides of a paper grocery bag.
14. Carry a bottle of water
Don’t buy disposable water bottles because 90% of them are not recycled but thrown away. So buy yourself a reusable bottle, fill it up with water and take it with you wherever you go. It’s not only environmentally friendly, but also wallet-friendly. And since the EPA tap water standard is firmer than the FDA bottle water standard, it’s good health wise too.
15. Don’t bathe - Shower instead
At least, have some weeks without baths. This way, you can save half of the water wasted in baths and the related heating costs.
16. Close the faucet while brushing
Though this is mentioned everywhere, some people still don’t do it and each person wastes about 5 gallons of water every day. If stopped, US can save more than 1.5 billion gallons of water, not to mention on a single day. This would be more than enough for the entire population in Big Apple.
17. Get in the shower with your partner
And save water. What’s more, you can start your day with more enthusiasm than you would by showering alone.
18. Cut your showering time
You contribute to saving more than 10 gallons of water if you shower 2 minutes less. But if everyone can at least save 1 gallon of water from their showers, at the end of the year, it’ll be equal to the amount of daily freshwater withdrawal from the Great Lakes.
19. Plant a tree every year
Encourage your family members to plant at least one tree annually. This will clean the surrounding air, enrich the soil, shade your house and if planted on the west side of your home, will even bring your cooling costs down. Over and above that, it will increase the value of your property.
20. Cruise with your cruise control
If your car has a cruise control, then do use it! You paid for it along with the car anyway. This will help to improve your mileage at least by 15%, which will in the process save the environment, gasoline and your wallet.
21. Consider pre-owned items
When you shop for age and size related things that will be discarded within a couple of years like toys, bicycles, roller blades, and scooters, consider buying them from a second-hand store. Chances are, you won’t even notice the difference as they’ve only been used for a short time period and the store might even buy it back from you when you no longer need it.
22. Reduce foreign products
Think about the amount of fuel wasted and the pollution caused just to get the food to your plate. The longer the distance, the more is wasted. So try as much as possible to buy food from local farmers. This will not only reduce the greenhouse effect, but also support your local economy.
23. Manage your thermostat
You can save up to 10% of energy by decreasing just 1 degree in winter and increasing just 1degree in summer. Better still, try investing in a programmable thermostat and set it up to work according to the times when you’re at home and away.
24. Get yourself a re-usable coffee cup
If you can’t start your day without a steaming cup of coffee, then this one is for you. Just think about the number cups you add to landfills. So buy yourself a reusable cup, cut wastes and also keep your coffee warmer. Economically thinking, some coffee shops are even willing to offer you a discount!
25. Buy in bulk
Buy supplies needed for a few weeks at once. This will save you fuel used in running errands, earn you discounts and also save you a lot of time.
26. Turn the lights off on time
Turning off an incandescent bulb should be done as you leave a room. Whereas, turning a fluorescent bulb off should be done only when you won’t be returning within 15 minutes. This is because fluorescent bulbs take up more energy as they’re turned on and off. Meanwhile, you’ll be saving on your cooling costs as well because a glowing light heats up a room.
27. Go green with a greener lawn
If there isn’t sufficient rain to water your lawn, then you might want to do it. If so, do it early in the morning or late in the evening so that it won’t be evaporated. If you find weeds, treat them with vinegar. If you want to rake, skip your gym and do it by hand.
28. Mark your cup
When you go on a picnic, take a marker with you and your homework would be to pass it around and make everyone mark their own cup. This way, nobody will misplace it and will end up using only one.
29. Don’t throw your old phone away
With an average life span of about 18 months, over 130 million phones will make their way into landfills each year. These phones, together with their batteries, release toxic components into the environment. So, get hold of one of the many recycling programmes and give your phone away instead of dumping it.
30. Service your vehicle
Inflate tires, clean air filters and remove the extra load from the trunk. These will not only increase the life and performance of your vehicle, but will also save a great deal on your fuel expenses.
31. Recycle wire hangers
If you have wire hangers that you no longer use, then give them away to the dry cleaner’s or for a recycling programme that might accept them.
32. Make sure you recycle aluminium and glass
From the energy taken to make a brand new aluminium can, 20 aluminium cans could be recycled and remade. And by recycling a ton of glass, 9 gallons of fuel used to make glass from the scratch will be saved.
Talk to your employer and see whether you can work from home at least a few times a month. On those days you can save money and gasoline and work with only your pyjamas on.
