Taking care of our planet doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, it can be pretty easy -- and make you healthier and save you money. Here are ten simple tips that anyone can do:
1- Eat more vegetables! And eat less conventionally raised meat and dairy. The livestock industry is one of the biggest contributors to environmental degradation. It is the number one source of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, releasing over 100 million tons into the environment a year.
If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads.
2- Recycle. Many states are promoting recycling with one stop shop instead of sorting through plastic, paper & glass. Really there is no excuse not to simply put these products in a different bin to be re-used. Doing so saves the earth from loads of chemicals being released into the environment, saves natural resources, takes less energy than making the products from scratch, reduces pollution and reduces the size of our landfills.
3- Re-usable Bags. Spend a few dollars for a re-usable bag when you do any shopping. The amount of plastic bags you will save adds up very quickly. The re-usable bags hold better, are more comfortable and are much more stylish J
4- Compost. Any food that will disintegrate can be kept in a compost bucket and dumped into a compost bin in your backyard. It saves the time, energy and money that would be spent sending the waste to a landfill where it doesn’t have the chance to decompose because it is stuck between heaps of plastic. Once decomposed, the compost can then be used as soil to grow your own little (or big!) garden.
5- Use Glass Water Bottles. Most plastic water bottles are in fact filled with tap water. We use 18 million barrels of oil to transport water and it’s growing every year. There are equivalent to about 9 million football fields of plastic, that is around 3.5 million tons of plastic, floating in our oceans right now. Every single time you refill your glass bottle it makes an immense difference on the environment and also in keeping harmful plastic chemicals from entering your body.
6- Plant a Tree. The time spent will most likely do wonders for your soul, but if you want to simply donate it’s quite easy and there are many different foundations that will help you to do so. Fruit trees in particular heal the environment, clean the air, improve soil quality, prevent erosion, create animal habitats, sustain valuable water sources and provide nourishment for animals and humans alike. One tree can clean about 10 pounds of pollution and 330 pounds of carbon dioxide from our air every year! Not to mention the amount of oxygen it gives off for us. David Wolfe’s fruit tree planting foundation is a great cause to support in this important mission.
7- Use Green Household Products. We have developed over 75,000 new chemicals in the last 100 years and dumped them into our environment. Some of these chemicals are being found to have neurotoxic effects (SLS) and some are endocrine disruptors that mimic the female hormone estrogen (NPE & BPA). If they are doing this to our resilient human bodies, the harm they are causing to the very delicate eco-system is most likely staggering. My favorite brands are Dr. Bronner’s, Meyer’s, or simply making your own home cleaning products, which are just as effective.
8- Use Less Energy at Home. Try to use the heating and air conditioning as little as possible. Wear more clothes when it’s cold and sweat it out when it’s hot. This helps the earth by using less energy and your wallet by saving your money. In the winter, being a little colder burns more calories and in the summer, sweating cleanses our body of toxins- so you can’t lose!
9- Eat Locally Grown Produce. Eating local can lower the environmental impact from shipping food all over the world. Or better yet build a little garden, it can be teeny-tiny and have just a few herbs if that’s all you have the space for. The benefits of growing your own nourishing food are tremendous and every little bit matters.
10- Appreciate Nature. Enjoy the magic and beauty of it. Connect with nature in any way that you can. Go for a walk and look at what is around you. Thank the sun for all it does for you. And of course stop and smell the flowers