Beliefnet

sunset farmThere’s no nice way to put - we’re wasteful. Think about it. How many times have you utilized a wasteful element just because it was convenient – drove your car a short distance, used plastic over paper, or perhaps you didn’t recycle something that could be reused? It’s important to keep the Earth in mind every day versus just during Earth centered days. Keeping the environment clean, helps guarantee that the world will be around when our children’s children are grown – which is something we should keep in the back of our minds. There are many ways we can all pitch in to save the earth every day – here are some of them.

1. Online Bill Pay Methods: Paying bills online instead of on paper can save 23 pounds of wood and avoids 29 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per household each year.

2. Dishwasher Usage: Use the dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes, but only when you have a full load. This alone can save hundreds of gallons of water each month.

3. Water Bottle: 1.5 million barrels of oil are used, each year, to make disposable plastic bottles – opt for a refillable water bottle instead.

4. Recycle: Be sure to recycle products that are paper, plastic and/or glass. Never put these items into the trashcan. Glass can take over a million years to decompose. Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and related water pollution by 50 percent.

5. Light bulbs: If every household in the United States replaced one regular light bulb with one of the new compact florescent bulbs, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road.

6. Become a Vegetarian Once a Week: During production, it requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Once a week, try to help the planet and your diet by eating one less meat based meal.

7. Napkins: When you’re wiping your hands or mouth, you don’t really think about where that napkin is going. However, the average person uses about 2,200 napkins annually. Think about that number multiplied by the entire population. More than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year if we used one or two fewer napkins each day.

8. Paper: Every year, businesses across the United States throw away 21 million tons of paper each year – this equates to roughly 175 pounds per office worker. Companies can help out the environment, to reduce these numbers, by setting printer default options to print double sided. Also, companies can take their paper to a recycling bin.

9. Creative Wrapping Ideas: Reuse gift bags, bows and tissue paper when wrapping gifts. Or reuse a brown paper bag to wrap a present and allow your child to get creative with the paper by drawing a picture.

10. Shop Consignment: Instead of purchasing all items new, consider buying some items second hand. Toys, bicycles, roller blades and other items can be found at a great deal through a consignment shop and the second use will help out the environment.

11. Thermostat: If you adjust your thermostat one degree higher in the summer and one degree colder in the winter, you’ll find that you will save about 10 percent on your energy bill. Invest in a programmable thermostat to help regulate household temperatures.

12. Errands: Instead of running your errands throughout the week, opt to group all of your errands into one run. You’ll find that you’ll save gasoline and be able to better manage your time.

13. Recycle Old Phones: On average, a cell phone lasts around 18 months – which equates to roughly 130 million phones being thrown out each year. Unfortunately, if these phones make their way to a landfill then their batteries can introduce toxic substances into the environment. Before you toss out your phone, look for a program that recycles old phones and who knows, you may be able to make a buck or two.

14. Unwanted Hangers: Wire hangers are made out of steel and are usually accepted by most recycling programs. Also, ask your dry cleaner if they’ll accept unwanted hangers – in most cases, they’ll be able to reuse them or recycle.

15. Plastic Bags: Even though it’s not always convenient, it’s important to carry reusable bags instead of opting for the standard plastic bag when checking out at a retailer. Every year the United States uses 84 billion plastic bags. The bags are not biodegradable and directly affect our oceans.

These are just a few of the easy ways you can make a difference within the environment. It’s important to remember, if we don’t take care of our earth then we will not have a place to call home.

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