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5 Tips for Being Eco-Friendly
Once a year on April 22nd, we come together to celebrate Earth Day. While it’s wonderful that there’s one day dedicated to bringing awareness to our planet, we think it’s important to be kind to the earth every day. These eco-friendly practices, mindsets and lifestyle changes are easy ways to start living a more conscious life.
1. Reduce your Consumption
Humans create an incredible amount of trash that cannot be broken down naturally. Materials like Styrofoam and plastic, for instance, are far from natural and they sit in landfills for years. Decreasing the amount of trash you produce can mean a huge shift in lifestyle, but it can greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
Use these tips to help you reduce your trash consumption:
• Shop for items in bulk so that you aren’t buying packaging that is only going to get thrown away.
• Bring your own containers to restaurants so you don’t use Styrofoam clamshells.
• Bring reusable bags to the grocery store.
• Use a coffee thermos instead of paper cups.
• Think before you make any purchase that has lots of packaging.
Reducing your consumption goes beyond trash, too. Cut back on your shower time to save water and bike instead of driving short distances to use less gasoline. Simply becoming more aware of how your actions affect the world we all share can make a huge difference.
2. Reuse and Recycle
In addition to reducing the amount of waste you create, try to reuse things as much as you can. Donate old clothes and shop at thrift shops so your clothing can have a second life. Repurpose old furniture and décor. Make a commitment to recycle. Many of us try to put cans and bottles in the blue bin, but there are many recyclable items we tend to forget about. Educate yourself on what items can be recycled and designate bins in your home so it becomes habit.
Composting your food waste and other biodegradable materials is a way to keep garbage out of the landfill, and in turn prevents air pollution. Another benefit of composting is that it creates a nutrient-filled food for your plants to grow. Compost is a great tool for starting your own very organic garden.
4. Buy Local
If growing your own vegetables doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, try your best to buy produce from local farmers and growers. Not only will seasonal and locally grown produce taste better, your purchase will also support your community’s economy, which is always a good thing! Plus, buying local will also reduce your carbon footprint. Think of all the gas that is used to ship fruits and vegetables from halfway around the world.
5. Stop Littering (and pick up after others)
This may be an obvious one, but refraining from littering is one of the simplest things you can do to be a good steward of the earth. Throwing your gum and small wrappers on the ground may not seem like a big deal, but it adds up. Oh, and throwing an apple core or banana peel out your car window seems like it should be fine, right? Wrong! Fruit skins and peels are biodegradable, yes, but they are typically not natural to the environment in which you are disposing them. They can take months or even years to fully decompose and can lure unsuspecting wildlife near the road, which, for obvious reasons, is not a good thing. Dispose of all your trash (even the small stuff) in the proper way, and educate your friends and family so they become for aware as well. Bonus points if you try to pick a couple pieces of garbage that others have left behind every once in a while!
These simple eco-friendly practices will help you reduce your carbon footprint and will set an example for others to observe how we should treat our earth. Let’s work together to celebrate our incredible planet more than just one day per year so it is just as beautiful for future generations.