Saving the planet sounds like a monumental task, especially when we see how much damage is done on a daily basis. This can also make it feel that there is nothing we can do as individuals to make any difference.
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However, there are numerous small ways in which we can do our part to help save the environment and protect our planet. Most of them don’t even require much effort or any major life changes to put into action.
Here are just 25 things that you can start doing right away, in and around your house or place of work, to become more eco-friendly and help save our planet…
1. Scale Back On Washing Clothes
Washing machines use a ton of water, which is a waste if your clothes aren’t really dirty or smelly. If you do have to wash clothes, make sure that you put in a full load, and use cold water instead of hot.
2. Pay Your Bills Online
Cut back on paper waste and save trees by paying your bills online. It is effortless and much more environmentally friendly. Be sure to get your monthly statements online as well instead of in the mail.
3. Favor Your Laptop Over Your Desktop
If you own both a laptop and desktop computer, you can save a lot of energy by using the former. If you are on the lookout for a new laptop, be sure to choose one that has an Energy Star rating, as it uses even less energy.
4. Reduce Food Waste
Food that goes to waste typically ends up in landfills where it can turn into methane, which is a greenhouse gas. So, reduce food waste by embracing leftovers, donating to food kitchens and educating yourself about expiration dates.
5. Don’t Waste Water
Faucets that are left open can waste a tremendous amount of water. To prevent this from happening remember to turn off your tap while shaving or brushing your teeth.
6. Avoid Products With Too Much Packaging
Food packaging makes up a lot of waste that ends up in landfills, so avoid products that come in excessive packaging. Choose products with minimal or no packaging or in packaging made from recycled materials.
7. Use An Aerator In Your Shower
To make your shower-head more efficient and save a lot of water, consider attaching a shower aerator. These typically deliver a mixture of air and water to create a no-splashing stream that is much more efficient.
8. Pick Fish That Are Sustainably Caught
While fish is a healthy food choice the oceans are being depleted thanks to overfishing. By choosing to only support the sale of fish that is in season and sustainably caught you can help to protect marine life.
9. Choose More Responsible Dishwashing Powder
Typically, dishwashing powder contains bleach, phosphates and other harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment. Switch to a brand that is plant-based and biodegradable for the same results, but without the environmental damage.
10. Use Your Dishwasher Only When It’s Full
Hand-washing can waste a lot of water, so making use of a dishwasher is most cost-effective. However, be sure to only run the dishwasher when it is full, as this can help you to save even more water.
11. Clean Your Whole Fridge
Don’t just clean the inside of your fridge, but the back too. When the coils at the back become dirty they can increase energy consumption.
12. Recycle Responsibly
Reducing or reusing items is preferable, but if that’s not possible, remember to recycle. Educate yourself about what can and cannot be recycled, and be sure to follow all guidelines for recycling in your area.
13. Donate Your Old Technology
Older technology, especially mobile phones, can cause a lot of waste when discarded. Instead, recycle your old phones with environmentally responsible companies, or donate them if still in a usable condition.
14. Stick To A Reusable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is important, but it can be done without harming the environment. To avoid adding to the millions of plastic bottles that are used daily without getting recycled, buy a reusable bottle instead.
15. Use A Mug At The Office Instead Of Polystyrene Cups
Instead of using new polystyrene cups at work every day, take your own mug that you can reuse. This can help to cut back on litter and waste.
16. Be A Better Driver
It is not just maintaining your car that can make it more efficient and use less gas. Practice responsible driving habits, such as staying within the speed limits, limiting hard braking and avoiding fast accelerations, to increase fuel efficiency.
17. Don’t Drive If You Can Walk Or Bike
Unless driving is absolutely essential, consider walking or biking instead of using your car. Most towns have bike routes that are safe to use, and you’ll also enjoy some exercise when you leave the car at home. Doing so will help to cut back on air pollution.
18. Opt For Biodegradable Cat Litter
If you are a pet owner who makes use of cat litter, avoid the brands that contain bentonite clay since it never breaks down and just ends up in landfills. Instead, opt for brands that are flushable and biodegradable, which is better for the environment.
19. Replace Old Appliances With Energy-Efficient Ones
Older appliances tend to be less energy efficient than new ones, so make sure to shop for ones that are more environmentally friendly when it is time to upgrade.
20. Make Your Food Choices Local
Food often has to travel thousands of miles before reaching shops, so to help conserve fuel and reduce pollution it is better to opt for local products. It not only helps the environment, but also means your food will be fresher.
21. Select Recycled Paper
If you do have to make use of paper choose the recycled variety instead of virgin paper. The latter results in more air and water pollution during creation.
22. Reuse Your Bags At The Market
Ideally you should ditch plastic carrier bags in favor of cloth ones, but at the very least reuse the ones you have instead of getting new ones with each shopping trip.
23. Use The Right Appliance For Tasks
Using the proper appliance for each task in the kitchen can help to cut down on unnecessary energy waste. For example, when making stews or soups, use an electric slow cooker instead of the stove.
24. Turn Off Electronic Devices
When something like a television or stereo is not in use, turn it off completely instead of leaving it in standby mode. This way, they won’t waste electricity.
25. Make Green Power Your Preference
Although it can cost a little extra and isn’t available in all states, buying green power can make a big difference. It is renewable energy that is sold by local power companies, which is better for the environment, as less water is used than energy generated by gas and coal powered stations.