- Eat a meatless meal once a week. Raising animals for meat requires land for grazing, water, and movement for the animals; electricity, and processing, which creates waste.
- If you are thinking of getting a pet, adopt one instead of buying one at a pet store. Pet overpopulation is a big problem.
- Love a frog: many species are becoming extinct or rare: see if your school will do a 'Virtual Dissection' instead of working on the real thing. http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/frogs-danger-becoming-extinct
- The circus has to transport its animals over many miles in uncomfortable train cars to their shows: boycott the circus in protest over treatment of possibly endangered animals.
- Check to see which companies practice cruelty-free testing and buy only from them. http://www.peta.org/living/beauty/beauty-without-bunnies/
- Don't over-charge your phone battery. Charge it for a few minutes twice a day instead. When batteries get over-charged, like when you leave it on the charger all night long, they wear out faster. Then you will need to discard the old one and buy a new one, adding to the electronic pollution in our landfills.
- Use reusable bags when you shop, or tell your cashier you don't need a bag
- Inflate your tires properly. Underinflated tires mean your car uses more gas.
- Walk somewhere instead of taking the car.
- Use reusable water bottles* but if you must use plastic, recycle it when you're done with it.
- You can get most things around your house clean by using baking soda or vinegar, avoiding harsh chemicals that then wind up in our water and land, and which can also wreak havoc with your skin and lungs. Google the ingredients in a cleaner you usually use and see what I mean.
- Use your public library instead of buying a book or magazine, only to discard it later on.
- Go outside and enjoy the fresh air, instead of buying something to amuse yourself.
- Make food items at home, saving the packaging and energy it takes to have them made in a restaurant or fast-food place (and likely giving you something healthier to eat). Wrappings and boxes with food bits or grease on them are not recyclable.
- Remember why you should eat organic: you don't want to eat the pesticides used--and they're not good for our water or land, either.
- If you have items still in good condition, donate them somewhere instead of throwing them in the garbage.
- Be not only a donor, but a buyer, of used items.
- Don't smoke, but if you do, be sure you put out your cigarettes completely so you don't start a fire.
- Plus, cigarette filters do not degrade quickly-it's estimated they take between 1 and 12 years to decompose.
- When you camp, douse out your campfire. Humans are responsible for starting 90% of all wildfires.
- Pull weeds instead of spraying them with weed killing chemicals, which then can wind up in our water supply. Another alternate is pouring boiling water over the weeds.
- Unplug things that run on electricity: many items (like computers) require electricity even when they're 'off.'
- Clean off the lint filter in your dryer: If it's full it may use 30% more energy to run the dryer, or if extremely full, can cause a dryer fire.
- Did you know you could turn down the temperature on your water heater? You can, and if you set it at about 127 degrees, it will be hot enough but not too hot, which uses more energy.
- Turn your furnace temperature down just a couple of degrees and save energy.
- Instead of using the drive-through and having your car idle while you wait, park and go in to the business.
- Eat ice cream in a cone: No silverware or dish to wash, saving energy and avoiding soap in the water supply (probably the most enjoyable way to avoid water pollution that I ever heard of).
- Dry clothes outside. An added plus: The sunshine will brighten colors.
- Think before you buy: do you really need the item?
In the United States, we throw out about $80 Billion in copper, gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. How? By tossing out unwanted cellphones. Recycle them!!!!
Conservative use of materials or recycling, is not a new concept:
- Ancient civilizations used to melt down metals and re-use them for other items including coins.
- As recently as the 1960s, milk was delivered or sold in stores packaged in glass bottles. The glass bottles were then sanitized and re-used many times over. The same held true for soda: it came in glass bottles, and you paid a deposit in addition to the price of the soda. You got the deposit back when you returned the bottles to the store.
*Plastic in any form is estimated to take 500 years to disintegrate. It takes 1.5 billion barrels of oil every year to produce the plastic we use, and more oil to transport the plastic items around the world.
- In World War I and II, drives were held where people contributed any metals they had so that the government could use the metal to build battleships. This was considered very patriotic.
- Landfills didn't appear until the 1940s and 1950s. As we have seen, they filled up much faster than anticipated with 'disposable' containers made of plastics and other materials that don't disintegrate.
Do you ever notice the 'Adopt a Highway' signs along the road? This means a group of people has agreed to clear the trash from that section of highway for 2 years. If you are interested, visit the Minnesota Dept of Transportation for details:
You can always simply take a bag with you and clean up some area of your neighborhood--or just your own yard.
Check out Ecofriendly Planet for more facts and info: