Our actions matter. Collectively, they can literally change the shape of the world.
It is no secret that most of our actions harm the divine system of Nature destroying the beauty this planet has to offer. We are the main reason for the extinction of many species and the destruction of countless natural places. Our societal system of life conflicts with the system Nature has developed over billions of years.
We are pretty smart, there is no question about that, and if we put our minds to work together we can accomplish almost anything. If that wasn’t true than we wouldn’t have this digital conversation right now.
However, our arrogance to think we can get away without consequences by destroying a system that gave us life in the first place, could mean that we lose our place here, on planet Earth, or get extinct. The planet’s defensive mechanism could purge us like a virus.
But if most of us change (and there is still time to clean our mess), we can save our place on this planet we call home. So the real reason to do these 30 SIMPLE things is not to save the world, it existed LONG before us and it will exist long after us. The real reason is to save our place here, as humans.
1. Use energy efficient lightbulbs.
Energy efficient lightbulbs are a simple way to reduce the amount of power you use. Not only will this help the planet, it will also save your bank balance too. By replacing just one lightbulb, the effect can be tremendous. If every house in the USA did this, it would reduce pollution by the same amount as removing one million cars from the road!
2. Turn your computer off overnight.
If you turn your computer off every night, again you will reduce the power you use. You will save an average of $14 a year. It’s not a huge amount, but better in your pocket than your energy supplier’s right?
3. When brushing your teeth don’t leave the water running.
When brushing your teeth, turning the tap off while brushing can save five gallons of water per day. That’s the equivalent of 1.5 billion gallons of water across the USA.
4. Print on both sides of a piece of paper.
If you jot a note down on paper, save it and use the rest of the sheet for your notes. American business waste 21 million tons of paper per annum! Ideally, try to have your business as paperless as possible. When it is absolutely necessary, print on both sides of the page. And don’t forget to recycle it!
5. Don’t dry your clothes in a washing machine.
Do your clothes a favor and switch off the dryer. Hang clothes outside to dry naturally. The material will last longer, it will smell and feel fresher and of course, you are saving on that power usage!
6. Choose diapers wisely.
Wherever possible, choose cloth diapers. This aids the environment and is kinder to baby’s skin. If you desperately need the convenience of the disposable diaper, use an environmentally friendly brand. The average child uses between five and eight thousand diapers. This equates to 3.5 million tons of landfill waste and makes a huge dent in your pocket.
7. At least once per week eat vegetarian for a day.
You don’t have to give up meat for life, but try to commit to one meat free day a week. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. And each hamburger that comes from an animal on ex-forestry ground is responsible for the destruction of fifty-five square feet of forest. BONUS: You will not just help the environment with this, but you’ll also help your body stay healthy.
8. Tweak your laundry style just a little bit.
For your own pocket, and the good of the environment, don’t wash half loads. Wait until there’s enough to do a load and cut your laundry in half. Also, think about the water temperature. If every household in the USA switched from a hot to a warm cycle, it could save the equivalent of 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
9. Use fewer paper napkins and towels.
We’ve all done it, gone somewhere and took a napkin or two more than we needed, only to throw them away unused. If everyone in the USA used one less napkin a day, current figures show that it could save a billion pounds of space in landfills.
10. Recycle glass.
Did you know that un recycled glass can take up to a million years to decompose? Always make sure to recycle your glass. It can reduce related water pollution by up to fifty percent and related air pollution by up to twenty percent.
11. Recycle newspapers or simply read your news over the internet.
Make sure to recycle your old newspapers. 69% (or 44 million newspapers) of the newspapers printed in the USA are thrown away every day. Even if you recycle only once per week, half a million trees could be saved. Or even better, why not avoid newspapers altogether and read the online versions.
12. Get creative about gift wrapping.
Gift wrap is a major waste of paper and resource. Reuse gift wrap, bows and tags. Or why not be really creative and make your own gift wrap. Use old newspapers, maps or magazines and create your own design.
13. Do not use bottled water.
Bottled water is handy when you’re on the go, but why not buy one bottle and then refill it from the tap or your work’s water cooler. Around 90% of water bottles end up decomposing in landfills rather than being recycled. The best solution is to buy a reusable glass water bottle, if possible with purifying filter, that you can fill with water whenever you need to instead of buying.
