How To Save Our Planet: 101 Ways To Help Nature Heal

How to save our planet – 101 ways to help nature heal

Table Of Contents – Click Link To Jump To Section

We Are Responsible (Introduction):

I. How To Reduce Consumption And Eliminate Waste:

A. Of Food:

B. Of Water:

C. Of Energy:

II. How To Reduce Pollution And Eliminate Trash:

A. Of Bio Matter:

B. Of Plastic:

C. Of Paper:

D. Of Electronics:

E. Of Water:

F. Of Air:

G. Of Microwaves:

We Are Responsible:

We breathe this planet’s air. We drink this planet’s water. We eat the produce of this planet’s soil.

Let’s protect, preserve, and restore them.

Each of us is responsible to do it.

Not the corporations, the governments, the scape-goats.

You can do it. I can do it. Our friends and family can do it.

What can we do?

We can start by doing less.

Less consumption. Less polution. Less waste. Less trash.

Here you will find step-by-step, detailed actions you can take right now to reduce your consumption and pollution, and eliminate your waste and trash.

You will also better understand why each action is important, and how each change fits into the bigger picture.

If you care to make sure your children live in a clean, abundant,  green world, read on.

I. How To Reduce Consumption And Eliminate Waste:

If you live in a developed country, chances are that between 90% and 99% of your water and energy consumption can be eliminated. Up to 99.9% of your trash production can be eliminated. Up to 90% of your diet‘s environmental impact can be eliminated.

And it won’t cost you a fortune. It won’t hit your health. On the contrary: it will save you over 50% of your monthly expenditure. It will improve your health dramatically.

Some will cost you nothing, and make a big difference nonetheless.

But some will cost you effort. The effort of reading, thinking, and researching. They will require you to examine some of your beliefs about your consumption habits and lifestyle choices.

According to how far you’re willing to go, you can change some habits, some household items, or even some lifestyle choices.

A. How To Reduce Consumption And Eliminate Waste Of Food:

Food waste is a bigger problem than many people realize.

In fact, nearly one-third of all food produced in the world is discarded or wasted for various reasons. That equates to nearly 1.3 billion tons every year (1).

Not surprisingly, industrialized countries like the United States waste more food than developing nations. In 2010, the average American generated about 219 pounds (99 kg) of food waste, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (2).

Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day, totaling 150 tons of food.

While you might not think food waste affects you, think again.

Tossing edible food doesn’t just waste money. Discarded food is sent to landfills, where it rots and produces methane gas, which is the second most common greenhouse gas. In other words, throwing out your food contributes to climate change.

It wastes a huge amount of water, too. According to the World Resources Institute, 24% of all the water used for agriculture is lost through food waste every year. That’s 45 trillion gallons (about 170 trillion liters).

Although these numbers may seem overwhelming, you can help reduce this harmful practice by following the tips in this article. Every little bit helps.

I. Habit Change Choices:

1) Shop smart:

Most people tend to buy more food than they need.

Though buying in bulk may be convenient, research has shown that this shopping method leads to more food waste (3).

To avoid buying more food than you need, make frequent trips to the grocery store every few days rather than doing a bulk shopping trip once a week.

Make a point to use up all the food you purchased during the last trip to the market before buying more groceries.

Additionally, try making a list of items that you need to buy and stick to that list. This will help you reduce impulse buying and reduce food waste as well.

“Plan out your meals, and make a detailed shopping list with the ingredients you’ll need, and when you’re in the store really stick to that list,” Bloom says.

2) Buy Local:

Yry to purchase locally sourced produce and other food from places like your local farmer’s market.

This aids your health as well, since big food companies use all legal means they can to cheat you of quality.

Also, food carried over large distances adds the waste of fuel costs.

It is also often picked unripe in order to resist the journey, cheating you of nutrients.

3) Serve Small:

Overeating is a problem for many people.

Making sure your portion sizes stay within a healthy range doesn’t just help keep your weight down, it also reduces food waste.

Being more mindful of how hungry you actually are and practicing portion control are great ways to reduce food waste.

The idea of massive portions is partly driven by restaurant culture, but it’s started to trickle into our homes, Bloom says.

Fight against that, and don’t over-serve friends and family when you’re cooking meals.

Using small plates can help with that, since smaller plates make us perceive that there’s more food on it according to psychologists.

4) Eat Leftovers:

While you may not think twice about scraping the leftover food on your plate into the trash, remember that food waste has a major impact on the environment.

In the same vein, make sure you save uneaten food when you either cook too much or you get too much food at a restaurant.

If you happen to cook a lot and you regularly have leftovers, designate a day to use up any that have accumulated in the fridge. It’s a great way to avoid throwing away food.

What’s more, it saves you time and money.

Label your leftovers so you can keep track of how long they’ve been in your fridge or freezer, and incorporate them into your daily or weekly routine.

Storing leftovers in a clear glass container, rather than in an opaque container, helps ensure you don’t forget the food.

5) Store food the right way:

Improper storage leads to a massive amount of food waste.

According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, about two-thirds of household waste in the United Kingdom is due to food spoilage (4).

Many people are unsure how to store fruits and vegetables, which can lead to premature ripening and, eventually, rotten produce.

For instance, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers and onions should never be refrigerated. These items should be kept at room temperature.

Separating foods that produce more ethylene gas from those that don’t is another great way to reduce food spoilage. Ethylene promotes ripening in foods and could lead to spoilage.

Foods that produce ethylene gas while ripening include:

Bananas

Avocados

Tomatoes

Cantaloupes

Peaches

Pears

Green onions

Keep these foods away from ethylene-sensitive produce like potatoes, apples, leafy greens, berries and peppers to avoid premature spoilage.

“Storing food in the right place is really underrated,” Bloom says. “It’s often surprising what kinds of fruits and vegetables want to be at room temperature versus in the refrigerator.”

