Being Environmentally Conscious

Zoe May

Wild bush fires. Widespread pollution. Animal extinction. Global warming. The environment has been taking hit after hit the last few years. It is easy to feel as if there is nothing you can possibly do to help, and if there is, it is only small things or spending money on donations. In reality, there is no such thing as “small acts” when it comes to helping the environment — every little bit helps. However, oftentimes there are things you can do that outweigh others. For example, it helps to share rides to conserve air pollution more than cutting out using plastic straws for your entirely plastic Starbucks cup. So, here are some tips to make a difference for your environment without spending significantly more money.

1. Turn It Off

Make sure to turn off all lights and electronics, so as to not waste power, when you leave the house or they are not in use . Not only will it save you money, but it will save the environment as well. We often forget in the rush of the morning to turn off lights before leaving to work or school, leaving them on for the majority of the day.

2. Don’t Waste Food

Every year millions of tons of food is wasted. Not only is it a waste of money, but it also is sent to waste away at a landfill that adds to the CO2 content in the air. Instead, in the event that food goes bad or you put a little too much on your plate, build and use a compost, a healthy natural fertilizer to keep your garden healthy and reduce the amount of methane gas in the air — a gas that is used to break down food in landfills.

3. Recycle Everything

Now, I know if you are interested in being a more environmentally cautious person, you have already been recycling. However, many people do not realize just how much can actually be recycled: batteries, paper, cars. So before you throw anything away, double check that it can’t be recycled. Additionally, try to remove as much of the plastic in your household as possible. You are more likely to have unnecessary plastic plates or cups or bags that you can remove, than plastic straws. So, try reaching for a reusable grocery bag instead of relying on the plastic bags at the store. Invest in reusable plates and cups to prevent plastic build up — dishes seem feeble in face of our struggling environment.

4. Buy Local

From food to clothes to everyday trinkets, shopping at local stores lowers transportation which in turn reduces carbon levels from emissions. So, the next time you need groceries, try researching local stores. Also, in the chance you are in the market for more cleaning supplies, try using eco-friendly products. Many of the chemicals found in cleaning products greatly harm the environment when they are disposed of.