With so much doom and gloom in the news about climate change, child slave labor and the oil crisis, it can be easy to despair about the future of our great planet. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to lessen the mark you leave on the earth. Here are 5 of our favorite ways to save the planet.
Stop the energy vampires.
Even if you are turning off appliances and electronics when you’re not using them, just by being plugged into the wall, they are using energy. Known as energy vampires, plugged in but turned off electronics can add 10 percent or more to your monthly utility bill, according to the US Department of Energy. Simply unplugging your devices can save you money and energy.
The other two Rs.
More and more people have started recycling, which is wonderful. But even though recycled items bypass the landfill, it still takes a lot of energy to turn your old glass jar into a new glass jar. Before you buy, think about the other two Rs: reuse and reduce. By purchasing food items in bulk, especially if you bring your own reusable container, you are already decreasing the amount of recycling you produce. There are many other ways to reduce and reuse.
Ditch the car.
May is National Bike Month, and Bike to Work Week (May 16-20) provides a great opportunity to try bike commuting. Not sure how to start? We Bike Rochester is a great local resource and often conducts classes on how to commute using your bike.
Eat less (or no) meat.
Did you know that raising animals for human consumption creates 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions? That’s more than the combined exhaust from all transportation! By cutting down, or cutting out, your consumption of meat, you’ll be doing the Earth more good than if you got rid of your car.
Whether you’re shopping for clothes, furniture or home décor, you can keep items out of the landfill by purchasing secondhand. It also lessens your dependence on poor working conditions for factory workers. And you may just find your creative side coming out to reuse some thrift store scores.