34. Close your fireplace damper
In winter, if you aren’t using the fireplace, then don’t forget to close the damper. Not doing so would be similar to having a 48-inch window wide open, as it lets the warm air out and the wintry air in. This is an utter waste of energy that’ll send your energy bills skyrocketing.
35. Stop junk mails
Every year, a whopping 100 million trees are cut down in America, to send about 40 pounds of junk mail to each person. Technically, this means that about 100 million trees end up in the bin each year. So make sure the first thing you do today is contacting one of the services that help to put an end to junk mails.
36. Don’t use lighters
Use cardboard matches instead. Unlike wooden matches, they’re made up of recycled paper. They’re also way more environmentally friendlier than plastic lighters that need butane fuel to light up. Mind you, this is scarce petroleum and once it’s over, the empty lighter then fills up landfills along with 1.5 billion other lighters each year.
37. Do you still need a phone book?
At a time when everything is within your fingertips, think twice about wanting a heavy phone book delivered to you every year. Roughly, these books fill at least 10% of landfills. So if you don’t want it, call and stop your book for the next year and don’t forget to recycle the ones lying in your cupboard with several layers of dust.
38. Be generous
Don’t throw things away if you don’t need them because someone else might. So see whether you can donate them to a charitable organization. If not, you can connect with those who’ll need them through plenty of websites such as Freecycle.org.
39. You ain’t a professional
You might be, but not when it comes to washing your car. Professional car washes are very much efficient and if every American at least once washes the car by a professional, about 8.7 billion gallons of water could be saved.
40. Say no to plastic bags
Every year, more than 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide and among them, 84 billion belongs to the US alone. They aren’t biodegradable, and they not only pollute the land, but also the oceans. What’s more, they even end up mixed with animal food, causing thousands of deaths. So it’s high time you either use a reusable plastic bag or switch to a cloth bag instead.
41. Buy an e-ticket
In addition to saving trees, every e-ticket saves approximately $9 compared to a paper ticket. As expected, if paper tickets are entirely replaced by e-tickets, then the annual savings of the airline industry will be about $3 billion.
42. Buy and download software online
When you can download software online, avoid buying compact discs. In total, about 30 billion compact discs are sold every year and they end up in wastes along with their packaging. So download online whenever possible and you can also get the upgrade when you change your computer.
43. Use a voice mail service
Avoid using power-hungry answering machines that draw energy throughout the day and night. Once broken, they’re another unnecessary addition in landfills. If all American households replaced theirs, about 2 billion kilowatt hours of energy will be saved every year.
44. Don’t stir your coffee
Instead, pour coffee into a cup of cream and sugar and mix it well. This way, you can contribute to bring down about 138 billion straws and stirrers that are thrown away in the US every year. However, out of habit if you still think you need to stir, dip a piece of pasta and throw it away.
45. Think before you break the ice
When you shop for ice melters, don’t forget to check whether they not only melt ice, but are also environmentally friendly. Most of these popular products such as rock salt are poisonous to animals and pets like your loving dogs and cats. What’s more, once mixed with water, they even cause serious health problems.
46. Don’t use cotton swabs with a plastic spindle
Instead, use cotton swabs with a paperboard spindle. If only 10% of Americans did that, over 150,000 gallons of gasoline worth petroleum energy could be saved every year.
47. Settle bills online
This way, you’ll get electronic receipts instead of paper. If all Americans did so, yearly savings would be equal to 18.5 million trees, 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste, 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases.
48. Get online bank statements
If everyone sets their bank statements to be delivered online instead of paper, the annual savings would be enough to send more than seventeen thousand high school graduates to a public university for a whole year. What’s more, some banks may even donate funds on your behalf or pay you a dollar for your efforts.
49. Don’t buy disposable batteries
More than 15 billion disposable alkaline batteries are sold within an year and only a handful of them are recycled. So when you have the option of buying a rechargeable battery, along with a charger, go for it. After all, they’ll give you a higher return and you won’t have to go door to door in search of a battery when stores are closed on Christmas eve.
50. Go ahead and share!
As pointed out throughout this post, going green should be a collective effort. Only then will it be meaningful. So pass what you’ve learnt to others and together let’s save the planet.
This post is in connection with our "Zlated GO Green" campaign. We advise you to follow these energy saving hacks for a better tomorrow. These 50 simple yet effective ways can really make a big difference in our environment.
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