Protecting and taking care of our environment is a tall order. We all hear the stories about global warming, plastic infiltration and pollution in our water and air. Sometimes, it may seem that things are out of our hands. While it is important that we protect our environment on a national and societal level, there are still plenty of ways we can contribute and set a good example individually.
The idea of saving water may seem strange at first. After all, it is a renewable resource and comes in vast quantities. However, most water is not drinkable freshwater, and the water that is drinkable can be consumed faster than it is replenished by the natural water cycle, leading to shortages. Simple measures such as cutting a few minutes off shower time or turning off the water while brushing teeth or scrubbing dishes can save gallons. Multiply by thousands or millions of people, and the savings become evident. It is important to conserve water even in areas that are not currently experiencing a shortage. Not only will this help offset the eventual possibility, but it will allow your region to support other areas, especially farmlands, should need arise.
Local businesses, especially ones that carry local products like farm-fresh produce or meats, are a great way to support the environment. Reducing the amount of travel distance food needs to take before it gets to the table can cut down on carbon emissions from trucks and planes as well as reducing the amount of overall waste produced. It can also reduce the need for preservatives and herbicides and promotes organic foods, which can reduce the number of chemicals in local groundwater. In addition to helping the environment, buying local helps the people in your community. It encourages business owners to locally source their products to reduce supply chains and carbon footprint.
Recycling is an old standby when it comes to environmental friendliness, but it is still an important part of the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra. Recycling reduces the amount of landfill waste and, notably, helps with a growing problem: keeping plastic out of the environment. It also is energy-friendly versus the cost of making new items and often saves water over making new items as well. The best part is how easy it is to recycle. Most areas offer curbside pickup. Even if that is not an option, it is easy to collect your recyclables in a bag or tote and drop them off at a recycling center.
Everyone can play a part in helping protect and conserve our beautiful environment. While the impact of a single person may seem negligible, establishing good practices sets an example for all to follow. When we all come together to help our environment, we win alongside our planet.
Get more eco-friendly tips: Six Tips for Water Conservation at Home