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by Kelly Secrest September 02, 2020 4 min read

1. Consume Less Meat In Your Diet

A plant-based diet is a great way to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.  This type of diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, and nuts.  Typically, these diets will contain fewer calories and fats, which puts you at a lower risk for heart disease.  Diets containing lots of meat will have high quantities of saturated fats which increase the risk of developing heart disease and cancer, the world’s leading causes of death.  Livestock creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as buses, trucks, and automobiles combined.  Ranchers decimate forests for grazing pastures. Shifting diets will not only benefit your health but will help the planet.

2. Bring Reusable Canvas Bags and Totes to Stores

The use of plastic bags is one of the worst items that you can use, as they are non-biodegradable.  You can use the same totes whenever you go to stores because they are long-lasting and will not break when carrying heavy items.  Statistics show that each year consumers use around 14 billion plastic bags.  This number could be reduced significantly if each person used reusable bags instead of one-time plastic bags.  There are options for recycling the plastic bags if you must use them, but studies have shown that LESS THAN 1% of the plastic bags are recycled.

 

3. Conserve Energy as Much as Possible

You can use energy-efficient appliances and electronics.  Many dryers, washers, refrigerators, and dishwashers are Energy Star certified and are the most efficient at conserving energy in homes.  If you search online for products, there is a lot of data that analyze and compare products to inform you about the most energy-efficient products for your home or business.
Make sure that you turn off the lights in any room when you leave to conserve energy.  This will also reduce your electric bill.  Turn off the water when shaving or brushing your teeth and reduce your overall shower time.
Replacing your traditional light bulbs with LED lights will help you use less energy and provide the same output of light.  LEDs are cost-effective in the long run and are better for the environment.

Save Energy, Save the Planet and the Ocean with mangroves

4. Recycle and Compost Regularly

In one of the previous Twenty5degrees blogs, there is a lot of information about recycling and its value.  There are descriptions of all of the different types of recycles and which are dangerous versus safe.  Learn about the various forms of plastic.  When you look at the bottom of your plastic containers and recyclable items, there are seven numbers that provide information about their biodegradability and recyclability.

Photography Credit: The Old Farmer's Almanac

5. Take Public Transportation and Carpool

You can utilize the transportation systems that are in place for many of your daily activities.  Instead of all family members driving their cars to the supermarkets and grocery stores, you can use a delivery service to order food.  This will save time and ensure that you don’t buy items you weren’t planning to purchase for the sole reason that it is appealing in the aisle.  The amount of energy consumed is far less and will help lower your personal carbon footprint and reduce emissions.
Many other services have been becoming increasingly popular such as using Lyft and Uber.  These services allow people to use less gas when people are traveling together.  In most cities, strong public transportation networks can take people to many locations and have many common popular routes.  The use of public transportation will help alleviate traffic and, in turn, will reduce air pollution.  With less congestion, there will be fewer idle vehicles and less risk of accidents because drivers won’t be stressed about driving safely and getting to their destinations on time.  This will all contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment and help you live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.

6. Opt for Online Subscriptions, Billing, and Documents to Reduce Paper Waste

Everyone gets junk mail mailed to their business and homes every day, and it is almost always never looked at and a colossal waste of paper.  Sending advertisements by mail is becoming more popular and has increased dramatically over the past three years.  It is estimated that 100 million trees are used annually to print junk mail.  It wastes 28 billion gallons of water to process this unnecessary mail.  Statistics show that if you cut your bulk mail for five years, you can help conserve 1.7 trees, 700 gallons of water, and prevent approximately 460 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the air.  Currently, junk mail accounts for 48 percent of all mailed correspondence.  If you are no longer interested in receiving these unnecessary catalogs, ads, and subscriptions, you should make an effort to cancel.  If you still enjoy and want to receive this content, switch to an online email subscription, which has become an option for most businesses.  This will reduce the amount of paper used, be more eco-friendly, and be more convenient for organization purposes.

7. Do Not Waste Food

It seems like common sense to save food and eat it later, but there is so much needless food waste in America.  You can make meals using leftovers instead of throwing them away.  If you have many perishable items and struggle to consume them before they go bad, you can cook and/or freeze for future consumption.  Just in America, $218 billion of food per year is thrown away.  It is important to note that food waste is sent into landfills, produces potent greenhouse gases, and impacts the environment directly and indirectly.
To avoid having to save and freeze food, you can plan your shopping trips by brainstorming meals and snacks ahead of time.  Once you make your list, make sure that you stick to the list and don’t buy unnecessary items. Have your groceries delivered, so you are not tempted to over purchase. Place your purchased food strategically in your pantry and fridge.  This will help ensure that items don’t go unnoticed and spoil.  Once you plan meals, try to stick to your plan and not eat out.  Not only will this save money, but it will also benefit your health and help the environment.

Conclusion

We all leave a carbon footprint.  It is essential to try to make yours as small as you can.  You will be proud of the efforts to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable.  Everyone should meet their present-day needs without undermining future generations.  


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