Are you concerned about the welfare of the planet? Do you want to do what is in your power to save it? With the flurry of bad news about global warming, dying oceans, and endangered animals that we receive every day, it's hard to know where to start. It might seem like the actions of just one person won't make a difference, but there are actually many ways you can help. Here are some suggestions for you to learn how changing your personal habits and educating others can make a big impact.
Method 1 of 5: Save the water
Step 1. Save water at home
Wasting water is one of the most harmful ways to impact the health of the planet. Making the decision to use less water is something you can do right away. If you live in an area where water is scarce, this decision will be even more important to the health of the environment in your region. Try to practice as many of the items on the list below:
- Check and fix any water leaks. A leaky faucet could waste a lot of water.
- Install water-saving devices on faucets and toilets. A low-flow hand shower might be a good first step.
- Do not wash dishes with the tap running continuously. Use a method that requires less water to wash dishes.
- Turn off the water supply to the washing machine to avoid any water leaks. It does not need to be on all the time.
- Swap out old toilets for newer ones that use a lot less water.
- Wash and dry only full loads of laundry or dishes. Washing half a load wastes water.
- Don't water your lawn with too much water.
- When brushing your teeth, don't leave the tap running.
Step 2. Use less chemicals
The chemicals we use to clean our bodies, houses, cars, and everything else go down the drain or are absorbed by lawns and ultimately end up in the water supply. Because most people use very strong chemicals for all sorts of things, chemicals are a real hazard to waterways and aquatic life. Chemicals are not good for humans either, so do your best to reduce their use. You can do the following:
- Find out about alternatives to household cleaning products that do not contain dangerous chemicals. For example, for basic cleaning jobs, using a solution of ½ white vinegar and ½ water works the same as most commercial cleaners. Baking soda and salt are also inexpensive, non-toxic cleaners, but use them sparingly.
- When there are no good alternatives to a toxic product, use the minimum amount required for a hygienic result and use the least amount possible each time you clean. Paying close attention to the amount required will help you reduce pollution and save money.
- Instead of using chemical-laden shampoos and soaps, try making them yourself.
- Instead of using pesticides or herbicides, look for natural methods to get rid of weeds and pests.
Step 3. Get rid of toxic waste right away
Paint, car oil, ammonia, and many other chemicals should not be flushed down the drain or on the lawn because they will wet the soil and end up in groundwater reservoirs. Contact your community sanitation department to find out about best practices for disposing of toxic chemicals and waste.
Step 4. Helps to identify water contaminants
People have only a limited ability to keep water clean. In general, the culprits of water pollution are companies and industries. In order to protect the world's water, responsible citizens must make their voices heard and find ways to stop pollution.
- Join an environmental group in your community that works to clean up the water in your area, be it a river, a lake, or the sea.
- Contact your local representatives to express your views on the importance of keeping your water free of chemicals.
- Volunteer to help clean the beaches or riverbanks.
- Help others get involved in efforts to clean the water in your area.
Method 2 of 5: Preserve Air Quality
Step 1. Use less electricity
Coal and natural gas are the most common sources of energy that are converted into electricity. The burning of these substances is a determining factor in global air pollution. Reducing your dependence on electricity will be great for you to help save the planet. This is what you can do:
- Make use of solar energy for home and water heating.
- Turn off electrical equipment at night when you leave work.
- If you have central air conditioning, don't close the vents in unused rooms.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 ° F (50 ° C).
- Lower or turn off the water heater when you are away for long periods of time.
- Turn off unused lights when you leave a room for a brief moment.
- Set the refrigerator temperature to 2-3 ° C (36-38 ° F) and the freezer to -17, -15 ° C (0-5 ° F).
- When you use the oven and it is in use, open the door the fewest times, because each time you open it, it lowers the temperature by 25 to 30 degrees.
- Clean your dryer lint filter after every load so it uses less energy.
- Wash clothes in warm or cold water instead of hot water.
- Turn off lights, computers, and other gadgets when you're not using them.
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs to save money and energy.
- Plant trees to shade your home.
- Swap out old windows for ones that are energy efficient.
- Keep the thermostat at a higher temperature in summer and a lower temperature in winter when you are not at home.
