People often believe that the things they do as individuals do not matter. But when it comes to making the world a better place, of course it does! Look at me: granted, I work at an organization that works to conservation and environmental responsibility, but I am also writing this blog. I give other people ideas and inspire them to do a little something, or change the way they do something, to make the earth just a little bit better. If every single person did that, we could accomplish a lot. For example, if you used just one less water bottle a year, we could reduce our use of oil to make the plastic, less energy consumed to form the plastic, and there would be one less bottle in a landfill. Now imagine if your entire family did that. What about your whole town? Now think about how much less trash there would be if every single person used one less water bottle a year. Then, think bigger: consider what we could do if everyone switched to reusable water bottles!
Pretty amazing, right? We can do almost anything!
People also generate lots of trash! Learn what your recycling center takes and try to recycle more. If you find that you can’t be bothered taking the toilet paper roll from the bathroom to wherever you keep the recycling bin, just keep a small box or container for them right in the bathroom.When it is full, add it to the rest of your recyclables! Simple things like this will save lots of trees and space in landfills, and it is relatively painless to do. However, it can have a huge impact!
Another thing that I like to recommend is changing up your lunch. Many people bag their lunch. They use a brown paper bag to put it all in. They pack a water bottle, they put a sandwich in a plastic bag, and maybe they pack a snack in another plastic bag. That ends up being a LOT of garbage—assuming you’re off from work about two weeks a year, that’s 250 water bottles and brown paper bags a year! A more earth-friendly choice would be reusable versions of all those items. My kids all have metal lunch boxes with small containers for sandwiches and snacks. They also have reusable water bottles. Tada, no more packaging to waste! If all of us did that, can you imagine how much less trash there would be?
One last thing people don’t always like to talk about is energy use in their homes. Replacing perfectly good appliances with more energy friendly models isn’t really practical, but we can do things like buy LED light bulbs or unplug things like phone chargers, stereos, or computers when they are not in use. We can buy rechargeable batteries to use in our game controllers and clocks. We can insulate our homes better so that we will need less energy to heat and cool them.
Not only do simple things like these make a difference every single day, when people see you doing them, they might be inspired to do the same. Did you know that if you put solar panels on your roof, your neighbors are much more likely to do the same?!? You never know who you are going to inspire!