As you’re probably well aware, April is internationally known as Earth Month. As much as I value all that goes into making this month relevant, it’s a disappointment to see nothing change in our everyday lives that genuinely help the planet. Here are some things you can do, both this month and throughout the rest of the year, that will genuinely make your life more eco-friendly,
- Start a compost bin.
The concept is simple – the less waste that goes into landfills, the better it is for the environment. Start reusing materials that would otherwise be thrown out! There are a ton of benefits of composting, and there are options to fit your living situation, even if you live in a small apartment.
- Sort your recycling.
Everyone says that they love to recycle, but what are you actually putting into the bin? Check to make sure that what you’re giving to the recycle facility is actually stuff they recycle. If it’s not, keep an area designated for specific materials. Take it to stores that recycle those when you go grocery shopping. Be sure to recycle in your bathroom, too. Bathroom waste is often ignored and left to go to landfills, such as plastic cups used for mouthwash or small boxes that your supplies come in. There are plenty of bathroom products that can be recycled that end up being thrown away. In fact, every year the US population discards 2,000,000,000 razor blades, a majority of which can be recycled at recycling centers.
- Stop buying products from companies that test on animals.
No matter how much we try to avoid animal testing, there are a vast number of companies that still do on the downlow. There are also loopholes to laws against testing, so a lot of companies can claim they don’t test on animals, but there’s nothing actually holding them to the truth. Be careful about what you buy and use on a regular basis, and always look up products before purchasing them.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
Use energy friendly light bulbs, turn off the lights, and at least every once in a while, go outside for some natural lighting. Most light bulbs use only 10% of their energy to give off light, and the other 90% is just heat. Not only will turning off the lights not contribute to general global warming, but it’ll also keep your overall house cooler than it would otherwise be.
- Use canvas bags for everything.
Bring your own bags to stores. Many bigger stores, such as Publix, offer cheap and sturdy reusable bags to carry your groceries in. You can use canvas bags for virtually anything, and they’re stronger and more sustainable than regular plastic bags.
In many of the suburban areas of America, public transportation is a scarce option. Obviously, public transport is efficient and eco-friendly, but if you live in an area where it’s a rarity, try carpooling to events and scheduled commitments! It’ll save time, give you an excuse to hang out with friends, make you more committed to scheduled plans and reduce your carbon emissions (as well as your gas bill).
- Eat less meat and animal products.
It’s no secret that eating animals is, for lack of better wording, bad for animals. But do you really know how horrible the meat industry is for the environment? Whether you bring it back to animal rights, climate change, deforestation, or even world hunger, there is no positive side to eating meat. Animal agriculture alone is responsible for 51% of global greenhouse emissions, and ‘taking shorter showers’ isn’t going to do anything compared to cutting meat out of your life. Only 3.2% of Americans follow a vegetarian diet, whereas 94% claim that they support the environment. Where’s the disconnect between what you say and what you do?
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