We are all having to become more eco friendly; whether it’s changing from regular light bulbs to their energy-saving equivalents or recycling the cardboard packaging that you accumulate, the 21st century has become that of the eco-warrior. However the regular everyday American citizen can find it hard to contribute to the environment, so here are my 7 ways to be eco friendly.
1. Try and Eat Less Meat
For the carnivores among us that adore meat, this way to be eco friendly is going to be a tough pill to swallow. However the harsh reality is that deforestation due to cattle rearing has accounted for 35 million acres of lost trees. It has been estimated that if we all consume less meat (perhaps swapping a meaty dish for a vegetable favorite) could lead to us saving rainforests, millions of gallons of water and 45% of the world’s grain.
2. Turning off the Tap
It may surprise you to learn just how much water you waste by not turning off the tap when you brush your teeth – large households, where teeth are brushed twice a day, can notice a substantial decrease in the amount of water they use. If you are on a water meter, that decrease will filter through into cash savings! Also, turning off the sprinkler system and taking shorter showers can help to reduce your water usage.
3. Recycling Paper
The amount of people that don't recycle paper and cardboard in the United States is horrifying. 30 million acres of forests are destroyed to make paper – if we all recycle that figure can shrink rapidly, so that is why I have included it on my list of 9 ways to be eco friendly. If there aren’t any convenient recycling centers nearby, campaign for one to be created!
4. Animal Adoptions
Sadly more and more species of animal are becoming endangered and extinct every year. If you don’t want exotic animals such as the tiger to be a distant memory for your grandchildren, then projects such as the Just Give program can help to breed these animals and incorporate them back into the wild. Although everybody’s purse is stretched in these tough economic times, the long-term benefits of saving animals are huge. You are not just being eco friendly, but showing your love for animals too.
Shocking statistics have revealed that Americans generate 200 million tons of garbage every day! Try not to throw away unwanted items, but instead donate them to a local charity or even try and sell them at a yard sale. You’d be surprised how much of a difference your unwanted items can make to other people’s lives.
6. Turn off the Lights
Well not literally. However if you reduce the amount of electricity you use – through energy-saving light bulbs and turning down your stereo – you can help to save the planet. The population of the United States accounts for a staggering 20% of the world’s global warming, so turning off the lights had to be included as one of the ways to be eco friendly.
7. Food Scraps
This tip is not one embraced by enough people: try and recycle your food scraps using a compost heap or bin. If you are an avid gardener you will know the benefits to plants – it’s a simple and easy way to reduce your amount of garbage.
There you have it: my 7 ways to be eco friendly. Pass on your passion for the environment to friends and family, encouraging them to take similar measures to those you have adopted to help out Planet Earth. Although we might feel that our individual efforts are in vain, if we work collectively the United States can really lead the way forward in reducing our carbon footprint. Please do comment if you have tried any of these tips, and feel free to share others that you have.
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