Today marks the 46th annual Earth Day celebration, a movement that has inspired environmental awareness and change around the planet. It also marks a landmark decision of more than 155 countries planning to sign a U.N. agreement on climate change. Taking action to help our planet doesn’t have to be a momentous leap, but a few things in our daily lives can help reduce our impact on the planet.
Here are 8 ways to go green!
- Track Your Online Energy Use
Everyone thinks about their carbon footprint in terms of driving in a car, or flying in a plane, but did you know that browsing the internet also adds to our ecological footprint? A new Chrome plug-in called Earth Mode tracks your energy used online and calculates how many trees need to be planted to offset the energy used.
- Mobile Apps To Help You Go Green
Both Apple and Android app stores offer a variety of useful apps to conserve energy and help you go green.
Wunderlist (Free) – Instead of using paper to write down tasks, project details, or shopping lists use this very useful app to get organized. https://www.wunderlist.com
Locavore (Free): Pinpoint nearby farmers’ markets and farms for local produce. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/locavore/id306140158?mt=8
Get me Green ($0.99): Provides tips for recycling and reusing items in your home. http://appshopper.com/utilities/get-me-green
- Eat Less Meat
The meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. To make a real dent in the world’s carbon footprint we need to eat less meat.
- Buy Local Produce
Did you know that the average piece of produce sits for seven days during its transit from the farm to the produce aisle? This means those “fresh” fruits and vegetables at the supermarket have already lost nearly half of their original nutritional value when you buy them. Buying from a local farm or farmers’ market can increase the nutritional value of your food and lessen your carbon footprint.
- Avoid Disposable Plastic
Sadly, only 10% of our current 300 million tons of plastic bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities are recycled. Landfills are bulging from plastic waste, where it leaches dangerous chemicals into nearby soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife.
- Start Composting
One-third of all food produced around the world for human consumption is wasted every year. A great way to reduce this waste is by composting. This natural biological process occurs when microorganisms, bacteria, and insects, break down organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings, and certain kitchen scraps into a soil-like product. Tips on how to compost check out HowtoCompost.org.
- End Junk Mail
Not only is junk mail annoying, but over 100 million trees a year are cut down to produce the paper. Want to combat junk mail and waste? Call the businesses and organizations and request that they stop sending you their mail. It’s time-consuming, but well worth it.
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Photo Credit: Flickr: frankieleon