Hello BH bloggers! After spending some time outside the past couple weeks enjoying the beautiful spring weather, we wanted to share with you some ways to help our environment. Here are some easy ways to help the mother planet out that may even save you money!
Did you know that over 1 million sea creatures are killed annually by trash that is thrown in the ocean? That a glass bottle will take over 4,000 years to decompose on its own? There are some very scary statistics out there, but how can we start to fix the problem without knowing what the major issues are? This is why education is so important. Take some time to research what problems are out there and how you as an individual can help. You might think that you, as one person, can’t make a difference, but here are some startling statistics for you: if you doubled the amount each person recycled from 26% to 52% it would keep 8 full trash bins per person from ending up in a landfill per year. Turning the water off while you brush your teeth can save up to 5,700 gallons of water a year. One person can make a huge difference in a lot of the environmental issues that we are facing today. Getting educated can help you become passionate about a specific issue or help you understand what you can do to help.
Commit to Change
The first step to celebrating our earth is to make the environmental issues a part of the way you live your life. Committing to being less wasteful and to make mindful changes will really help you become more regimented about saving our earth. One easy way to do this is to slowly add new techniques over the course of the year. Maybe in the first month you buy a reusable coffee mug instead using a disposable one every day. Then, the next month, replace all of your regular light bulbs with energy efficient ones, and so on. That way you aren’t overwhelmed with new projects and can sustain your efforts mentally and financially. Committing to change for the Earth is perhaps the most important step in celebrating the Earth every day.
Reduce Plastic Usage
You have probably heard this tip before, but it can’t be overstated. Reducing plastic usage is one of the most important actions to keep our landfills from overflowing. Only 8.5% of plastic bottles are recycled, and the rest end up in landfills where they take up to 500 years to decompose. Glass and Aluminum are alternatives that, when recycled, can be reused an infinite amount of times without an effect on quality. Plastic is made out of crude oils that have to be harvested from underneath the Earth’s surface. The manufacturing process alone is highly inefficient and unsustainable. After you add in the recycling rates and the degradation rates, plastic harms our planet. Cutting down on using it can be as easy as making sure you recycle every bit of plastic you use or replacing everyday plastic items with less damaging materials or reusable options. Whatever you do, cutting down on plastic is essential.
Eating and buying local products and produce can have a huge effect on emissions. Produce that did not have to be shipped across the world will reduce the amount of gas used to get you that vegetable. Local products are most likely not mass produced using an incredible amount of energy. Taking advantage of your community offerings can not only boost the economy of your area but also help save the environment.
Did you know only 11% of the earth’s surface is used for producing food? As the earth’s population grows, we will only need more and more food. Instead of shipping food all over the world and using large manufacturing processes to create food, we should all work on harvesting our own. Even a small part of the backyard can be turned into a garden where you can grow fruits and vegetables that thrive in your climate. If you live in a place where that is not possible, focus on acquiring plants that filter toxins and carbon monoxide out of the air. Plants are very important to the ecosystem or our Earth. They can help filter our carbon emissions making our air cleaner. We should be focusing on adding more plants and food rather than destroying plants and forests.
Making your home more energy efficient is a good way to not only save you money on your utilities but also help you cut down on energy usage. You don’t have to make dramatic changes to your home, there are many simple ways to make your home more efficient. An easy way to cut down on energy is to change all of the light bulbs in your house to energy efficient LED or Halogen bulbs instead of incandescents. These bulbs last much longer than average bulbs, and they do not use as much energy. Another way to stop waste is to make sure none of your faucets are leaking. An average household can waste 9,400 gallons of water a year from leaks alone. That can cut some money off your water bill too. You probably just forget about all of the chargers and electronics that are plugged in but are not being used, and these unused electronics can add up to 10% of your energy bill. So if you aren’t using something, unplugging it will be good for the environment and for your wallet.
Be Mindful of Transportation
Cars and other forms of transportation pollute our air, and cutting down on car emissions is essential for helping our Earth. Carpooling can be a fun and easy way to cut down on individual car travel. Get together will your co-workers and take turns picking each other up for work. That way, there is one car on the road instead of three or four. This can also save you money on gas. Walking, riding the bus, and riding your bike are also great ways to get around that cut down on the pollution caused by cars. Once you implement some of these strategies, you will be surprised at how easy and fun it is not to drive.
Eat Meat Responsibly
Alright, no one is asking you to go completely vegetarian or vegan, but cutting down on meat consumption, specifically beef, is extremely effective at helping our environment. The environmental impact of the livestock industry is so great that it alone produces 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The livestock industry requires mass amounts of land, grains, and transportation, making it extremely inefficient. Cows specifically produce a gas called methane that is around 23-28 times more harmful to our atmosphere than CO2. One cow per year can produce as much damage to the environment as a car that drives 8,000 miles in one year. Another meat to be conscious of how you consume is fish. Fish farms are extremely detrimental to our oceans. Some fish from fish farms even have mercury in them. Sustainable fishing means letting fish live in their natural habitats and keeping our oceans the way they should be, natural. Eating fish from a local fish monger or at least making sure it is wild caught is a good way to support local fisherman and help save our oceans.
Support Eco-Friendly Companies
Large industrial companies definitely have a stake in the problems we are having with pollution. There are a lot of companies that are paving the way to making their business more energy efficient. Do some research and find out which companies are making efforts to recycle or use renewable energy. That way you know every product you are buying was not produced in a way that hurts our environment. (BH Management just secured the largest Water Conservation Rebate in Atlanta history)
Now that you have taken steps to help our Earth, it is time to pass them on to a friend. One person can make a huge difference for our environment, but the more the merrier. We all have to work together to make any real change. Whether you just share these tips, go volunteer for an environmental charity, or vote in favor of environmental policies, every bit helps. Did you know that the U.S is only 5% of the population of the world, but uses 25% of the energy? If every person on Earth lived like an American, we would need the resources of 5 Earths. Unfortunately, we only have one Earth, so we must do everything we can to protect it.