Reducing Environmental Impact: What Can Be Done?

We all know we should do more to help the environment. A lot of focus has been on what governments and organizations can do to reduce human impact on the environment. But even as individuals there are lots of things we can do to make a difference. The following are simple ideas that each individual can do to help the environment.

Use Less Electricity

use-less-electricityTurn everything off when it’s not in use. This includes all lights, televisions, and computers. If you know you’re not going to use something for a few days completely unplug it. Even if the appliance or device is turned off it can sometimes still use energy if it’s plugged in.

Lower the Thermostat

Most people will never notice a one or two degree difference in the temperature but it will save on energy and lower costs over time. There are several temperatures that can be lowered in the average home. A few include the heater and the hot water heater.

Save on Water

Saving water and saving energy can both be accomplished by installing a low flow shower head. If your plumbing can handle it, install a low flow toilet. Leaky faucets and toilets can add up quickly to higher bills and an enormous amount of water wasted. Always fix leaks as quickly as possible. Even little things like turning off the water while brushing your teeth can make a difference.

Ditch the Car

Buying a fuel efficient car is great, but what’s even better is leaving the car at home every chance you get. Use public transportation, ride a bike to work, or at least carpool. When you do drive make sure to plan out your trips. Run all your errands, especially those that are in the same area of town, on one day.

Stop Wasting Paper

dont-waste-paperEven though we don’t use as much paper as in the past, there are still ways we can cut back. Whenever documents have to be printed make sure to use both sides of the paper. Cancel any magazine subscriptions you don’t read or consider getting an online subscription if it’s available. And always recycle any newspapers or magazines you do get.

Get Back to Nature

Planting a tree or a garden can do wonders for the environment. You don’t need a large space to plant something green and leafy that will absorb carbon dioxide. If you’re an apartment dweller get active in your local community garden. If your city or town doesn’t have a community garden it’s time to start one!

Recycle

We all know we need to recycle paper, plastics, and other materials. But as fast as technology has changed and the speed with which many people have bought new phones, has created a rapidly rising environmental hazard. By some estimates electronic scraps now account for more than 50 percent of all toxic waste. Learning how to recycle these devices is crucial.

Many phones have precious metals that can be recycled and used again. Unfortunately, the circuit board and the coatings on cell phones can be toxic. These devices should not be burned as that would release toxins into the environment. Several electronics retailers provide drop boxes for old phones. Contact your wireless provider when you’re ready to recycle. Many charities, local and national, have cell phone recycle programs as well.

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