The annual celebration around Earth Day every April is a great time to reflect and consider what additional steps can be taken to save the planet. However, did you know that there are small, relatively simple steps that you can take each and every day that support the broader concept of eco-sustainability?
Step 1: Step up your recycling efforts
When most people think about recycling, they typically think about bundling up items such as paper, plastic and glass bottles, and disposing of them in the proper recycling areas. But there is another aspect to recycling: searching out new opportunities to use recycled, reclaimed or gently used products. For example, why buy a brand new fleece jacket when you can buy a gently used fleece jacket made from recycled bottles? Why buy a watch made out of metal when you can buy a watch made out of reclaimed wood?
Step 2: Switch to CFL or LED light bulbs
One easy way to lower your environmental footprint on the planet is by switching o CFL or LED light bulbs in every room of your home. As an added bonus, you will also lower your own energy costs by lowering your energy consumption.
Step 3: Reduce your water consumption
It can be staggering to consider how much water we waste in a given day, especially considering the fact that, in some parts of the world, water is a very scarce resource. There are some easy ways to reduce your water consumption, such as by taking shorter showers each day. And you can also start washing your laundry with cold water instead of hot water in an effort to reduce your energy consumption.
Step 4: Shop local
Shopping local is a great way to support the entrepreneurs in your local community. And it’s also a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of businesses worldwide. Every time you buy a product that has been shipped from all over the world, you are encouraging an economic system in which needless energy is spent shipping items to your local area. And that’s especially true for food. Why do you need fruits and vegetables from Florida or California when you can just as easily support a local farmer who lives nearby? If you are eating out at restaurants, consider going to those restaurants where the chef has made a conscious decision to support locally sourced ingredients.
Step 5: Join or support an environmental nonprofit organization
There are many different environmental nonprofit organizations, each of them dedicated to solving a specific piece of the eco-sustainability puzzle. For example, if saving the forests is important to you, why not consider helping out an organization like American Forests? You’ll be doing your small part to save trees and restore some of North America’s greatest forests.
As you can see, success towards a larger goal – saving the planet – can start with a series of much smaller steps. Everyone, regardless of age or income, can take very simple steps to make the Earth a better place to live.