We only have one Earth. However, we human do a great deal to harm it. Scientists and environmentalists warn us that human activity is causing irreparable damage to the landscape and the natural world. We’re changing the face of our planet, and our very existence threatens so many animals that we, in the opinions of many experts, contribute a great deal to the ongoing mass extinction event. It’s natural (no pun intended) to want to do something about our environmental impact, but what can we do? There’s a great deal that everyone can do to make a small contribution to the future of our planet. Here’s how to reduce your environmental impact.
Cutting Down on Energy Consumption
We Americans use a lot of energy–more than most other folks around the world, as it happens. One big way to help the planet is to start taking stock of the energy we use and making a real effort to cut down on it.
One area to inspect closer is transportation. Our cars pour pollutants and carbon dioxide into the air, but we can cut down on that by making changings. Maintaining vehicles (a well-maintained car is a more fuel-efficient one) and opting for more efficient modes of transportation can help the environment, and you can do it anywhere. From the experts on diesel repair in Edmonton to cyclists in New York City, we have ways to chip in everywhere. You could even make your next car a hybrid.
You might not think about eating as an environmental decision, but many ways in which our foods affect the planet exist. Between the emissions of trucks shipping food around the country and the surprising impact of cattle farming on the environment, there is a lot to consider here.
Think about the environmental impact of the ways in which we prepare food. Raising livestock, for instance, has a harsher impact on the landscape and the climate than growing sorghum grain. By choosing to eat more plants and fewer processed foods and meats, we can use our diets to help the Earth! Eating local–and therefore cutting down on cross-country shipping–can help, too.
Litter, Recycling, and Pollution
Modern environmental headlines emphasize things like global warming and energy consumption. Good reasons for that exist, but make no mistake: the “classic” subjects of environmental concern, such as littering and pollution, still present big problems. In fact, these issues have direct relation to the ones that get so much space in the headlines today: the same pollution that sends smog out over forests is often contributing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and choosing to litter instead of recycle means that more energy will be expended creating the next non-recycled product you use.
That’s why it’s as important as ever for individuals, households, and companies to choose to recycle. However, it’s also easier than ever: many areas mandate recycling, and recycling bins as staples everywhere, from public parks to fast food joints. So, make a little effort. Carry that can or cup a bit further and toss it into the recycling bin instead of the trash.
The ease and simplicity of recycling is emblematic of the kinds of decisions you can make to help the Earth. It’s easier than you might think to tweak your lifestyle and help contribute to a healthier planet. Why not start today?