14. Reduce the number of baths you take.
Switching your bath for a shower can make a huge difference. Baths use approximately double the amount of water a shower uses. This not only saves water, but it saves you money on heating the excess water too. If you want to take things even further, you can share a shower with your partner. You’ll use half the amount of water, and maybe make your showers a whole lot more fun.
15. Do not rinse the dishes before using your dishwasher.
If you can’t live without your dishwasher, then at least stop rinsing the dishes before using it. With a decent detergent, your dishes will be just as clean and you can save an average of twenty gallons of water per load.
16. Decrease the temperature in your home for only 1 degree.
Adjusting the temperature in your home by just one degree can save you 10% on your energy use over the year. This is another great saving you and another great help for the planet. Where possible, set a timer so your heating or cooling doesn’t need to be on when you aren’t home.
17. Download your software.
It is often cheaper to download software than it is to buy the discs. It also reduces wasted packaging materials, and it can be beneficial when the software is upgraded, and the downloaded version is automatically included in the updates.
18. Plant a tree.
There are multiple benefits to planting a tree in your garden. And if you don’t have a garden there is the whole world out there you can choose from. It is good for the environment both the land and the air, it can shade your home and cut back your air con usage and it can even increase the value of your property. You could make it an annual event where each family member plants a new tree.
19. Use your car’s cruise control system.
If your car has a cruise control, then do use it! You paid for it along with the car anyway. This will help to improve your mileage at least by 15%, which will in the process save the environment, gasoline and your wallet.
20. There are a lot of things you can buy second hand perfectly fine.
A lot of things can be sourced second hand. Things that have a short usage period due to growth, for example, a child’s bicycle, can be picked up second hand in fantastic condition and also at a fraction of the price. This saves you money and helps to reduce packaging materials.
21. Buy local foods.
Where possible, buy local produce. This saves all the pollution incurred by transporting goods long distance.
22. Get yourself a specially customized personal mug.
Your favorite cup or mug will surely make your beverage taste better. You can customize your own personal mug with your own favorite quotes, characters, images that inspire you. Instead of using a paper cup when ordering to go, use your personal cup. It will keep your beverage hot for a much longer time and it will also contribute to the safety of trees.
23. Turn off the lights when you are not in the room.
You don’t need to light up a room no one is using. Save energy and money by getting into the habit of switching off the lights when you leave the room. For standard bulbs, do this each time you leave. For energy savers, do this if you are leaving the room for more than fifteen minutes. You will also save on your cooling costs, as lights can make your rooms hotter.
24. Recycle old phones.
With the average consumer replacing their cell phones every eighteen months, 130 million cell phones are being disposed of each year. If these go into landfill sites, the toxins from the cell battery leak into the soil and pollute the ground. Use a recycling program. Many of these contribute to charities.
25. Choose paper matches over lighters.
As the majority of lighters these days are disposable lighters, 1.5 billion of them end up in landfills every year. They are also made of plastic and filled with butane, neither of which are environmentally friendly. Choose matches instead, ideally the paper ones. The wood ones are made from trees, but the paper ones are made from recycled paper so you are doing no harm.
26. Save unused stuff.
Don’t throw away perfectly good things just because you don’t need them or grew tired of them. Instead, donate them to a local charity shop.
27. Fly using electronic tickets.
Not only do you save $9 per flight by using an electronic ticket as opposed to a paper one, it also saves wasting all of that paper.
28. Don’t use plastic.
Try to avoid plastic as much as possible. Plastic sits in landfills where it often ends up polluting the oceans and infiltrating food sources.
29. Use rechargeable batteries.
It’s no secret that the corrosive acid in throw away batteries is extremely damaging to soil when they end up in landfills. Although the recharging unit is initially an unexpected expense, long term, this will save you money. And you’ll never find yourself short of a battery when you need one.
30. Share this!
Share this list with your friends! If each of them takes on board just one point, the effect could be immense. And if they share it on too, think of the mass chain reaction. It’s enough for each of us to make a difference to at least 1 other person!
Like I said, our actions matter. Collectively, they can literally change the shape of the world.
It is not too late to fix our mess. And I know it’s not your fault, but it’s not mine either, it’s not your kids’ fault and it’s not their kids’ fault. It’s enough pointing fingers. It’s time to start giving hands. It doesn’t matter whose fault is it. We are all in this ship together, and if there is water leaking we all better start emptying it, or we will all sink, no matter whose fault it was!