Here are a few more simple things you can do to reduce your impact on the environment:
Compost: Composting your food and yard waste reduces the amount of garbage you send to landfills and reduces carbon pollution. Using food and kitchen scraps, yard trimmings, and other organic waste to create a compost pile can also help increase soil water retention, decrease erosion, and replace chemical fertilizers.
Wait for the storm to pass: Don’t fertilize before a rain storm. Your fertilizer – along with your money – can just wash off your lawn and down the storm drain. Fertilizer runoff can pollute rivers, lakes, and bays, and cause problems in recreational areas or fishing grounds. Check the weather forecast before you head out, and wait for the storm to pass.
Food waste: Feed people, not landfills. Prevent waste by being smart about what you buy, how you prep, and how you store food. Donate extra food to an area food bank. And if somehow you still end up with scraps, compost them.
Order only what you can finish: At restaurants, ask about portion sizes and be aware of side dishes included with entrees. Take home the leftovers and keep them for or to make your next meal.
Cook from scratch: From farm to factory to store to table, processed, packaged convenience foods are dripping in wasted energy, oil, water and trees. Batch cooking on weekends, meal planning, and cookbooks specializing in easy, fast preparation can make cooking from scratch much easier.
Reuse!: The most effective way to reduce waste is to avoid creating it in the first place. The process of making a new product creates carbon pollution. As a result, reduction and reuse are the most effective ways you can save natural resources, protect the environment, and save money. Ever heard the old refrain, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure? Instead of discarding unwanted appliances, tools, or clothes, try selling or donating them.
Buy from bulk bins: Many stores sell bulk food like rice, pasta, beans, nuts, cereal and granola. Opt to fill a reusable bag or container with these items & you’ll save both money & unnecessary packaging. Stores have various methods to deduct the container weight so be sure to check with customer service before you fill your container. Also, many cotton bags have their weight printed on the tag so it can be deducted at checkout.
Get More From Less: Buy concentrated detergents. They are not only cheaper, but the smaller packages create up to 68% less waste.
Buy boxes, not bottles: Buy laundry detergent and dish soap in boxes instead of plastic bottles. Cardboard can be more easily recycled and made into more products than plastic.
Buy used: It’s the ultimate way to keep your closet’s carbon footprint small. But stepping out of a Goodwill or a used-jeans store doesn’t mean that you’ll have to dress in some grungy plaid or frumpy floral. If you’re intent on maintaining your fashionista rep or hipster clout, scour flea markets and vintage boutiques for designer labels and edgy pieces that fit in with your personal style. For those who’d rather not drive to the store, there are plenty of online shops where you find your dream green outfit.
Buy refurbished. Previously owned, good-as-new phones, computers, and cameras save resources, and are less expensive than new products. Look for manufactured-certified refurbished products.
Borrow instead of buying. Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
Ditch the Disposables: Switch to rechargeable batteries. Be sure to buy rechargeable batteries to accompany electronic gifts and consider giving a battery charger as well.
Make it Reusable: Remember to use a reusable bag when shopping. This keeps plastic and paper bags out of the environment.
Say Goodbye to Bottled Water: Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste.
Use a Reusable Mug: Choose reusable over throwaways as much as possible.
Just say no: When ordering pizza, say no to the little plastic “table” in the middle of the pizza box. It’s called a “package saver.” Think about it. A single use plastic device meant to save a single use cardboard box. What about all the marine animals that swallow that type of disposable plastic? It doesn’t save them, does it? When ordering, say, “Please don’t put that little white plastic thing in the middle of the pizza.” They’ll know what you mean.
Get manual: Before there were electric mixers, there were hand crank beaters. Before there were food processors there were manual slicers, choppers and dicers. Before there were gas and electric mowers, there were simple push mowers. You can still buy all of these items and use them to save energy. Best of all, there are new and improved versions that make them easy to use and earth friendly.
Don’t get bugged: Use insect repellents correctly. Always READ THE LABEL and follow the directions to help keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe.
Bag your pooch’s poop: Choose biodegradable bags instead of plastic grocery bags. You can find biodegradable options at most pet stores. Plastic bags take forever to decompose in landfills, and many of those bags end up in our waterways and oceans. Go the extra mile by composting your pet’s poop in a pet waste composter.
Breathe easy: Going for a hike, bike ride, or working outside? Check your air quality before you go, and know when to take action to protect your health. http://airnow.gov