Food Republic has a fantastic infographic to help you pinpoint where your various foods should go, while Heart.org further breaks down where to put your fruits and veggies to make them last longer.

6) Avoid clutter in your fridge, pantry and freezer:

You’ve probably heard the saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” This rings especially true when it comes to food.

While having a well-stocked fridge can be a good thing, an overly filled fridge can be bad when it comes to food waste.

Help avoid food spoilage by keeping your fridge organized so you can clearly see foods and know when they were purchased.

A good way to stock your fridge is by using the FIFO method, which stands for “first in, first out.”

For example, when you buy a new carton of berries, place the newer package behind the old one. This helps ensure that older food gets used, not wasted.

Also remember that things don’t last forever in your freezer. Freezing can be a great asset in extending food’s lifespan, but it will eventually dry that food out.

7) Understand expiration and sell-by dates:

“Sell by” and “expires on” are just two of the many confusing terms companies use on food labels to let consumers know when a product will most likely go bad.

The problem is, the US government doesn’t regulate these terms (16).

In fact, the task is often left to food producers to determine the date they think a product is most likely to spoil by. The truth is, most food that has just passed its expiration date is still safe to eat.

“Sell by” is used to inform retailers when the product should be sold or removed from the shelves. “Best by” is a suggested date that consumers should use their products by.

Neither of these terms means that the product is unsafe to eat after the given date.

While many of these labels are ambiguous, “use by” is the best one to follow. This term means that the food may not be at its best quality past the listed date (17).

A movement is now underway to make the food expiration labeling system more clear for consumers. In the meantime, use your best judgment and trust your senses when deciding whether food that is slightly past its expiration date is safe to eat.

You may be interested in the story of this man who lived off food thrown to the trash for two a years, and never lacked either choice or quality in his diet. He’s even going vegan on thrown-away food.

8) Keep track of Food:

Take account of what’s already in your fridge before you go shopping; that way, you won’t double-up on products and fail to use them before they go bad. As obvious as that sounds, we all forget to do it from time to time.

9) Donate to food banks and farms:

Before you throw away excess food, look into food banks and charities where you can bring items you know you’re not going to consume before they go bad, and give them to people in need. You can find local food banks through Feeding America and WhyHunger.

You can also donate scraps and other types of food to farms and companies to feed livestock. Read guidelines on that practice here.

10) Learn to Preserve

Pickling, a type of preservation method using brine or vinegar, may have been used as far back as 2400 BC (5).

Pickling, drying, canning, fermenting, freezing and curing are all methods you can use to make food last longer, thus reducing waste.

Canning is a great way to preserve food (especially fruit) and increase its shelf life for months. Here’s a great guide to get started.

While you might think fermenting and pickling are new fads, food preservation techniques like these have been used for thousands of years.

Not only will these methods shrink your carbon footprint, they will save you money as well. What’s more, most preservation techniques are simple and can be fun.

For example, canning an excess of ripe apples and turning them into applesauce, or pickling fresh carrots from the market will provide you with a delicious and long-lasting treat that even kids will enjoy.

11) compost:

Rather than discarding scraps, you can compost certain foods and turn it into nutrient-rich fertilizer.

But composting shouldn’t be top-of-mind when first getting started on reducing food waste. The EPA has a food recovery hierarchy on how we use our food, stating first that we should reduce the waste we create, then donate food, then try to feed livestock, then use waste for industrial energy and then compost.

Bloom says composting is really valuable — it’s part of the whole equation — but it shouldn’t be anyone’s priority.

“It’s a nice safety net to keep food out of the landfill, because we’re never going to completely eliminate food waste. We’re always going to have some excess food, so having a process for that … is a nice solution,” he says.

Composting leftover food is a beneficial way to reuse food scraps, turning food waste into energy for plants.

While not everyone has room for an outdoor composting system, there’s a wide range of countertop composting systems that make this practice easy and accessible for everyone, even those with limited space.

An outdoor composter may work well for someone with a large garden, while a countertop composter is best for city dwellers with houseplants or small herb gardens.

12) Don’t Be Picky:

Did you know that rummaging through a bin of apples until you find the most perfect-looking one contributes to food waste?

Though identical in taste and nutrition, so-called “ugly” fruits and vegetables get passed up for produce that is more pleasing to the eye.

The consumer demand for flawless fruits and vegetables has led major grocery chains to buy only picture-perfect produce from farmers. This leads to tons of perfectly good food going to waste.

It’s such a big issue that major grocery chains like Walmart and Whole Foods have started offering “ugly” fruits and vegetables at a discount in an attempt to reduce waste.

Do your part by choosing slightly imperfect produce at the grocery store, or better yet, directly from the farmer.

13) Eat The Skin:

People often remove the skins of fruits, veggies and chicken when preparing meals.

This is a shame, because so many nutrients are located in the outer layer of produce and in poultry skin. For example, apple skins contain a large amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

In fact, researchers have identified a group of compounds present in apple peels called triterpenoids. They act as potent antioxidants in the body and may have cancer-fighting abilities (6, 7).

Chicken skin is packed with nutrients as well, including vitamin A, B vitamins, protein and healthy fats (8).

What’s more, chicken skin is an amazing source of the antioxidant selenium, which helps combat inflammation in the body (9).

These benefits are not limited to chicken and apple skin. The outer layers of potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mangoes, kiwis and eggplants are also edible and nutritious.

Not only is eating the skin delicious, it’s economical and reduces your food waste impact.

14) Eat The Yolk:

Although most people are moving away from the once-popular low-fat dieting trend, many still avoid egg yolks, opting for egg-white omelets and scrambled egg whites instead.

Avoiding egg yolks mostly stems from the fear that they increase cholesterol levels. Many people assume that eating foods high in cholesterol, like eggs, has a major impact on cholesterol levels.

