There are many things that can be done to reduce our carbon footprint and be “green,” such as recycling all items which can be recycled, composting our food scraps, and riding our bicycles more instead of starting the car. Those things are just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are 7 ways you can help save the planet:
1. Use a Travel Mug
If you’re like most people, it can be tricky to get through the day without buying at least one cup of coffee. If you purchase one hot beverage every day for five days a week, that’s 260 paper or Styrofoam cups and plastic lids that will end up in the landfill.
Fortunately, you don’t have to cut down on your extra hot, no foam, soy vanilla lattes. Just bring a travel mug for the barista to make your beverage in. Most coffee shops promote customers bringing in their own mugs by offering a few cents off the drink.
2. Skip the ATM Receipts
When withdrawing money from an ATM, resist hitting “Yes” when it asks if you’d like a receipt. For a lot of people, the receipts either immediately go in the garbage, or end up as litter on the ground. One study showed that if each person in the United States didn’t take a receipt, it would save enough paper to go around the earth over 15 times.
3. Collect Rain Water
Use a rain barrel to collect rain water to use for watering your plants. They aren’t expensive and often come with a spout to easily get the water out. You can maximize the amount of water you are getting by placing it under a downspout.
Homeowners could save upwards of 1500 gallons of water during the summer months, just by using a rain barrel.
4. Install a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless Water Heaters can save up to 50% in energy savings because they don’t store 40-60 gallons of water that has to stay hot, even when you’re not using it, so it’s immediately hot when you turn on the tap.
5. Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies
There are so many harmful chemicals in manufactured cleaning supplies and detergents that only end up down the drain and eventually into our water supply. They can also be harmful to our immediate health because of toxic fumes.
Instead, you can easily make your own cleaning solutions and laundry detergent with simple ingredients found in your local stores such as vinegar and baking soda. There are many green recipes found online.
6. Embrace a Paperless Office
With all the tools that are available online in terms of storage, email, document sharing, why print out that report at all? Save the paper and distribute all of your correspondence online.
7. “Green” Up Your Home
Houses that are built in the shade require less air conditioning so plant trees along-side your house to keep your home cooler in the summer, reducing your a/c usage.
You might even go as far as installing “green roofing” – planting grass on your roof. Not only does this again help to insulate against the heat, but it helps to insulate against the cold. Hot air rises and the grass helps to prevent the hot air from escaping during those cold winter months.
The planet is a living, breathing thing and unfortunately, it slowly seems to be dying. Humans have taken advantage of our earth for too long and we need to all do our part to save it.
What innovative things do you do to help save the planet?