- Insulate your home as best you can.
Step 2. Don't drive or take flights so often
Another major source of air pollution that global warming has produced is emissions from cars, trucks, airplanes, and other vehicles. The manufacturing of the vehicles, the gasoline needed to run them, the chemicals they burn, and the production of roads bear part of the responsibility. If you can not drive or take flights that often, you will do a lot to save the planet.
- Walk or bike instead of driving, if possible. Find the bike lanes in your area and use them!
- If you can't bike or walk to work, join a carpool or van ride.
- Report smoke-emitting vehicles to your local air agency.
- Maintain your vehicle properly. Buy radial tires and keep them properly inflated. To minimize harmful emissions, paint with brushes or rollers instead of using spray paints.
Step 3. Buy the products made in your community
Buying these types of products will help combat air pollution in two ways: you will not have to travel far to get what you need and the products will not have to travel long distances to get to where you are. Making good decisions about where your food, clothing and other products come from can contribute to impacting air pollution.
- Shop at farmers markets and buy food that has been made as close to home as possible.
- When shopping online, pay attention to the distance your order will have to travel to reach your home. Try to find items that do not have to travel long distances.
- Pay attention to where your clothes, electronics, household items, and other goods are made. If possible, buy items that have been made in your region.
Step 4. Eat vegetables and meats from local sources
Industrial agricultural practices are wicked for animals and are not safe for the planet. Industrial agriculture pollutes the water and air too much. You can deal with this problem personally by doing the following:
- Eat more vegetables. This simple change will be a way to renounce the consumption of the products of industrial agriculture.
- Question the provenance of the meat you eat. Learn to hunt responsibly for a more natural source of animal protein.
- Buy only locally sourced meats from a small farm.
- Avoid eating beef. Cows emit a lot of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, as well as other pollutants. Reduce your intake of beef and opt for other types of meat.
Step 5. Become an air pollution activist
Find local groups that fight to reduce air pollution and find a way to get involved. Get informed and also educate others about the problem, so you will generate a greater impact than if you only adopted new changes in your lifestyle.
- Join a group that plants trees to help clean the air.
- Become a cycling activist. Work so that in your city there are safe routes for them.
- Contact your local representatives to discuss specific issues in your region. For example, if there is a factory that releases pollutants into the air, actively participate in politics to stop it.
Method 3 of 5: Protect Soil Health
Step 1. Produce less waste
Everything that you throw away, put it in a bag and take it out to the street for collection will end up in a landfill. In addition, all that garbage (plastic, paper, metal and others) has probably been produced with unsustainable practices that damage the health of the Earth's soils. By producing less waste, you can reduce your impact. Try making the changes below:
- Buy products that you can use again. For example, buy glass containers instead of plastic ones, which are flimsy.
- Don't use plastic bags, use cloth ones.
- Keep and repair durable products instead of buying new.
- Avoid products with multiple layers of wrap when just one is enough. About 33% of what we throw away is packaging.
- Use reusable plates and utensils instead of disposable ones. Use reusable food storage containers instead of aluminum foil and plastic wrap.
- Buy rechargeable batteries for appliances you use frequently.
- Copies and prints on both sides of the paper.
- Reuse products like envelopes, folders, and paper clips.
- Use email or text messages instead of regular paper mail.
- Use recycled paper.
- Mend your clothes instead of buying new clothes.
- Buy used furniture, because there is an excess of them, they are also much cheaper than the new ones.
Step 2. Make your own stuff
When you make dinner from scratch or prepare your own cleaning products, you will generate less waste. Ready-made individual dinners, shampoo bottles, and more could really pile up in the trash can! Here we will present what you can make yourself:
- Meal. If you have big ambitions, grow your own food! Otherwise, strive to cook as much food as possible from scratch. Buy ingredients in bulk to reduce the amount of wrappers.
- Body products. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, you can make them all! Try replacing a few at first, then work on making most of the ones you use. Tip: Coconut oil is a great substitute for lotion, deep conditioner, and facial soap.
- Cleaning products. All products - from glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner to oven cleaner - can be made with natural ingredients.