However, studies have shown that in most people, dietary cholesterol only has a small effect on cholesterol levels (10, 11).

Your liver actually makes the majority of the cholesterol you need and your body closely regulates levels in the blood. When you eat foods that contain a high amount of cholesterol, your liver simply compensates by producing less.

In fact, evidence shows that most people, even those with high cholesterol, can enjoy whole eggs risk-free (12).

What’s more, egg yolks are packed with nutrients, including protein, vitamin A, iron, selenium and B vitamins (13).

If you simply don’t like the taste or texture of egg yolks, you can add them to other recipes to mask the flavor. You can even use yolks as an ultra-moisturizing hair mask.

15) Save The Seeds:

Out of the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in the United States every year, most end up getting thrown away.

While carving pumpkins can be fun for the whole family, there are ways to reduce the waste that comes along with this activity.

Aside from using the tasty flesh of your pumpkins in recipes and baking, a great way to cut waste is to save the seeds. In fact, pumpkin seeds are tasty and packed with nutrients.

They are very high in magnesium, a mineral that is important for heart and blood health and helps control blood pressure and blood sugar levels (14, 15).

To save pumpkin seeds, simply wash and dry the seeds, then toss them with a little olive oil and salt and toast them in the oven.

Acorn and butternut squash seeds can be prepared in the same way.

16) Blend It Up:

Blending up a nutrient-packed smoothie can be a delicious way to reduce food waste.

While the stems, ends and peels of produce may not be appetizing in their whole form, adding them to a smoothie is a way to reap their many benefits.

The stems of greens like kale and chard are packed with fiber and nutrients, making them a great addition to smoothies. The tops of beets, strawberries and carrots also make great add-ins.

Other items that would otherwise be discarded can also be thrown into a nutritious blend, including fruit and vegetable peels, wilted herbs, overripe bananas and chopped broccoli stalks.

If you over-bought by mistake, you can store vegetables in the freezer, and then put them in the smoothie, or a soup, or a cooked salad.

The Nutri-Bullet is an example of blender packing high-power at low-price.

17) Make Your Own Stock:

Whipping up a homemade stock is an easy way to use excess food.

Sauté vegetable scraps like the tops, stalks, peels and any other leftover bits with some olive oil or butter, then add water and let them simmer into an aromatic vegetable broth.

Veggies aren’t the only scraps that can be transformed into a flavorsome stock.

Rather than letting the chicken carcass or meat bones leftover from your dinner go to waste, simmer them with veggies, herbs and water to make a homemade stock that will put store-bought broth to shame.

18) Perk Up Your Water

Many people don’t drink enough water simply because they don’t like the flavor, or lack thereof.

Luckily, you can make water tastier and reduce your food waste impact at the same time.

One of the easiest ways to increase your water intake is to make it taste good. Use peels from citrus fruits, apples and cucumbers to add a kick to your glass of water or seltzer.

Wilted herbs and berry tops also make excellent additions to your water bottle.

After finishing your water, toss the leftover fruit or herbs into a smoothie for a zero-waste nutrition boost.

19) Befriend Your Freezer

Freezing food is one of the easiest ways to preserve it, and the types of food that take well to freezing are endless.

For example, greens that are a bit too soft to be used in your favorite salad can be put in freezer-safe bags or containers and used at a later date in smoothies and other recipes.

An excess of herbs can be combined with olive oil and chopped garlic, then frozen in ice cube trays for a handy and delicious addition to sautés and other dishes.

You can freeze leftovers from meals, excess produce from your favorite farm stand, and bulk meals like soups and chilis. It’s a great way to ensure you always have a healthy, home-cooked meal available.

20) Pack Your Lunch:

Although going out to lunch with coworkers or grabbing a meal from your favorite restaurant may be enjoyable, it is also costly and can contribute to food waste.

A helpful way to save money while reducing your carbon footprint is to bring your lunch to work with you.

If you tend to generate leftovers from home-cooked meals, pack them up for a satisfying and healthy lunch for your workday.

If you’re strapped for time in the morning, try freezing your leftovers in portion-sized containers. That way, you’ll have premade, hearty lunches ready to go each morning.

21) Pamper Yourself:

If you want to save money while avoiding potentially harmful chemicals found in some skincare products, try preparing a scrub or mask at home.

Avocados are packed with healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E, which makes them a perfect addition to a natural face mask (19Trusted Source).

Combine overripe avocado with a bit of honey for a luxurious combination that can be used on the face or hair.

Mixing used coffee grounds with a bit of sugar and olive oil makes for an invigorating body scrub. You can also apply cool used tea bags or excess cucumber slices to your eyes to reduce puffiness.

22) Use helpful apps and gadgets:

There are various tools and apps that aim to help people avoid food waste. PareUp gives discounts to New Yorkers who buy excess food at local businesses and restaurants. Handpick helps you plan meals around ingredients you already have. Ample Harvest points gardeners to food pantries where they can donate excess food, and Food Cowboy makes it easy for wholesalers and truckers to find charities where they can donate unsold food.

There’s even a small gadget called the Green Heart raising funds on Kickstarter, which contains a small packet of potassium crystals that absorb the gas fruit release when they ripen. The creators say fruit can last up to three days longer.

But don’t assume these tools will do all the work — it’s all still up to us.

“No app is going to have as large an impact as us paying more attention to our food consumption habits, but I’m certainly all for any kind of help in getting people to change their ways,” Bloom says.

II. Household Change Choices:

1) BuY A Blender:

It’s a great way to make use of food remnants, as mentioned.

2) Buy A Compost Bin:

As explained above, composting is a good last resort to avoid producing food waste.

