The ways to help the environment are not hard and anyone can do them. And really, everyone should be doing them. The simplest ways to help the environment may mean a small lifestyle change for you but they are a big change in the health of our planet when we all do them. It still amazes me that we even have to be told or think about ways to help the environment – we live in such a throwaway world, and we literally are throwing away our world by not respecting its health.
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1 Start Cycling
One of the best ways to help the environment is to scale back car use and instead use bicycles. It seems people in the United States have already understood the importance of cycling, and perhaps that's the reason why the number of cyclists has increased significantly in the past few years. Some feel people are moving towards bicycles due to snazzy accessories that manufacturers have made available, but whatever the case, it's helping the environment.
2 Walk More
One of the most obvious ways to care for the environment, and for your health as well, is to walk more. You simply need to be sensible and you will be able to sneak more foot action in your routine. You will help reduce carbon emissions if you simply walk through the drive-through – you can also consider parking your car away from the grocery store and cover the distance on foot.
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3 Use Public Transportation
It may feel difficult to sacrifice the comfort of the driver's seat and opt for a public bus for commuting, but you will be doing your environment a favor. Of course, cycling and walking are two better options as compared to driving, but if you have to cover long distance, say 20 miles or more, you will be better off using public transportation than using your own car.
4 Try Carpooling
It is always a good idea to have someone riding with you in your car, rather than driving alone. You can ask your neighbor to share a car with you if you both have to go the same route to work – it is possible to reduce your monthly carbon emissions by 10% if you make a person join you on a 50-mile round-trip drive to the workplace and back. It can definitely be one of the more interesting ways to care for the environment and save it together.
5 Shop Online
One of the many benefits of shopping online is that it can be among the best ways to be eco-friendly. It's obvious actually – you can shop online to save yourself from getting your car out to drive to a store, which will substantially reduce carbon emissions and save you gas money and wear and tear on your car. Moreover, you can consider buying e-books online instead of buying a hard copy – you will be doing the planet a big favor.
By working from home, you can be your own boss, and you can help the environment in many ways. As you don't have to drive to your office, you will definitely be playing your part to reduce carbon emissions. However, you need to be sensible and ensure you don't waste more energy when at home and keep lights turned off when not required, keep yourself from running the dishwasher and avoid opening refrigerator doors repeatedly.
7 Keep Track of the Trash
People in the United States throw out more than 40% of their food each year, but you can definitely do the environment a favor by not becoming one of these folks. You can improve things simply by keeping tabs and maintaining records of every food item you throw out in the trash. This logbook will help you fine-tune your shopping habits and tell you exactly how much money you waste each month. Make shopping lists on what you eat and use, not on what you buy and throw away.
8 Make Use of Food Banks
One of many ways to care for the environment is to donate unused food items to local food banks and food kitchens. The only thing is that you will have to search for a food bank in your local area. Find one and see what types of food donations you can offer.
9 Improve Your Knowledge of Expiration Dates
What many people don't understand is that expiration dates on different food items may only refer to 'quality,' not 'safety.' It is important for you to know the difference between 'sell-by' dates and 'use-by' dates. Of course, you don't have to go overboard with the idea of using food items after their expiration dates, but you can definitely improve the shelf-life by taking simple steps, like unpacking groceries as soon as possible and keeping the freezer cool. And seriously, you can get totally hung on these dates if you’re not careful. They store canned food for decades in nuclear fallout shelters, so they must be safe long after the date stamps!
10 Use the Leftovers
This is definitely among the simplest ways to be eco-friendly, as you only need to use the leftovers of the last night's meal and avoid throwing it out just because you find it boring. You can even try to be creative and use the remainders of your meal to prepare new dishes.
11 Pack It and Take It Home
You may sometimes find it difficult to lick your plates clean at restaurants, but instead of leaving it there for the staff to throw it in the trash, you can show signs of being eco-savvy and ask them to pack whatever you couldn't finish. It will save you money and save energy, as you won't have to cook a meal at home.
12 Try a Smaller Plate
One of the simplest ways to help the environment is to use a smaller plate when you dine from a buffet. You can be good to your environment simply by avoiding the temptation of putting it all in your plate and then leaving most of it there to be thrown away.
13 Carry Your Cups
It is important to avoid wasting food, but it is also vital to keep food-packaging waste to its minimum. It may come as a surprise that the average American office workers use more than 500 disposable coffee cups a year. Keep your own travel cup with you to reduce the waste and to save your environment.
