I’ve been working upon and considering some of the things that I might do to lessen my environmental impact upon the Earth and others, and thought that it might be worth sharing those here.
I’ve written them in the form of New Year’s resolutions that people could follow, but we don’t have to wait until the new year to start doing what we can to benefit the environment.
There are many steps that we can take to help us live in a greener, and more environmentally friendly world which can also help us save money and energy, be healthier, benefit local economies, and help others in our communities. Starting to be informed on environmental issues is a good beginning. Taking actions like the ones that I’ve listed can have a big impact if many people get involved.
1. Stop using plastic bags from where you shop. I’ve been carrying environmentally friendly reusable shopping bags in my car, and I need to start remembering to carry them with me into the grocery stores.
2. Cut back on your car usage – walk or bike more, consolidate trips and errands so that you can drive less, and investigate telecommuting and public transportation opportunities – even carpooling or taking public transportation one day a week can make a difference.
3. Drive smarter to help reduce the amount of fuel that you use when you do drive. Proper maintenance on your car can make driving safe, use less fuel, and make your car last longer.
4. Replace old appliances with more energy efficient ones, including Energy Star certified appliances
5. Buy locally grown and organic produce – look for local farmer’s markets and stands, organic sections in your grocery store, locally grown produce signs and labels, and natural food and coop stores in your area. You’ll eat healthier, and less transportation costs are involved in bringing locally grown food to your table – plus you’ll benefit your local economy with food choices from local growers.
6. Recycle – learn about local recycling programs, and encourage their use in your community. You can find local recycling centers in the United States at Earth911.com
7. Donate unused and reusable items to your local thrift shops or other places that can use them. Reduce clutter in your home, and give others the chance to use those clothes that no longer fit you, those toys your children no longer play with, those strollers and cribs that you no longer need, those books that you’ve read and won’t look at again, and many other items around your house that you may have stored away and won’t use again.
10. Learn about and participate in community conservation and cleanup projects
11. Adopt a park or outdoor place to keep clean.
12. Start a garden, and learn how to compost
13. Insulate your home hot water heater – save money and energy
14. Fix leaky water fixtures and investigate low flow toilets and showerheads
15. Replace oil heater filters as recommended, seal and insulate ductwork in unheated basements and other areas, and have your heating system checked once a year. It will take less energy to heat your home, and the internal environment of your home will be safer and cleaner.
16. Replace water system filters in your home as recommended. The water pressure in your home will be stronger, and the water you drink will be safer.
19. Use less water. You can do things like take shorter showers, turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth, and watch how much water you use when washing dishes, but you might want to measure your water footprint first. And read this CNN article on Measuring your water footprint to learn why this is so important.
20. Conduct a home energy audit.
21. Calculate your Carbon footprint.
22. Unplug or use power strips that can be turned off for appliances and electronic devices such as computers, chargers, printers, televisions, cable set top boxes, microwave ovens, and coffee makers, to avoid energy vampires
23. Learn about local, regional, national, and global environmental issues, and participate through donations, advocacy, volunteer efforts, and employment.
Any others that you would suggest?