3) Buy A Slow-Cooker:

That way, you can just throw ingredients in it in the morning, and come back home to a great meal in the evening. It’s a great way  to get started with cooking at home.

III. Lifestyle Change Choices:

1) Cook at home:

It’s the number one choice you can make to slash your food budget and improve your food quality.

Research shows regularly eating home-cooked meals results in:

  • Healthier and happier children
  • A decreased chance of teens using drugs and alcohol
  • Reduced consumption of sugar and processed foods
  • A longer life
  • A reduced carbon footprint.

Cooking at home is the only way to fully control your food waste (and your food intake).

2) Go Vegan:

According to this article, “Livestock provide just 18% of calories but take up 83% of farmland: avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth“. Also, as you can read on Doctor McDougal’s website and in his book, The Starch Solution, it may be the single biggest way to improve your health as well.

Also, according to research, a vegan diet provides many benefits, including the following:

  • Higher nutritional value
  • Better moods
  • Disease prevention
  • ​​Fewer migraines
  • Weight loss
  • Improving athletic performance
  • Better skin
  • Better sight
  • Balancing Hormones
  • Longevity

Check out my article, The Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet, for more info.

3) Plan Your Diet:

Be aware of your nutrient needs and plan according to optimum nutrition guidelines – no deficit, no excess.

Mateljan’s website and book “The World’s Healthiest Foods” includes in-depth nutritional analyses of many foods and a plan that delivers over 100% of the daily recommended doses of all essential nutrients.

You can take it as your starting-point, try it out, attempt a vegan replacement, and refine it according to your self-observation and your nutritionist’s consultation.

Check out my article, “Review And Tips For Mateljan’s Healthiest Way Of Eating”, for more info.

The Bottom Line:

There are endless ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle your food waste.

Not only will the practical tips in this article help you waste less food, they may save you money and time as well.

By thinking more about the food your household wastes every day, you can help create positive change to conserve some of the earth’s most valuable resources.

Even minimal changes to the way you shop, cook and consume food will help reduce your impact on the environment. It doesn’t have to be difficult.

With a small amount of effort, you can cut your food waste dramatically, save money and time, and help take some pressure off Mother Nature.

B. How To Reduce Consumption And Eliminate Waste Of Water:

According to estimates, the average person in the United States spends between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day. Each gallon is about 3,8 liters, which makes that 302 to 380 liters per day. Of that, only 0,5% to 1% is used for drinking, and up to 90% is simply wasted by carelessness and inefficiency. According to percentages, the spending goes like this:

a) Flushing the toilet – 80 liters/26.8%.

b) Clothes Washer – 65.1 liters/21,7%.

c) Showering – 50.1 liters/16.7%.

d) Faucet – 47.1 liters/15.7%.

e) Leaks – 41.1 liters/13.7%

f) Various others (dishwasher, bath etc.) – 16,2 liters/5.4%.

Reducing your water use has multiple benefits. In addition to helping to conserve and protect your community’s vital water supplies, saving water also helps you save money and energy.

According to the U.S. EPA, if all U.S. households installed water-efficient fixtures and appliances, the country would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion dollars per year.

Conserving water also conserves energy, because energy is used to treat, deliver, and heat water. If one out of every 100 American homes were retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, that would save about 100 million kWh of electricity per year—avoiding 80,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions: equivalent to removing nearly 15,000 automobiles from the road for one year. For additional information on the benefits of saving water, see this EPA webpage.

Let’s see how we could avoid that waste, cutting consumption and costs up to 90%:

I. Habit Change Choices:

a. toilet:

1) Don’t use the toilet as a trashcan:

Every time you flush the toilet water for other purposes than those that it was designed for, you spend the equivalent of the quantity of water that you use, which varies from 25 liters to 5 liters per flush according to the efficiency of your toilet. Throwing trash in the trashcan costs nothing, and if you follow the other tips in this article, won’t even be necessary anymore.

2) DON’T FLUSH When You Pee (Unless The Smell Bothers You):

Urine is actually clean. It is not completely sterile, but it won’t hurt your toilet if you leave it in the bowl.

Most people think not flushing is dirty. However, there are actually more bacteria spread by flushing then by not flushing. Flushing causes splashes to get out of the toilet bowl and onto the floor. These splashes contain a whole lot of bacteria. By not flushing you leave these bacteria in the toilet bowl. But if flushing is necessary, put down the toilet seat first.

B. Washer:

1) Wait until there are enough clothes to wash for a full charge of the clothes washer:

That way you economize a lot of water and energy.

2) Use ecologic detergents to clean dishes and clothes:

In addition to no longer polluting water (and your clothes) with harmful chemicals, these biodegradable detergents also reduce the quantity of water needed for cleaning.3)

C. Shower:

1) Shower instead of bathing:

You can thus reduce water usage for self-cleaning by up to four times.

2) Spend less time showering, And Shower More Effectively:

Every minute spent showering means 25 liters of water.

Shower more effectively by turning off the water when soaping up and turning it on when cleaning the soap.

That way, you can cut away over half of the water consumption during showers, meaning an economy of over 125 liters for a ten-minute shower.

If you shower at least once a day, that means you save at least 3750 liters per month.

3) When you choose water temperature during showers, turn down the hot water rather than turning up the cold water:

That way you economize twice, both by reducing the quantity of water and by reducing the energy required to heat the water.

D. Faucet:

1) Learn efficient hand-washing techniques:

  • Only use the water when you need to clean the dishes of soap.
  • Don’t let the water running when you use the sponge and the water detergent.
  • Install an aerator in your faucet head.
  • Scrape food off with a hard sponge.
  • Soak dishes in a basin of soapy water before getting started.
  • Have two basins to work in–one with hot, soapy water and the other with warm water for a rinse. Many sinks come in this model for that reason.

That way, you can economize over 25 liters of water for every washing cycle, shaving off up to 50% of consumption.

