2017 had its ups and downs when it comes to world politics and the environment. But stop blaming others and take action.
Here are 5 tips of things you can do in 2018 that will help the planet and even save you money without too much effort.
Rethink travel to work, school, friends, shopping, etc. Walk or bicycle whenever possible, take the train or bus instead of the car or motorcycle, switch to electric or hybrid when possible. Reduce the CO2 footprint and maybe get some free exercise. Spend the next holiday discovering your surroundings and cut down on travel by plane.
Change the lightbulbs at home to LEDs, connect to a smart hub that automatically adjusts lights based on who’s home, time of day and needs. Install a smarter climate control system (e.g. Nest) to reduce unnecessary heating and cooling. Purchase energy efficient appliances at slightly higher cost will save a lot of money long term. Insulate windows and seal all other air leaks.
Don’t just recycle. Take action to refuse, reduce and reuse in accordance with the Plastic Pollution Coalition principles. Say no to straws, plastic bags, plastic bottles (see #4), packaging and other plastics. Try the 30 day single use plastic pledge.
Give up bottled water if you haven’t already. Drink tap water or get a biodegradable water filter such as TAPP 2 for fresh clean water. Install a water saving shower device. Take shorter showers, don’t leave water running while brushing teeth and don’t use the toilet as a waste basket. Water the garden and plants early morning or late at night. More great tips from Eden.
Roughly 50% of all food is thrown away in the US. Only buy food that will be consumed. Buy local produce, seasonal when possible and products with less packaging. Cut down on meat consumption to once per week (or less). Use the USDA Foodkeeper app to avoid throwing away food too early.
And four bonus tips in case the first five were too easy:
- Recycle — Missing recycling on the list? Yes, recycle paper, plastics, batteries, electronics and compostable waste (depending on local fascilities) but first refuse and reduce.
- Support a non-profit — Pick a favourite organization to support in the effort to save the planet whether it’s Greenpeace, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Surfrider, Oceana or someone else.
- Share and influence friends — Changing and improving the world is hard. Start a bit more local with family and friends. Convince them to start with a couple of these points. Take baby steps if needed.
- Remind yourself — Make a top list for yourself with the things you want to change in your life to live more sustainability and put it in a visible space at home as a reminder.
Enjoy 2018 and good luck!
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