Top 10 ways to protect the environment

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Unfortunately, humans have not been very good stewards of the Earth over the years. To protect the environment and preserve the planet for our children & future generations, we all need lớn take proactive steps toward cleaner living habits.

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Most of the damage khổng lồ our environment stems from consumption: what we consume, how much we consume & how often.

Whether it’s gas, food, clothing, cars, furniture, water, toys, electronics, knick-knacks or other goods, we are all consumers. The key is not to lớn stop consuming, but to lớn start being mindful of our consumption habits and how each purchase or action affects the ecosystem.

The good news is that it’s often not too difficult, expensive, or inconvenient to lớn become more environmentally friendly. It can even be a fun challenge to lớn implement amuốn your family or coworkers. And though small changes at the individual level may seem trivial, just think how much cleaner the planet would be if everyone adopted even a few of the following behavior modifications.

So here are 12 ways you can start to lớn protect the environment today:

1. Consume less2. Compost3. Choose reusable over single-use4. Upcycle more5. Recycle properly6. Shop secondhand7. Buy local8. Use fewer chemicals9. Walk, bike or carpool10. Use less water11. Use your purchasing power for good12. Conserve electricity
1. Consume less 7. Buy local 2. Compost 8. Use fewer chemicals 3. Choose reusable over single-use 9. Walk, xe đạp or carpool 4. Upcycle more 10. Use less water 5. Recycle properly 11. Use your purchasing power for good 6. Shop secondh& 12. Conserve sầu electricity
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1. Consume less.

Curbing consumption can have a huge impact on the environment. The three "R"s"—reduce, reuse & recycle— get a lot of attention, but the planet could benefit from some focus on the most important and most underrepresented "R": refuse.

When you refuse, you say "no," which is not always easy. Freebies at events, cheap goods on clearance, the hot new children"s toys or the lademo gadgets that promise to make your life better—none of these are essential. And they almost always kết thúc up either in the trash or forgotten in the back of a clophối. Next time you’re tempted khổng lồ purchase or accept a non-essential sản phẩm, think about whether it would truly improve sầu your life. If not, it"s ok to lớn just say, "No, thanks!"

Bonus: Refusing khổng lồ allow unneeded items inlớn your life can save you money và reduce the amount of clutter in your trang chính.


2. Compost.

Another “R” that doesn’t get much attention but has important environmental implications is “rot.” As in, let your food & yard waste rot naturally in the soil instead of sending it to lớn the landfill. In other words: compost.

Composting your food scraps and yard waste offers double rewards: it keeps an incredible amount of trash out of the waste stream, và it produces miễn phí, rich soil khổng lồ use in your garden. Some cities now pichồng up organic waste alongside regular trash & recycling pick up. If your area doesn’t offer this service, no worries— you can set up a low-maintenance compost pile in your backyard.


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3. Choose reusable over single-use.

Think about how many people you see each day drinking beverages from disposable cups or disposable bottles, sipping from disposable straws, carrying disposable grocery bags, eating from disposable plates or containers & using disposable utensils. All that single-use plastic has lớn go somewhere, và it’s had a devastating effect on our soil, oceans & marine life.

All of the above items (& more) have sầu more environmentally responsible counterparts. Switch to lớn reusable items and make a commitment lớn use them as often as possible. You’ll have less trash piling up at your curb, and you’ll be helping lớn protect the environment in a major way.


4. Upcycle more.

Get creative sầu with your useless or unwanted items by upcycling—basically, turning trash inkhổng lồ treasure. Creating something new such as artwork, toys or jewelry is both satisfying & one of the best ways lớn protect the environment. Not only does it keep items out of the trash, it can prevent having to lớn purchase new items, which require lots of resources to produce. Children love making things; so instead of heading to lớn the craft store, check out your recycle bin first & let their imaginations soar!


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5. Recycle properly.

If you can’t refuse it…và you can’t rot it…và you can’t reduce it…and you can’t upcycle or reuse it…then it’s time to turn to lớn the final “R”—recycling. Educate yourself on what can & cannot be recycled in your bins at home page. Throwing the wrong items in the recycle bin can result in an entire load being rejected, which means … baông xã lớn the landfill.

