Today, it is clear that if we want to live on a planet with clean water, fresh air and a diversity of plants and animals, we have to do everything we can to protect the health of the Earth. Being environmentally friendly means having a lifestyle that helps the planet more than you harm it and come forward when you see that they harm the world around you. Saving water, driving less, farming, and defending animals are good ways to start helping out. Read this article to learn more ways to make caring for the environment a part of your daily life.
Method 1 of 3: Protect Water Sources
Step 1. Save water at home
It takes a lot of energy to get water from rivers, groundwater or wherever your local water source is to your home. The water must be pumped to a treatment plant, filtered and treated with chemicals to clean it, then pumped to your neighborhood so you can use it at home. Saving as much water as you can reduces the stress that this whole process puts on natural bodies of water in the environment. Here are a few ways to save water:
- Use the low-water dishwashing method. Instead of leaving the water running all the time, fill a sink with hot soapy water, then turn off the tap and do the dishes. Soak them in a second sink filled with clean water, then pat dry and store.
- Install a low-flow showerhead and take short showers, not baths. Long showers and baths use a lot more water.
- Use water-saving appliances like a dishwasher and washing machine.
- Fix the leaks in your pipes so that the water does not come out constantly.
- Don't leave the water running when you brush your teeth.
- Don't water your lawn. Let the rain do the work instead of pumping clean water onto your lawn. If it's legal where you live, store gray water or collect rainwater. For a green lawn, plant low-water or native plants like moss.
Step 2. Use less chemicals
Chemicals that go down the drain or applied directly to lawns can contaminate the water supply, causing problems for both wildlife and humans. Find out what chemicals you can replace with something else so you can avoid flushing toxins down the drain.
- Use alternative cleaning solutions. Try white vinegar and baking soda to clean your kitchen and bathroom.
- Reconsider your personal care items. Replace shampoos, conditioners, and soaps with natural versions. Your body will thank you too.
- Try natural pesticides and herbicides. Instead of using weed sprays, try planting native species that will naturally take care of the problem.
Step 3. Never dump hazardous waste down the drain or onto the lawn
Paint, motor oil, ammonia, and other strong chemical solutions should not be flushed down the drain or in the yard, as they will seep into the groundwater. These items must be disposed of properly. Check the website of your local sanitation department to find out how to dispose of hazardous waste. You may be instructed to take it to a toxic waste site for proper disposal.
Step 4. Help fight local water pollution
Changing your personal habits regarding the use of water and chemicals is a good first step. By saving water on a daily basis, you are doing your part and setting a good example for others. But to make a real impact, consider taking your efforts a step further. Here are some ways to do it:
- Take part in a waterway cleanup day. If there is a stream, river or beach that is littered with trash or polluted, there is probably a water conservation group trying to clean it up. Next time there's a cleanup day, join in. And if you can't find a group, organize one yourself!
- Demonstrate against those who pollute the water. Thanks to vague government regulations, our waterways are often polluted with industrial waste dumped by corporations. Oil and chemical wastes kill aquatic life and the environment around it, as well as making the water unsafe for human consumption. Do your research to see if there is a clean water campaign in your area and sign up to help in any way you can.
Method 2 of 3: Help Clean the Air
Step 1. Save electricity at home
This is one of the first ways many of us are taught to be environmentally friendly, although we all need to remember how important it is to do things like turn off the lights when you leave a room. Anything that is powered by electricity requires the use of energy generated in power plants. Power plants usually burn coal or fossil fuel, which produces emissions that could cloud the air and make it harder to breathe. This is a serious consequence for forgetting to shut down your computer. This is what you can do:
- Lower your thermostat in winter. Instead of heating the house until it is boiling while it is snowing outside, heat it just enough to make you comfortable. Insulating your home also helps ward off the cold more efficiently.
- Determine if you can switch to electricity powered by wind or solar energy, which produces fewer emissions.
- Use less air conditioning. In summer, see if you can manage without air conditioning on not-so-hot days. Save it for the sweltering days.
- Turn off electronic gadgets and devices when you're not using them. You should turn off and unplug computers, televisions, coffee makers, and more when you're not using them.
- Use energy saving bulbs. Incandescent bulbs (the old kind) require more energy to burn.
Step 2. Start to depend less on your car
From making cars to extracting and burning the gasoline that fuels them, to the oil and other materials used to build the streets where you drive, there is no doubt that cars and everything that goes with them are a major source of pollution. from air. Reducing the use of your car is a good way to be more environmentally friendly.
- Opt for public transportation. Familiarize yourself with the bus, subway, or train schedule in your city and start using public transportation more often.
- Find the bike lanes in your city. More and more cities and towns are implementing bike lanes connecting all major neighborhoods. Saving money on gym memberships and getting free exercise is an added bonus of bike lanes.