14 Bulk up
Instead of buying several smaller bags, you can do your environment a favor by using one large bag. For this, you can simply buy bulk quantities of nuts, cereal, pasta and other stuff that you can store to use over time. Buying in bulk is cheaper too.
15 Use Metal
Whether you bake cake at home or you're a baker, you can help protect the environment simply by avoiding disposable aluminum cookware. Invest a bit on ceramic and metal baking pans if you really like the idea of going green.
16 Be a Sensible Tea Lover
One of the simplest ways to help the environment by limiting food-packaging waste is to say no to individual tea bags, and instead consider buying loose tea. Spending some money to buy a tea infuser is also a good idea.
17 Opt for Products with Minimal Packaging
It is actually a good idea to go for products with no packaging at all, but if that seems difficult, you should at least try to put your money on food products with minimal packaging. Buy loose vegetables and fruits. You will help protect your environment even if you take a stand and say you're not going to buy cereal that's packed in a bag and then placed in a box.
18 Avoid Plastic Cutlery
If you're ordering takeout at home to avoid wasting energy and cooking something from scratch, you're definitely playing your part in protecting the environment. However, all your effort will go down the drain if you use plastic knives and forks. So, take a stand and ask the restaurant to keep your order free of any utensils, napkins or condiments.
19 Grow Your Own Food
It may sound difficult, but it doesn't have to be, especially if you have a backyard or garden available for cultivation. By doing this, you will play a part in reducing the use of fossil fuels that would otherwise be wasted in transporting produce. You can grow food without relying on herbicides and pesticides, and this will lead to some reduction in air and water pollution, as well as producing tasty, ultra-fresh, uber-healthy food for your table.
20 Visit the Market
A simple way of saving the planet is to avoid visiting the supermarket to buy produce and instead pay a visit to your local farmer's market to use locally grown foods. The availability of online farmer's markets has made things even easier, so try placing your order online to buy fruits and veggies.
21 Be a Part of a Community Supported Agriculture
Many people don't realize how beneficial it could be to become a part of a CSA near you – this will help you to receive a box filled with locally grown, seasonal food from farms.
22 Join a Community Garden
It always makes sense to grown your own food and herbs in your backyard, but if that's not possible, you may consider becoming a part of a community garden where you can work with a group of people to cultivate fresh food. (Or if you’re in the UK, apply for an allotment.)
23 Eat Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
It is one of the simplest and tastiest ways to help the environment. You simply need to eat whatever's available in your local area in a season. This will help reduce your carbon footprint, as the produce won't have to travel the distance to come to you.
24 Freeze Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Quite amazingly, not many people know they can actually freeze many, many types of vegetables and fruits and use them in a year or so. When you get fresh fruits from your local farms, freeze them right away, and they will stay usable for up to a year and a half. Or make your own fresh jams and pickles.
25 Use Your Own Bag
As experts say, consumerism can contribute towards climate change, and therefore it makes sense to shop sensibly. The first step you can take in this regard is to bring your own bag. It may not seem convenient, but you have to take this much of pain to protect the environment. You can have a reusable bag with you to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of plastic bags.
26 Clean Sensibly
It is difficult to work in a dirty kitchen, isn't it? It definitely is, but you should understand that using the bleach for cleaning might not be the best idea, considering it's among those indoor pollutants that can hurt your environment in a big way. You can make your own non-toxic cleaning products or go online to shop some eco-friendly cleaning agents.
27 Know What's in Your Beauty Products
It is hard for women to say no to beauty products, but you can show your love for the environment by knowing what's in the perfume, lotion, or another beauty or personal care item you're going to use. Opt for products that contain ingredients that are friendlier on the environment and your body as well.
28 Go Bottle-Free
It is true that there is nothing more important than keeping your body hydrated, but this doesn't have to be damaging to the environment, and you're not doing the planet a favor by using disposable water bottles to stay hydrated. Over 17 million barrels of oil go into the production of these bottles. The simple solution is to carry a BPA-free water bottle and use tap water whenever available.
29 Learn to ReUse Old Stuff
You really don't want to re-use an old toothbrush, or underwear for that matter, but you can find a long list of stuff you can definitely reuse and reduce your carbon footprint in turn. Start by buying used books, furniture and similar stuff. Just think sensibly before buying and you will find it one of the most effective ways to help the environment.
If we all just choose 5 of these ways to help the environment and follow them religiously, can you imagine the major impact that would have for the health of our planet? We look after our bodies, our health and our major possessions like house and car. Shouldn’t we be looking after the planet too? Which 5 ways are you going to choose?
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