2) Turn Off The Water When It’s Not Needed:

  • While washing your teeth.
  • While drying off your hands and face.
  • While soaping up your hands
  • While shaving etc.

You can economize more than ten liters of water per day that way.

E. Leaks:

1) Properly Close Faucets To Prevent Leaks:

F. Others:

1) Collect rainwater:

If you live in a house, that is. You can use it to water your garden or wash your car and thus save more than 3 liters per day.

II. Household Change Choices:

1) Replace Old Sanitary Installations:

Not only will you prevent leaks, but old installations tend to be two to four times less water-efficient than new installations.

2) Buy Faucents, Showerheads And Toilets With the WaterSense Label:

According to EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), “WaterSense labels products that are 20 percent more water-efficient and perform as well as or better than standard models. The average family can save 13,000 gallons of water and $130 in water costs per year by replacing all old, inefficient toilets in their home with WaterSense labeled models.”

3) Buy An Economic, Water Efficient Toilet:

That way, you can save between 50% and 99% of water for toilet use. Here are some example models.

4) Choose an economic, energy and water efficient washing machine:

That means one with both the WaterSense and the EnergyStar labels. This is a list of recommended models.

That way, you can save up to 300 liters of water per month.

5) Replace the old showerhead with an economic low-flow one:

You won’t feel the difference when showering, but by introducing air into the flowing water, this showerhead will reduce consumption by up to 70%. Check this out for some example models.

6) Purchase Economic, Water-Efficient faucets:

These can further reduce consumption by up to 70%. That means savings of up to 30 liters of water per day. Those are example models.

7) Install A Tap Aerator/Flow-Regulator In Your Faucets:

As you can read on this article, “These water saving devices will control the amount of water that flows through the tap without affecting the water pressure as they mix the water with air. …As there is less space for the water to flow through, the water flow is reduced, resulting in water savings.”

8) Build An Efficient Irrigation System For Your Garden:

There are more economic options than the hose, both in terms of water and time use. Check out this article for some examples.

III. Lifestyle Change Choices:

1) Drop The Lawn:

Some argue it’s a symbol of oppulence like flashy clothes and big cars. Perhaps it’s just an attempt to reconnect with Nature, to take care of something and feel useful.

But it is a big water and time investment that could be used instead to help true Nature, for instance, by growing trees and habitat for wildlife.

You could also grow a lot of food in the space, and with the water, you’re spending on your lawn. Food that could feed the hungry through your donation, or save you money spent on groceries. You can then donate that money to environmental organizations, or shave off a few hours of work that you can use to volunteer for them instead.

The bottom line:

Adding up the changes, you can save 90% or more of your water use per month. In addition to remendously lightening your utilities bill, that would seriously lower your direct impact on the environment’s water resources.

How To Reduce Consumption And Eliminate Waste Of Energy:

I. Habit Change Choices:

1) Learn To Turn Off Light Switches:

  • Don’t use artificial light if daylight is available.
  • When you leave a room or otherwise no longer need light in it, turn off the light switch.
  • Don’t let the heater or air conditioner on if you’re gone for the day. The same goes for the charger of your phone, laptop, iPad, air conditioning, TV etc.

These devices consume a lot of energy, and by complying with this simple advice, you will be collaborating a lot with the reduction of energy consumption worldwide.

2) Unplug idle electronics:

Devices like televisions, microwaves, scanners, and printers use standby power, even when off. Some chargers continue to pull small amounts of energy, even when plugged in (a good judge of this is if a charger feels warm to the touch). In the US, the total electricity consumed by idle electronics equals the annual output of 12 power plants (EPA).

In the old days everything had a power switch. This included desktop PCs, TVs etc. The switch was connected to the incoming power line so when you switched off, the power consumption was zilch because everything was totally switched off. That’s no longer the case nowadays, though; in order to be able to turn on faster, some devices use power to retain a kind of “sleep mode” whenever they’re not plugged off.

For instance, modern TVs use up to 30% of the energy while on standby that they use while fully turned on. Anything with a little “red eye” LED can be sucking power while asleep. This is sometimes called vampire or phantom power and if you have a lot of gadgets and appliances, the energy usage can mount up.

To avoid paying for this “vampire power,” use a power strip to turn all devices off at once. Flipping the switch on your power strip has the same effect as unplugging each socket from the wall, preventing phantom energy loss.

Or just unplug them when not using them.

3) Shutdown your computer

Computers are some of the biggest energy users in office buildings. Turn your monitor off at night and ditch the screensaver. Today’s computers can be turned on and off over 40,000 times. Opting to shut down over using a screensaver does not affect your computer’s lifespan. So power down!

4) When boiling a kettle just put enough water into it for your needs.

Over time, the cost of boiling all that excess water can mount up.

5) Only Turn On Hot Water If You Need A Lot Of It.

If you’re using a boiler, in some cases just turning on the hot water for a split second is enough to kick the boiler into the action of heating up ten liters of water So, only turn on the hot water if you’re actually going to use those ten liters, saving a lot of wasted energy.

5) When using the washer, select a quick wash if clothes aren’t very dirty

6) Place the freezer in the garage or coldest room of the house

II. Household Change Choices:

1) Install More Efficient Lighting:

Fit dimmer switches to reduce light intensity when full brightness isn’t required.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy saving CFL bulbs (Compact Fluorescent Lighting) .These offer an 80% saving in energy. A 20 watt CFL for instance produces the same amount of light as a 100 watt incandescent. You can also use the newer LED bulbs. These are expensive at present but more efficient even than CFL and this is the technology we will be using in the near future. They also have no mercury, and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs (DoE), so they pay for themselves many times over.

Consider using sodium lighting outdoors to light up the yard rather than halogen floodlights. This is the most efficient form of lighting in terms of light output per watt.