Step 3. Make compost
This way is great for both reducing the amount of waste and improving the health of the soil you live in. Instead of throwing food scraps in the trash, compost in a bin or pile. After tending to the heap for several weeks, you'll have rich soil that you can put into your garden or use to make a delicious vegetable patch. The soil around you will be healthier and more vibrant for whatever activity you wish to undertake.
Step 4. Plant trees, don't cut them
Trees prevent soils from eroding and are an integral part of the ecosystem. By saving the trees you will not only protect the soil, but also the water and the air. If you have space in your garden, consider planting some trees to invest in the future of your neighborhood.
- Find out which trees are most beneficial to the environment in which you live. Plant native species.
- Try to plant trees that are tall and provide shade.
Step 5. Work to stop clearing and mining
These practices devastate and destroy the soils from the inside until they have the necessary resources to be a home for plants and fauna. Join a group that protects your region from industrial practices that damage soils.
Method 4 of 5: Help protect animals
Step 1. Make your property an animal sanctuary
All species (birds, deer, insects) have lost part of their habitat due to human development. You've likely seen birds bathing in oil-contaminated water and some deer roaming out of town because they have nowhere to go. If you have enough space, try to accommodate those animals in need of someone. You can make your home hospitable in the following way:
- Plant shrubs, flowers, and trees that attract wildlife.
- Set up a feeder and a bird bath with food and clean water.
- Don't kill snakes, spiders, bees, bats, and other beneficial creatures. Having these animals around you is a sign that your ecosystem is in good health.
- Install a hive if you have the space.
- Use cedar chips or herbs instead of mothballs.
- Don't use chemical pesticides.
- Use manual traps instead of rodent poison and insecticides.
- Use a manual or electric lawn mower instead of one that runs on gasoline.
- If you hunt deer, squirrels, or other animals for their meat, please respect them for giving their lives for your nutritional support. Don't let their meat go to waste.
Step 2. Consume fish from sustainable fisheries
The oceans are losing large fish populations due to overfishing and pollution. Almost 90% of the big fish in the ocean are extinct. You can do your bit to protect marine life by eating fish only when it is their season and when it has been caught with sustainable practices.
Step 3. Respect the animals
Many times it is taught that many animals are pests when in reality they do not cause any harm. We hardly ever see other animals that live in the wild, so we often forget about their needs. With the large number of species going extinct every day, they need as much help as possible. Try to be more aware in the following ways:
- Don't kill animals like moles, marmots and squirrels, let them live. They are likely to cause some inconvenience in your garden, but they play an important role in the ecosystem of your region.
- Do not disturb wild places such as forests, beaches, wetlands, and other areas where animals live. When visiting such areas, stay on the trails so that you do not accidentally cause any damage to an animal's habitat.
Step 4. Work to protect animal habitat
Whether it is a particular type of animal you want to save or you want to work for the health of all the endangered species on the planet, there are always animal rights groups where you can pour your energy and time.
Method 5 of 5: save energy
Step 1. Use external solar bulbs
These bulbs come with rechargeable batteries that are charged by the sun during the day.
Step 2. Use the sun to heat the hot water
Find out and consult in local appliance centers, this technology is more available than you think.
Step 3. Install a low voltage motion sensor night light for the bathroom
The bright light will wake you up, so a low wattage bulb will be the best and you will also save energy.
Step 4. Install a shower water recycler
This water will be filtered and will fill the toilet tank.
Step 5. Save energy at school
The school building and equipment can use a lot of energy. There are many ways to reduce this expense, such as leaving signs to turn off the lights when not in use, organizing talks on ways to save energy together, finding ways to reduce the use of heating and ventilation, etc.
- Depending on your age and experience, consult an adult to help you recycle. Make it a family project.
- If you are the artistic type, you will be able to make some good quality items by recycling.
- By recycling you will help save humanity.
- You can earn money by recycling. If this option exists in your community, sell the cans that are in your house or those that you find on the street.
- Bring bottles to the bottle center, use the cut garden to compost, recycle paper, and ask everyone (family and friends) to help you out!
- Take the soda bottles to your local recycling center. They will give you 5 or 10 cent coins, but you will be surprised how quickly they will add up.