At Be You Only Better, I normally talk about ways to improve your self confidence, or ways to improve your image, but there is something else we need to be concerned with on a daily basis: ways to improve our earth. Earth Day is today and there is no better day to take a look at our consumption habits and see what little changes we can make that will make a difference in the world we live in.
1. Check your faucets
Are any leaking? Fix it! A faucet leaking just one drop per second wastes over 1,300 gallons per year! A leak from a hot water source wastes both water and fossil fuel, creating more greenhouse gasses. Most repairs to plumbing fixtures pay for themselves within just a year. And, speaking of faucets, brush your teeth without using running water. You will save almost ten gallons a day!
2. Think Green When You Clean: Cleaning products that contain chlorine or petroleum distillates expose your family to toxins and then end up in the ecosystem. Choose nontoxic, naturally derived cleaning products, which are proven effective but won’t cause long term damage to the Earth.
3. Pump it up!: Americans waste over 700 million gallons of gasoline each year just because tires aren’t properly inflated. Millions more are wasted because our vehicles aren’t properly tuned up. Keep your machine running ‘Green!’ You’ll save money and reduce emissions!
4. Save a Cow: Once a week (or more!), plan a meat alternative for dinner. Enjoy pasta with a marinara or Alfredo sauce, meatless chili burritos, or even grilled veggie burgers! Reducing meat consumption conserves fresh water, saves topsoil, and even reduces air pollution!
5. Use foot power! If people in the U.S. would occasionally ride a bike or walk for a short errand instead of driving a car, over 70 million gallons of fuel could be saved each year! And there’s the added benefit of enjoying the fresh air and exercise! For short errands, take a hike! It’s the end of April, so in most places the weather is pretty decent by now — no trudging through snow drifts for you! If your place of work isn’t close enough, try taking public transportation or carpooling with a neighbor or co-worker today.
6. Plant A Tree Every Earth Day! Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. It also provides shade that keeps homes and cities cooler!
7. Pull Out Weeds by Hand. Herbicides aren’t the only way to control weeds, and they’re certainly not the most environment-friendly way! Invest in a good pair of gloves and garden tools, and remove weeds by hand. Also, choose natural alternatives to pesticides for getting rid of pests!
8. Lights Out. Before you leave the house, check to make sure your lights are off, your thermostat is adjusted to the right setting, and the TV and other home electronics are off.
9. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It’s more than just a slogan. You can start making the world a ‘greener’ place today: return hangers to the cleaners, donate clothing and computers to charities, pack lunches in reusable containers instead of bags, Instead of using a single-serve cup for your morning coffee, bring a mug from home. Rinse when you’re done, and you’re all set for your second cup o’ joe during your midafternoon slump.there are hundreds of easy things to do! Use both sides of the paper that you use throughout the course of the day. Every year, pulp mills release over one trillion gallons of chlorine-tainted water as part of the paper making process. Using the other side of the paper can cut that pollution almost in half! And choose recycled paper—especially processed-chlorine-free recycled paper. It’s up to you!
10. Stop Using Styrofoam. It lasts a really long time. Try 500 years. Or more. Think about millions of burger boxes, packing peanuts, and take-out containers, sitting in landfills, not biodegrading. Then buy eggs in cardboard, rather than styrofoam, containers.
Just like your body, the earth is the only one you have. Take care of it!