- Make time to walk. If you have time for a walk, why not walk instead of driving? Anywhere that is a five to ten minute drive away should also be within an appropriate walking distance.
- Share a car to work or school with other people instead of driving alone.
Step 3. Buy local products
Your shopping habits might not be the first thing you ask when you're devising ways to reduce air pollution, but what people buy has a big effect on the environment. How a product was made, when it was made, and how it was packaged all play a role.
- Find out the production processes. Was it made with sustainable materials or does its production involve the use of plastics or other chemicals? Product manufacturing is also responsible for using (and wasting) a lot of water, so this is an important question to ask for more than one reason.
- Check the labels to see how far the items have traveled. If they had to travel by boat, plane, and truck to get to your store or your door, a lot of gasoline was burned to allow you to buy the product. Determine if you can find a good replacement that was created closer to home.
Step 4. Eat more vegetables and other foods that were locally grown
You can really show that you support the environment by changing some of your food shopping habits. Buying local food instead of imported from far away supports local farms and reduces your carbon footprint.
- Shop at farmers markets. In spring, summer, and fall, most cities have farmers markets with local food selections.
- Try to grow your own food. Join a community garden or make a plot in your backyard or patio.
- Follow the trend on “Meatless Monday”. This is a worldwide movement. Those who follow her do not eat animal protein on Mondays. This move helps minimize water consumption, as well as reduce greenhouse gases and fuel dependence.
Step 5. Join a group that works to combat air pollution
Once you start to become more aware of how daily habits affect our air quality, you might want to take action to do something about air pollution. Look for local and national groups working on ways to reduce carbon production and combat global warming. See what issues are being addressed in your area and encourage others to join.
Method 3 of 3: Protect the Land and Wildlife
Step 1. Create less trash.
Some communities produce so much garbage that they are running out of places to put it. If you want to take good care of the land that you, your friends, and your family can call home, reducing the amount of trash you throw away is a good place to start.
- Buy minimally packaged goods. Avoid purchasing products that are wrapped in layers of plastic, as it is usually not biodegradable.
- Recycle and reuse. When buying containers made of plastic, as well as containers made of glass and other reusable material, try to find other uses for them instead of just throwing them away.
- Start a compost pile instead of throwing away your food scraps.
- Do things instead of buying them so you don't have to keep buying new bottles.
- Cook at home instead of buying takeout, which usually comes in plastic or styrofoam containers.
Step 2. Plant trees
Trees are essential to the health of the environment. They prevent the soil from eroding, clean the air, provide shelter for animals. Trees are so powerful that they even reduce stress levels when we live among them. Do your part to help trees in the following ways:
- Plant native trees that will help the soil and provide shade.
- No such trees unless absolutely necessary. Save as many as you can.
- See if there is a local group you can work with to save forest areas from development.
Step 3. Let your garden grow a little wild
If you have the space and the predisposition, consider making your garden a haven for plants, trees, and animals. So many wild places have been taken that wild creatures need as much space as they can get. As a reward, you will live near plants and animals that most people don't see every day. This is what you can do:
- Don't use pesticides or herbicides. Let your garden be completely organic.
- Grow plants to attract bees and butterflies.
- Have a bird feeder, a squirrel feeder, and a bat house.
- Consider beekeeping.
- Provide a water source for animals, such as a birdbath or garden pond.
- Let moles, opossums, raccoons, and other pests live instead of getting rid of them.
Step 4. Respect the lives of animals
With so many species of animals going extinct every day, it is time to reflect on the way we view animals. Realizing that each creature is valuable and deserves a place on Earth could change the way you interact with them and talk about animals, as well as the decisions you make in your daily life. If you care about animals, try the following:
- Make sustainable food choices. Eat sustainably caught fish and pay attention to where it came from by checking some sources on the internet. Try to buy all of your animal products from sources you know and trust.
- Take care of wild places, like beaches and forests, that are habitats for animals. If you go hiking and see a sign instructing you to continue on the trail, go for it.
- See if your local forest or park needs volunteers to help protect animal habitat.
- Help spread awareness about endangered species. Let others know that you care about animals and educate them about how important it is to keep them safe.
Step 5. Join a group that works to protect your land
Join an environmental group that works to save the land where you live from destructive practices like indiscriminate logging, open-pit mining, mountaintop removal, and hydraulic fracturing. These practices affect not only the land, but also the trees, wildlife, air, water, and the human life that depends on it.
- Post sticky notes around the house to remind you to turn off the lights when you're not using them.
- Use plastic bags to line your garbage can.
- Turn off and unplug devices when you're not using them.
- Also be sure to reuse. Old things always have new uses!
- Try to have an environmentally friendly lifestyle that is not just one thing at once.
- Try to minimize the use of spotlights during the day. Open the blinds and let the sunlight in!