2) Upgrade Your Heating System Controls:

Older heating systems may just be fitted with an electromechanical timer and boiler thermostat. It’s worth upgrading your system with room stats, a hot water tank thermostat and an electronic controller to streamline your energy use.

The room thermostat of a central heating system can be turned down a couple of degrees to save energy. In cold weather a far better way of keeping warm than sitting down in a room is to do light work or some other chore which entails movement.

Fit thermostatic valves to your radiators. These shut off flow of water through the radiator when the room reaches a set temperature. This reduces the duration the boiler is running, cutting down on oil or gas consumption.

Reduce the temperature on the thermostat of the immersion heating element if electricity is used to heat water. Ensure the water tank is lagged.

3) Purchase Power-Saving, A-Rated, Energy Star-Labeled Home Appliances:

When buying new appliances such as fridges, freezers and washers, consider appliances which are power saving and look for an energy rating sticker on the appliance. An “A” rating indicates that the appliance is very energy efficient. Energy-star labeled appliances consume at least 20% less electricity.

4) Use A Laptop Rather Than A PC:

Laptop computers consume up to 80% less electricity than desktop computers and get by on between one-fifth and one-third as much energy. Plus, you can take them with you anywhere. My own professional work-station is powered by a laptop.

5) Install or Upgrade Insulation. The Key to Trapping Heat in Your Home:

Insulation works by trapping air in a material. This reduces the thermal conductivity of the material or ease by which heat can flow through it. If you’ve ever held a piece of expanded polystyrene packing (Styrofoam) in your hand, you may have noticed that it feels warm. This isn’t because it actually gives out heat, but because it traps the heat being lost from your hand so that it starts to get hot.
Insulation is used in our homes to trap heat and stop it flowing out of the building. Heating a home with little or no insulation is like filling a bucket with a hole. Installing or upgrading your insulation will lower the cost of heating your home by reducing the time your furnace/boiler has to stay on.

III. Lifestyle Change Choices:

1) Go Off The Grid:

This means supplying your own, renewable energy using a power source such as solar panels.

Although the initial investment can be large depending on your energy consumption, the assets pay for themselves over time, and also eliminate your energy consumption’s environmental impact.

A few tips to consider when doing so:

a) Use DC (Direct Current) powered appliances rather than AC (Alternative Current).

Besides being a little-talked-about health hazard, AC current takes ten times the power consumption of DC current to produce, transport and use. You can cut your power use and costs down to 10% just by this one change.

b) Use A Clean, Renewable Power Source Such As Solar Panels.

Do I need to elaborate?

2) LiVe IN a smaller dwelling:

It will require less heating, less lighting, less cleaning, less of everything.

What home size do you really need for decent comfort? Why? Can you think of changes to your lifestyle that would enable you to be satisfied with a smaller home?

Since your home is the single biggest investment, and the single biggest asset (or liability) most of us have in our lives, finding a way to be happier with a smaller home is the single most effective choice we can make to save us years of work and savings. With the same choice, we can also make one of the best choices to lesson our impact on the planet.

4) Watch Less TV And Spend Less Time In Front Of Screens:

Besides draining your own life away, those little mind-prisons also drain away a hefty amount of energy too.

In order to support you to do nothing, a lot of power is being spent, and in order to produce that power, a lot of pollution is being released. You have to wonder, from the perspective of the planet, what are you when you do that?Wouldn’t it dramatically boost your confidence, your self-esteem, your sense of personal worth and inner strength, if you could get rid of that nasty, useless habit?

Let’s do less of that, for our sake as well as the planet’s.

How To Eliminate Trash And Reduce Pollution:

Annual global waste production will increase by 70% if current conditions persist, according to “What a Waste 2.0,” a newly published report from the World Bank that was multiple years in the making.

Currently, about 2.01 billion metric tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) are produced annually worldwide. The World Bank estimates overall waste generation will increase to 3.40 billion metric tons by 2050. An estimated 13.5% of today’s waste is recycled and 5.5% is composted. The report estimates that between one-third and 40% of waste generated worldwide is not managed properly and instead dumped or openly burned.

According to EPA, Americans generate more waste than any other nation in the world. In 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash and recycled and composted about 87 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.3 percent recycling rate. On average, they recycled and composted 1.51 pounds of the individual waste generation of at least 4.40 pounds per person per day.

What Can We Do?

One way to go about it is simply to recycle more.

The simplest thing you can do is sort your bio trash to go to the bio gargabe bin, your plastic trash to go in the plastic garbage bin, your paper trash to go in the paper garbage bin, your glass trash to go in the glass garbage bin, and so forth. Each country and state has different guidelines to sorting.

It helps to pruchase bins dedicated to each of these categories, and only fill them up with trash corresponding to that category.

There’s no excuse here. “Other don’t do it” isn’t valid. This is your direct, individual responsibility “The categories don’t make sense” isn’t either. There is some automatic sorting going on in the recycling facilities that explains the irregularities.

But there is a more thorough solution: produce less trash to being with. We’ll be focusing on that second solution here.

How To Eliminate Trash And Reduce Pollution Of Bio Material:

I. Habit Change Choices:

1) Compost:

Even if you don’t have a garden, you can surely find or create some green space in your city to feed with compost. Putting it on trees you plant is another great step towards being environmentally-friendly.

What do I need to backyard compost?

You need a place to build your compost pile. This could be a big empty trash bin or simply a small patch of your yard where you’ll collect items.

To compost properly you also need the components of green matter (fruits, veggies, grass clippings, etc.), brown matter (twigs, dirt, dead leaves, etc), water and air. Get this mixture, and you’re good to go!

What items are compostable in backyard composting?

