20 Ways You Can Help Our Planet
- Educate yourself & others. The best way to advocate for change is to educate. Learn the facts about things like global warming, pollution, waste, and sustainability so you can teach others. Think of it like this, for every 5 people you talk to, they will talk to 5 more, then those 5 will talk to 5 more and so on…it’s like a spiderweb. See! One person really can make a BIG impact.
- Lights off. Turn off lights you’re not using when you leave the room. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED.
- Turn the water off. Gallons of water are wasted when you leave the faucet running while doing things like cleaning dishes or brushing your teeth.
- Ride your bike. Depending on where you live, you could substitute a bike for driving nearly 100% of the time (I would love to live by the beach again & own a 3-wheel bike with a basket). In cities, commuter bikes are available, and transportation could be faster than sitting in traffic.
- Eat a vegan diet. Learn more from my previous blog post.
- Recycle. Aluminum, steel, paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, batteries, electronics. For a comprehensive list of recyclable items, click here.
- Drive electric. Most car companies now offer electric vehicles including Nissan, Tesla, Ford, BMW, Toyota, Fiat, Chrysler, Kia, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai.
- Use solar. Many companies offer financing to instal solar panels on your roof. Depending on your state’s metering laws, you could earn money by selling electricity back to the grid.
- Eat locally-produced foods. It has been estimated that 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food.
- Donate. Rather than throwing away things you’ve grown tired of, or don’t use anymore, donate to a non-profit that would find them useful.
- Garage sale. Similar to #10 – have a garage sale or sell things on Craigslist. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”
- Consignment. Shop thrift stores and consignment. Believe it or not, there are luxury second-hand stores and websites, as well as hoards of fashion bloggers who sell gently used or unused items from the overflow of products sent to them by brands.
- Grow your own garden. Gardens are fun but they take work. Try starting small or connecting with a local community garden to learn more. Growing your own garden is a big step in the right direction toward sustainability.
- Compost for your garden. In the US, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month. Composting reduces landfill waste and incineration, and therefore emissions.
- Volunteer. If you live in Omaha, you can volunteer at places like Keep Omaha Beautiful or the Nature Conservancy. Check to see if your school has a program you can join – if not, start one!
- Shop “Eco” brands. Learn more in my previous post – 7 brands with global-impact.
- Use reusable bags for shopping. Some stores, like Target, offer a discount for every reusable bag you use while shopping.
- FOR.THE.LOVE. Buy a reusable water bottle! US landfills contain about 2 million tons of discarded water bottles.
- Buy in bulk. Packaging makes up 30% of the weight and 50% of trash by volume.
- Reduce your junk mail. The average resident in America receives over 30 pounds of junk mail per year. Sign up for e-bills and statements. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a national trade association for companies that send direct mail. Register online to remove your name from catalogs, magazines and other mail offers.
I hope you found these 20 tips helpful! If you have any additional tips for helping our planet, please share in the comments section.