Things To Do For The Earth On National Environment Day

June 5, 2018  |  
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Gettyimages.com/A beautiful young woman holds her rake handle as she pauses from outdoor community park cleanup to smile for the camera.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of helping the environment. If you’re like me, then you may feel, when you hunt down the one recycling bin in the mall to toss your empty boba cup, “How is this helping? This one little thing won’t make a difference.” I know that personally, I have moments when I think that saving the environment is a job for the kinds of geniuses who create solar panels and biodegradable makeup. This is a big planet, and one person alone certainly can’t save it. But, everyone together can, and we each make up a part of that. So use your power. In honor of National Environment Day, here are things you can do for your planet.

Gettyimages.com/A young African-American woman in her 20s standing at the kitchen sink helping her mother wash the dishes.

Let your dishwasher work

Don’t pre-rinse your dishes. Your dishwasher is designed to get the gunk off for you. Pre-rinsing uses way more water than necessary. While you’re at it, consider getting a water-efficient machine if you don’t already have one.

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Eat a little less meat

Just shy of 2,000 gallons of water are required to produce only one pound of beef. Consider having more vegetarian meals to cut back on your water requirements.

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Plan errands more wisely

Take five minutes at the beginning of the day to think about which errands you need to run, and arrange it so that you can do the least amount of driving. Simply realizing now that you need to drop something at the post office later, which is right next to the grocery store, could mean you put that parcel in your car early so you don’t have to go home for it.

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Carpool

Social media is such a wonderful resource for those who want to carpool. You can start a Facebook group and only invite those you know. From there, you can post your flight path for the day and see if anyone has a similar one.

Gettyimages.com/A happy young adult woman enjoys time working from home, the house interior well designed and decorated with an assortment of interesting plants.

Get work from home days

If you’re allowed to take work from home days, then take them. Those are fewer days you are driving to work and creating carbon emissions.

Gettyimages.com/An unrecognizable female supermarket customer stands over her shopping cart and holds her new smart phone next to her paper shopping list. Old habits are hard to break.

Plan your meals

Don’t just grab whatever looks good at the grocery store. Sit down on Sunday and plan your meals, really thinking about how much food you’ll need at each meal. This will help prevent food waste.

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Compost

Anybody can compost! Your town probably has a compost program where you can drop off your food scraps. That means your used food sends its nutrients back into the earth, rather than being tossed into a landfill.

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Use cloth napkins

Not only do they look elegant, but they reduce the number of paper napkins you throw away. Just put these in the wash with your regular laundry.

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Reuse printer paper

There are probably plenty of times you can print on used paper. If you’re printing an itinerary, for example, it’s okay if an old document is on the back.

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Track your cup

You don’t need to use a new cup each time you get water. Keep track of your glass and re-use it throughout the day so you can wash fewer dishes.

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Keep your boxes

Hold onto those delivery boxes that bring your online shopping items. You can reuse these to pack up belongings or pack gifts.

Gettyimages.com/Open bag of wheat flour on a rustic wooden table covered with flour, egg shells and an open recipe book in the background.

Buy in bulk

One enormous bag of flour uses less packaging than ten small bags of the stuff. When you buy non-perishable items like that that you use a lot of, buy in bulk.

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Exercise without power

Treadmills, elipticals, and other workout machines use a lot of electricity, but you don’t need these to break a sweat. Skip the gym from time to time and go on a hike or beach walk instead.

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Buy recycled

Buy items that are made from recycled items. There are options in just about every product category you can imagine from furniture to jewelry.

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Consolidate your leftovers

If you often eat at restaurants and take leftovers home, let them put your food in one large box rather than several small ones. You don’t really need your steamed veggies and steak separated.

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  • http://jessicaleecole.wordpress.com jessicaleecole

    These are some really great ideas – the diet is an often overlooked aspect of our lives, in terms of environmental impacts. Food waste is especially hard on the environment as it is wasted resources and its decomposition generates more greenhouse gases – so any steps taken to reduce waste are a step in the right direction!

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