You can also easily find out how lớn recycle special items such as electronics, batteries và appliances. Chechồng with your local municipality for drop-off sites, & make an effort to get your items to the proper disposal sites.

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6. Shop secondhand.

Did you know it takes over 700 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make just one plain t-shirt?

Instead of heading lớn the mall khổng lồ buy new clothes, consider looking first in a thrift store or vintage shop, or trading clothes with friends. You can breathe new life into your wardrobe without wasting the precious resources needed to lớn produce new clothing.

Shopping secondh& also applies for many other categories of consumer goods: children’s games và toys, shoes, appliances, furniture, cars và more.


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7. Buy local.

While we’re on the topic of shopping, it’s important to lớn think about the path your stuff takes just to get to you. All that packaging, combined with the fuel needed for delivery, really takes a toll on the environment. Instead, check out your local farmers market for fresh, package-miễn phí food; try eating at a farm-to-table restaurant; & buy from local artists, clothing makers, và retailers before you cliông chồng for that two-day shipping.


8. Use fewer chemicals.

Want to lớn protect the environment? Use fewer harmful chemicals và you’ll be on the right traông chồng. It’s hard to lớn be sure about the long-term negative sầu effects chemicals can have, both on our bodies and on the planet, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. Opt for chemical-free lawn & garden care; all-natural beauty và hygiene items; natural household cleaners; and organic food. The Earth will thank you!


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9. Walk, xe đạp or carpool.

According to lớn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.1 Any amount of that we can cut bachồng on will help. For short trips, try walking or biking—you’ll also get a healthy dose of exercise in, without setting foot in a gym. If travelling on foot or two wheels isn’t feasible, try carpooling with a friover, neighbor or coworker to lớn a mutual destination. And if all else fails and you need khổng lồ drive sầu your oto, line up errands in the most efficient route lớn save sầu time & miles driven.


10. Use less water.

Conserving water at home page is one of the easiest ways khổng lồ protect the environment. Think of all the times you consume water, both inside and outside your home; then, make adjustments as you can. For example:

Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.Fix leaky faucets.Make your water use more efficient by aerating faucets, using sprinklers that reduce runoff and installing low-flow toilets & efficient shower heads.Collect và use rainwater for watering plants.Shorten your shower by a few minutes—or skip it altogether if you don"t really need one that day.Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when it"s full

These are just the basics—you can get really creative when it comes khổng lồ conserving water.


11. Use your purchasing power for good.

The positive thing about being a consumer is that we have sầu the power khổng lồ choose where we spend our hard-earned dollars. Think of your money as your voice và your vote for a cleaner planet. Spend it wisely on goods, services và experiences that leave a smaller carbon footprint. Choose khổng lồ bởi business with companies that support sustainability efforts, utilize renewable energy sources và walk the walk when it comes to lớn protecting the environment.

Money talks—if enough people use their purchasing power for the good of the Earth, it will create a demand for sustainable practices. Businesses will either have sầu to comply … or be left behind.


12. Conserve electriđô thị.

As you can guess, we’re quite fond of this method of protecting the environment! Anytime you can use less electrithành phố, it’s a win for the planet. Try some of these quichồng ways to lớn conserve energy around your home:

Trade incandescent bulbs for more energy-efficient CFLs or LEDs.Use smart power strips, which turn off the power to lớn electronics when they’re not being used. (Or, simply unplug power cords from the wall when items aren’t in use.)Use a programmable or smart thermostat.Maintain your heating, ventilating & air conditioning (HVAC) system.When it’s time to lớn buy a new appliance, choose an Energy Star-certified Mã Sản Phẩm.Seal air leaks around doors và windows.Make sure your home page is properly insulated lớn the recommended cấp độ of heat resistance (“R-value”) for where you live.Use ceiling fans to circulate warm air in the winter và cold air in the summer.

1 This assumes the average gasoline vehicle on the road today has a fuel economy of about 22.0 miles per gallon & drives around 11,500 miles per year. Every gallon of gasoline burned creates about 8,887 grams of CO2.

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