Did you know that 90% of seabirds are eating plastic due to the amount of trash flowing into our oceans? And the amount of plastic being dumped is on the rise; at this rate, according to researchers, many birds and animals will be consuming this toxic waste by 2050.
Our planet is in trouble. With climate change, deforestation, and the pollution of the land, air and water, our conservation efforts are more important now than ever.
If you’re thinking: I am only one of 7-billion people on Earth, so how could my actions make a difference?
I try to make a conscious effort to be sustainable—recycling, turning off the lights before leaving the house, and not letting food go to waste, just to name a few. But there are other things I can improve. Sometimes I’ll answer the phone and forget I left the shower running. Or going to the supermarket without my reusable tote. While these might sound like minor things, these missed conservation opportunities contribute to environmental issues on a much larger scale.
Here are eight simple ways you can be more environmentally friendly in your everyday life:
An easy way to decrease air pollution.
2. Take shorter showers
Showers account for 25% of the average home’s energy usage.
3. Don’t leave your electronics plugged in
Did you know 49% of us overcharge our gadgets? Even when our electronics are fully charged, it’s still wasting energy. With the smart phone charging, television watching and electricity usage, it’s no surprise that Americans consume 19% of the world’s energy.
4. Use cold water detergent
Many people believe that hot water is more effective at cleaning clothes, but cold-water detergents do in fact, clean nearly every type of clothing just as well.
5. Seal up your house
Did you know that drafts create energy waste?
6. Use the dishwasher more than washing by hand
Believe it or not, the dishwasher uses less water than most people do when washing dishes. Also, avoid pre-rinsing before putting dishes in the sink. According to Consumer Reports, pre-rinsing can waste up to 20 gallons of heated water per day.
7. Plant a tree
It’s no secret that trees are great for the environment, but planting a tree on your property can also help you conserve energy, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. By placing the trees at the right distance from your home on each side, it can help shade your home and lower your cooling costs in the summer.
8. Replace old appliances with energy efficient ones
Look for appliances with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label—they use between 10 and 50 percent less energy and water. While they may be a little pricier, you’ll be saving money in the long run because of the energy savings.
Remember that every small contribution adds up. The more people who commit to rewiring our planet, the greater the positive impact will be.