Any plant or animal based product is compostable, though it’s not recommended to compost meat, dairy or fish scraps at home. But anything else from your old bamboo toothbrush handle, to used matches, to hair from your hair brush, to stale tortilla chips are all backyard compostable.

What’s the process like and how do I maintain my backyard compost?

It’s recommended to find a dry shady place outside to keep your compost pile or bin, but not too far from a water source like a hose. Wetting the pile, and stirring periodically with a shovel or pitchfork will also help the items to break down. It can take anywhere between two months to two years for items to fully break down. You can learn more about backyard composting here!

What can I use my homemade compost for?

Compost is rich in nutrients and natural fertilizers so it’s great for gardening, landscaping and potting indoor plants. If you’ve got a plethora, grab a wheelbarrow and share some with a neighbor.

II. Household Change Choices:

1) Buy A Compost Bin

2) Buy A Compost Toilet:

So, you know, you can compost your own “bio matter”. It may sound gross or weird at first, but it’s actually very natural. It’s the most basic way every living creature contributes to the life of its environment, and the most basic way to start making a positive impact on the environment for a change.

How To Eliminate Trash And Reduce Pollution Of Plastic:

As you can read here, “Plastic bags start out as fossil fuels and end up as deadly waste in landfills and the ocean. Birds often mistake shredded plastic bags for food, filling their stomachs with toxic debris. For hungry sea turtles, it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between jellyfish and floating plastic shopping bags. Fish eat thousands of tons of plastic a year, transferring it up the food chain to bigger fish and marine mammals.”

I. Habit Change Choices:

1) Use re-usable cloth bags for shopping, and don’t accept plastic bags In Shops

Plastic bags are horrible in so many ways; they pollute to produce, are hard to recycle, and they kill off countless life-forms. Each plastic bag you take could end up killing an animal.

Just bring along a few cloth bags (and maybe a clean trolley and a backpack), and sort produce into your home-brought bags instead of stuffing it into so many plastic bags every time. It takes no effort on your part – in fact cloth bags are easier to open and use than plastic ones -, and saves so much misery for the planet.

2) Buy Open produce, Putting Them in your own bags, rather than already wrapped in plastic.

3) Shop Ecologically:

a) Big Stuff, Big Bag.

Any large items don’t need a bag of their own, just throw them in your tote.
b) Small Stuff, Small Bag.

Any small loose items can be put into smaller organic cotton reusable bags, or any smaller reusable bag you have (or make)
c) Reuse containers whenever possible.

This works well for berries, eggs, and other items that might have a container. Bring them back to the farmer so they can reuse them.
d) Pay in cash to avoid receipts.
e) Napkins double as a great way to buy bread and pastries package free.

II. Household Change Choices:

1) Swap Single-use Spice Containers for Refillable Spice Jars

2) Swap Disposable Paper Towels for Reusable Cleaning Cloths or Homemade Rags

3) Use re-usable metal straws or no straws rather than plastic straws.

4) Use bamboo toothbrushes rather than plastic ones.

5) Use bamboo tools for other aspects of hygiene, such as cleaning the dishes, the floors, the toilet etc.

6) Bring your own re-usable thermos or bottle with you rather than buy new plastic bottles for water.

7) Swap Plastic Razors for a Metal Safety Razor.

8) Swap Bottles of Body Wash for Bar Soap

9) Swap a Loofah for a Natural Bath Sponge

10) Swap Plastic Storage Containers for Airtight Stainless Steel Containers

11) Swap Plastic Wrap for 100% Compostable and Reusable Beeswax Food Wrap

12) Swap Dish Sponges for a Natural Dish Brush with 100% Compostable Replacement Heads

13) Swap Plastic Ice Trays for Stainless Steel Trays

III. Lifestyle Change Choices:

1)

How To Eliminate Trash And Reduce Pollution Of Paper:

This factsheet provides some facts about paper that may help you make up your mind to use it sensibly:

  • It takes an average of 5 liters of water to produce one piece of A4 paper.
  • 93% of paper comes from trees.
  • 50% of the waste of businesses is composed of paper.
  • To print a Sunday edition of the New York Times requires 75,000 trees!
  • Recycling 1 ton of paper saves around 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 liters of water and 17 trees.
  • Packaging makes up 1/3 or more of our trash.
  • U.S offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper a year.
  • Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste.
  • With all the paper we waste each year, we can build a 12 foot high wall of paper from New York to California!
  • Lessening of paper usage was predicted due to the electronic revolution. It didn’t happen. Demand for paper is expected to double before 2030.
  • Every tree produces enough oxygen for 3 people to breathe.

I. Habit Change Choices:

2) Don’t accept napkins at restaurants, and don’t use paper towels at home.

II. Household Change Choices:

1) Swap Bleached Toilet Paper for Bamboo Toilet Paper

3) Swap Disposable Tampons and Pads for a Menstrual Cup or Reusable Pads.

4) Swap Traditional Floss for Refillable Dental Lace

5) Swap Makeup Remover Wipes and Cotton Balls for Coconut Oil and Reusable Cotton Rounds

III. Lifestyle Change Choices:

1)

How To Eliminate Trash And Reduce Pollution Of Electronics:

There were 1.6 billion cell phones manufactured in 2012. Electronics are packed with toxic chemicals—arsenic, lead, and poly-brominated flame retardants.

60% of our e-waste ends up in landfills—both at home and in the developing world—where toxic metals leach into the environment, contaminating the soil and water.

There are not enough recyclers to keep up with the rate of disposal. Even when recycled, 30% of electronic material cannot be recovered.

More than 20 million tons of e-waste are produced every year. Americans alone generate about 3.4 million tons of e-waste per year. If you put every blue whale alive today on one side of a scale and one year of US e-waste on the other, the e-waste would be heavier.

