Eco-Living Magazine

7 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Posted on the 26 April 2011 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

The growing global emphasis on environmental responsibility can feel daunting to most people; “How,” they ask, “can I make a difference? I’m just one person.” That’s an understandable question, but there’s good news with the answer: Every little bit helps, and everything you can do to live a more environmentally responsible and green-friendly life has a positive benefit for the planet and for the people around you. Here are seven easy ways to start making a difference.

 1. Use your own grocery bags. A key component in all green-living plans is a commitment to reusing material as much as possible. A great way to start this is by taking your own reusable grocery bags with you

canvas grocery bag
every time you shop at the market. The paper or plastic options you get from the bag boy behind the checkout are equally damaging for the planet in the long run, because even if they’re partly made from recycled materials, they’re still being produced and then discarded. They’re a faulty supply chain. However, you can break that chain entirely by taking your own tote bags for food. These are inexpensive and available just about everywhere; most grocers sell them right next to the checkout for as little as $1 a piece.

2. Reuse your clothes. Just because something’s no longer functional doesn’t mean it’s trash. Turn ripped-up jeans into work pants or cutoff shorts that are ideal for housework. If you’ve got an old T-shirt that’s seen better days, don’t throw it away; keep it as a work shirt or cleaning rag. You can always get more use out of your stuff than you’d think, and hanging onto it means less junk in landfills and less wasted production.

3. Buy local produce. The stuff in your supermarket has been flown and trucked in from across the country, which mean it’s gotten to you on vehicles that needlessly polluted the air and the Earth. You can reduce the effect you’re indirectly having on air pollution by buying your produce at a local farmer’s market, which is brought in from nearby farms and features less packaging, fewer (if any) preservatives, and uses less fuel to get from the ground to your hands.

4. Choose long-lasting light bulbs. Simple but completely effective. Instead of regular light bulbs, spend a couple extra dollars to get the environmentally friendly long-lasting kind that use less power and have a longer lifespan. The benefits are many: you’ll lower your electricity bill, help the planet, and reduce the number of new bulbs that need to be produced and distributed. If everyone started doing this, it’d be a revolution.

Get rid of all your Junk mail

5. Get rid of junk mail. The endless stream of junk mail is one of the biggest drains on the U.S. Postal Service and the environment, and it’s also something that no one wants. It’s a staggering waste of paper and money, and you can do your part to end it by opting out of the service entirely. In addition to being rid of the pointless junk and worthless coupons that clutter up your mailbox, you can take comfort in knowing you’ve done your part to reduce the destruction of trees.

6. Go paperless when possible. As often as possible, it’s a good idea to opt for digital services instead of those that rely on paper production. If you can get paid via direct deposit instead of a paper check, do it. If you can receive electronic bills via email for things like cable and utilities, do it. Email is infinitely easier to deal with, organize, and eliminate than wasteful paper bills and checks; the demands of more server space are a lot more tolerable than the need to cut down more and more trees just to send out gas bills. Similarly, if you’ve got a smartphone, use that for directions instead of printing out maps.

7. Buy recycled products. This is a big step that a lot of people overlook. It’s not just enough to recycle your products or take your own bags to the grocery store. By purchasing recycled products (things like paper towels and napkins are an easy choice), you can actually complete the recycling chain of life that begins and ends with you, the consumer. When you buy something made from recycled material, recycle it, and repeat, you seriously cut down on the amount of wasteful production that can otherwise get out of hand. It might not seem like much, but it’s a small step that has major impact.

By-line:  Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.

[image sources: greeningsanfrancisco.wikispaces.com]



You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Taming Shakespeare

    Taming Shakespeare

    It hardly seemed credible, from what I heard in high school, that anyone would read Shakespeare if it weren’t required. I’m not completely naive, but I do wonde... Read more

    10 hours, 20 minutes ago by   Steveawiggins
    POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Three Against Two the Tambuka Way

    Western music is based on so-called duple rhythms, patterns of two or multiples of two. There are triple rhythms as well, the waltz for example, but they... Read more

    11 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Bbenzon
    CULTURE, PHILOSOPHY, SOCIETY
  • Downsides of Diet Culture

    Downsides Diet Culture

    Picture of a adorable pug named Biscuit walking toward the camera saying “If I want the Food Police I’ll call Pie-1-1”Today a new blog reader asked me “I’ve... Read more

    11 hours, 52 minutes ago by   Danceswithfat
    DIET & WEIGHT, FITNESS, HEALTH
  • Money, Museums and Men

    Money, Museums

    On the second day of our London jolly, we were planning to take in the view from the Shard, until we realised it was thirty quid a piece. Read more

    12 hours, 16 minutes ago by   Jackscott
    DIARIES, EXPAT, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Shopping in Sarojini Nagar? Here Are 15 Things You Must Know Before You Go.

    Shopping Sarojini Nagar? Here Things Must Know Before

    Planning to visit Sarojini Nagar and have some questions about it? Check out all 15 questions I have covered in here. 4 of them will help you by the best clothe... Read more

    12 hours, 21 minutes ago by   Shoppingaholic
    HAIR & BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE, SHOPPING
  • A Ripple Conversation With Rob "Blasko" Nicholson

    Ripple Conversation With "Blasko" Nicholson

    Let's start with your name and what you do.Let's have it. - Blasko. I wear many hats, but most commonly I am the bass player for Ozzy Osbourne. Start at... Read more

    13 hours, 47 minutes ago by   Ripplemusic
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • #LondonWalks Walk Of The Week: The Rock'n'Roll Pub Tour With LIVE Music...

    #LondonWalks Walk Week: Rock'n'Roll Tour With LIVE Music #RollingStones Special!

    On Sundays we pluck just one walk from the vast London Walks repertoire and put it centre stage. You can check out the full schedule at www.walks.com. Read more

    13 hours, 50 minutes ago by   Lwblog
    DESTINATIONS, TRAVEL