Put the 3 R’s into practice
You know the “standard” 3 Rs are reduce, reuse, recycle. But what does that mean in your daily life? Take one small example: 50 billion disposable bottles of water are consumed each year and 80% of them end up in landfills. Can you reduce your reliance on one-time bottle and cup use? Instead of purchasing bottled beverages like iced tea or coffee, try brewing them at home and taking them with you. Start carrying a water bottle or portable coffee tumbler to reuse throughout the day. We could power 190,000 homes with the amount of energy is takes to produce and transport bottled water, but if you must buy a disposable beverage, make sure you recycle it.
The Fourth R… Re-think!
Another small effort is to rethink what you eat, and where that food comes from. Nearly one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions worldwide come directly from the meat industry, so cutting meat out for a meal or two a week can really make a difference. Another way you can help the planet is by buying locally sourced produce, or better yet, starting your own backyard garden. Twenty seven percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, and since locally sourced food requires less transport to get to you, it helps reduce those harmful carbon emissions. Locally grown produce is also fresher tasting, and better for you. If it comes out of your own garden, you can ensure it is organic and picked at peak ripeness. Further, since vegetables start losing nutrients in as little as three days after they’ve been picked, you can make sure you are eating your food at its nutritional best.
There are many small ways you can alter your daily activities that can make a huge impact. It just takes a little creativity. Find a use for something after you’ve finished with it. Compost food scraps and yard clippings to create your own fertilizer. Donate old clothes and household items instead of throwing them and filling up a landfill. Recycle your e-waste at designated donation centers to keep them from polluting the earth.
Let’s celebrate our planet this Earth Day by committing to make at least one small change to make our planet a healthier place for us all.
Calculate your carbon footprint at Nature.org.