I. Habit Change Choices:

1) If it works, don’t replace it:

Unless you absolutely need them (e.g. for work), don’t buy the flashiest new laptop, smartphone or whatever gadget just came out. You’ll do fine without the latest Samsung Galaxy.

2) If It Stops Working, Try Fixing It First:

We need to stop throwing away computers that could be fixed with a 25-cent part. The whole computer is not broken; only one part is broken. You can minimize your e-waste by a further 90% or more by simply replacing broken parts in your electronics rather than throwing out the whole thing.

3) If It Stays Broken, Recycle It:

In many cases, you don’t even need to go to the recycling center yourself. There is usually a number you can call, and a e-recycling representative will come to your area. A simple google search and phone-call is all it takes to make the difference.

II. Household Change Choices:

1) Choose high-quality, long-lasting electronics:

And stick to them.

III. Lifestyle Change Choices:

1) Only Buy Useful Gadgets:

And a lot less of them.

How To Eliminate Trash And Reduce Pollution Of Water:

I. Habit Change Choices:

1) Use biodegradable detergents instead of chemical ones:

They also reduce the water consumption of your washing machine up to 50%.

2) Use natural soaps and shampoos:

They also help your skin and hair heal and be and look healthier.

II. Household Change Choices:

1) Use a Compost Toilet:

III. Lifestyle Change Choices:

1) Do It Yourself:

Make your own cleaning products, or purchase handmade products with all-natural ingredients. This article is an example of how easily you can make your own soaps.

How To Eliminate Trash And Reduce Pollution Of Air:

I. Habit Change Choices:

1) Recycle Old Electronics

II. Household Change Choices:

1) Replace The Air Conditioning With Plain-Old Fans.

2) Buy An Induction Stove And Oven Rather Than A Gas One.

III. Lifestyle Change Choices:

1) Ditch The Car (Or Drive Less):

Not only does your car contribute directly to CO2 greenhouse gas production, it also takes fuel to run. The oil companies cause great harm to the environment, and you enable them to do so by buying their fuel. You vote with your dollar; by subsidizing their industry with your patronage, you implicitly support their crimes against the environment.

If you live in a city, you should be able to use public transportation or your bike to get around rather than your car. The speed difference is more than made up by no longer having to wait in traffic.

I always wondered why people would pay for a car that is taxed to be used and needs costly fuel to run in order to spend so much time waiting around in traffic that they’d get to their destination faster on a hundred-dollar bike that never gets taxed nor uses any fuel.

I had a colleague who spent half his job’s money on taxis in order to get in and out of work. The rest went to fast-food bought on the job and to renting a large apartment that he rarely stayed in. How much of your life goes to fueling your car?

2) Stop Smoking

How To Eliminate Trash And Reduce Pollution Of Microwaves:

It is scandalous that such a damaging form of pollution is so little known. The media and corporations do their best to keep it hidden and provide misleading infromation. According to the research of Magda Havas, B.Sc., Ph.D,  common symptoms caused by the use of cell phones, Wi-Fi and other wireless devices include:

  • Headaches during the use of a cell-phone or computer.
  • Sleep disturbances – less deep sleep, tiredness, irritability, often resulting in emotional outbursts and shortness of temper
  • Darkening, hardening, and rapid ageing of skin (you heard that right ladies!)
  • Skin or internal organ cancers located where cell phones are most often work (e.g. chest pocket).
  • Memory loss, diminished quality of attention
  • Loss of cognition, diminished clarity of thought
  • Dizzyness
  • Dementia
  • Other psychological disturbances

The treatment for some of those symptoms is to eliminate all wireless devices from one’s home and workplace for at least one to three days. In some cases, using computers with frequencies below 2ghz is also required.

If the exposure lasted for several years, the symptoms can become irreversible due to permanent psychological changes, but the treatment stops them from worsening.

I. Habit Change Choices:

1) Keep Your Wi-Fi Router Away From Living Areas.

2) Turn Off Your Wi-Fi Router when not using it (e.g. At Night).

3) Avoid The Use Of Mobile Data, Especially While Talking.

II. Household Change Choices:

1) Replace You Wi-Fi Router With An Ethernet Cable.

2) Downgrade Your Smartphone To A Plain Old-School Phone.

III. Lifestyle Change Choices:

1) If your workplace exposes You to microwave radiation, Talk To Management About It Or Get A Job That Doesn’t

I know this seems extreme, but it really is that important. We need to start making our employers, schools and all of society aware of the health risks of rampant wi-fi.

Beyond Minimizing Negative Impact – Making A Positive Impact:

Once all that is done,  you can start thinking about going further. Not just minimizing your negative impact on the planet, but actually maximizing your positive impact on it; your life’s value, your labor’s worth, your action’s honor to Nature.

You can:

  • plant trees
  • help clean up trash
  • lobby governments for environment regulations
  • help enforce environment regulations
  • teach children the importance of caring for the environment
  • donate to, volunteer for, or start an environmental NGO

Or take any of a myriad other manners to protect, preserve and restore the Earth to the paradise planet it once was, and which it can become once again if we humans take our place as stewards rather than parasites.

We cannot fully eliminate our negative impact upon the environment, simply because we need to take from it in order to survive.

But we can also give back more than we take, and have much more of a positive impact than negative.

And then, our lives can matter to the planet. Our lives can have value to Nature, to all of life.

I hope to see you in the next article, where I outline a comprehensive guide to the ways in which we can make a positive impact on our environment, and help heal our planet. 😉

Please post your comment below, and let me know if there’s anything I might have omitted. Anything and everything helps, and I really appreciate your letting me know of it 🙂

Sebastian Neferu
Sebastian is a B2B writer for digital brands. His content marketing and copywriting expertise have been certified by industry leaders including AWAI, Copyblogger, Smartblogger, Digital Marketer and more. To learn more about Sebastian's services, check out his website inkwellgenie.com

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