Mother Earth needs our help. We’re using too much fuel, chopping down too many trees and putting way too much garbage into landfills. But don’t think you have to install solar panels or go out and purchase a hybrid car to make a meaningful impact. It’s very easy to adopt an earth-friendly lifestyle without spending a dime. In fact, you’ll likely save
money along the way. So in honor of Earth Day coming up (although we should really celebrate this great, vast planet every day) we’ve rounded up ten seriously simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint:
1. Watch your water consumption
We all can get a bit careless when it comes to the water we use. Especially with small, everyday tasks like brushing our teeth. Turn off the tap rather than letting it run, try to cut back on shower time (even if it’s just by one minute) and only do laundry if you have a full load to wash.
2. Invest in a reusable mug/water bottle
Carrying around a reusable mug/water bottle can curb wasteful paper use significantly. Some stores and restaurants will even offer a discount for filling up your own cup (Starbucks, for example). There will be no issue finding a stylish one you can feel good about toting around, and your efforts here will also help to spread awareness!
3. Invest in reusable bags
When going shopping, especially to the grocery store, which is quite often a weekly or bi-weekly trip, make it a habit to bring your own eco-bags and say no to plastic and paper. Again, this action will not go unnoticed!
Try to buy local as much as possible- especially when it comes to food. This saves tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the air through the transportation of goods long distance. Travel also subtracts away time from a product’s life, and therefore increases the risk of it going bad before usage (aka buying local means fresher, too).
5. Buy secondhand, buy less and choose well
Many short-usage items can be purchased secondhand (think event dresses, children’s bikes, books, etc.). When you do buy, opt for high quality things that will last you longer. On the same hand, be sure to recycle or re-sell your old things, like clothing and furniture, rather than just tossing them.
You can help reduce pollution just through the traditional recycling of separating your paper, plastic, glass and aluminum products from the rest of your trash. It’s easier than ever to do so these days. Also, send things like used tires and old electronics to a depot for safe disposal.
Energy efficient light bulbs (LED or CFL lightbulbs) can last for years and use a quarter of the energy of regular bulbs do. Look for the government label on the packaging. While you may pay more money up front, you’ll actually save in the long run.
Be more mindful to turn off lights and unplug appliances when they’re not in use. Invest in some power strips to have multiple devices plugged in or off at once to make this less of tedious, daily task.
Paying online is not only quick and convenient, but can also of course benefit the planet by saving trees (a wonderful renewable resource). You can even set bills up on auto-pay, saving you time and taking away any stress of missing a payment.
Remember to share this list and any other earth-saving knowledge you may have stored up with friends and family. If each of them makes it a point to even start implementing one of these tips, the effect could be immense.
We love seeing celebrities use the spotlight for environmental awareness. For some added inspiration, here are ten stars also striving to make the world better place:
Singer Jack Johnson is all about ocean conservation. He records in solar-powered studios, donates a lot of his profits to environmental charities and even founded his own.
Actress Sophia Bush gives back to the planet by speaking out often on ways to preserve it (mostly through her social media outlets). She also eats a diet low in meat, rescues animals and wears recycled outfits.
Actor Leonardo Dicaprio is wildly popular for his environmental efforts over recent years. He established his own foundation to act for some of the world’s most endangered places and animals and also sits on the board to several other impactful organizations.
Actress Natalie Portman supports Global Green USA, an organization fighting global climate change through green affordable housing initiatives.
Actor Matt Damon established the foundation Water.org
, which aims to educate the public on the global water crisis and bring clean water to places in need.
Actor Brad Pitt launched the Make It Right campaign, helping those affected by Hurricane Katrina to rebuild using more eco-friendly appliances and features.
Actress Cate Blanchett is very vocal about her “go green” initiatives and also works alongside the Australian Conservation Foundation, which aims to promote ecological sustainability and protect endangered lands.
Actress Emma Watson is best known for her fight for women’s rights and pro-environmentalist causes. Most recently she’s been promoting sustainable clothing and even collaborated with fair-trade fashion label People Tree for her recent press tour.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is all about preserving the health of our bodies and the environment. He promotes the use of natural, fresh ingredients and encourages fans to grow their own food to cut back on waste.
Earth Day is a time to come together and celebrate and support the protection of our environment. But make this the year that you step up and commit to doing your part year-round.
Remember that you CAN make a difference!