Being environmentally friendly can seem like a huge task, but it’s actually really easy to go green on a daily basis, and in doing so, you’ll be improving your own life too. Follow these 10 easy, day-to-day steps to contribute to a better environment and protect the planet we live on.
1. Get a tree planting job
Being a tree planter is a fulfilling, though at times a very very difficult job. The days are long, the work is hard, but few things are more rewarding. While tentree doesn’t currently have any job openings for tree planting, here’s how to get yourself a job in the field.
2. Skip the car
Instead of driving to the nearby grocery store or taking the bus to work, walk or ride your bike instead. Relying on your own form of locomotion instead of motor vehicles not only improves your health and keeps you in shape, but it also reduces air pollution. Here’s 9 more reasons why you should bike to work.
Next time you go to the store, buy things that can be easily recycled — like glass jars or tin cans, or eco-friendly things that are made from already recycled materials. Reuse bags and containers as much as possible. Need to know more? Here’s 10 reasons you should recycle.
4. Buy locally
When you buy locally grown foods, you’re supporting farmers who are preserving farmland and the agricultural landscape instead of selling land for development. As a result, you’re benefiting the environment and all the wildlife that thrives in fields, woods, and ponds.
Buying locally also supports sustainability and maintaining clean water, soil, and air quality. Not to mention local farmers cut down drastically on energy consumption normally used to traverse long distances to deliver food.
Need more convincing? Read up on all the reasons buying local food is the best.
5. Live minimally
Materialistic goods are often wasteful and it turns out they don’t make us very happy. More and more, people are realizing that living a simple, minimal, earthy life — surrounded by family and friends and pursuing passions — are far more fulfilling. Instead of buying wasteful products then throwing them out, learn to minimize the clutter in your homes. Not only will it lower the amount of waste, it will make you feel more fulfilled, energized, and focused. This is what I learned when I tried a more minimalist lifestyle.
6. Be mindful with electronics
Turn off the lights when you’re not home, unplug all electronics you’re not using — you’ve heard this advice before, but it’ll help the environment a lot. You can also change your regular lightbulbs out with compact fluorescent bulbs to reduce as much pollution as removing 1 million cars from the road! Here’s 11 cheap (or free) ways to save energy in your home.
7. Be mindful with water
Instead of taking a bath, take a shower — baths take up twice as much water as showers. Keep your showers short and sweet (or take a shower at the same time as your significant other), because every two minutes, you can save 10 gallons of water. Be mindful about water in other ways, too — e.g. don’t run the water while you brush your teeth. Want to learn more? Check out 10 ways to save even more water.
8. Plant trees
Trees improve water quality and lower air pollution. Even just planting them in your own backyard will provide the air with more oxygen, keep your home cooler (by providing shade, especially if you plant them on the west side of your house), and simply make you happy with their beauty. Want to plant trees for a living? Check out our blog: how to get a job planting trees.
9. Carry a reusable coffee cup or water bottle with you
All those Starbucks coffees add up — and the paper cups go to waste. To save the planet (and save money too), invest in a reusable coffee mug. Your coffee will stay warmer, you can bring your own coffee from home, and some coffee shops will fill it up for you at a reduced price! Here’s 6 more reasons to choose a reusable cup.
10. Adjust the thermostat
In the summer, keep your thermostat at one degree higher than normal, and one degree lower during the winter. Every one degree celsius will save 10 percent on energy use. Here’s 11 more cheap (or free) ways to save energy in your home.
11. Go vegetarian once a week
Eating one less meat meal per week can help the earth. You’ll save water (Producing one pound of beef takes about 2,500 gallons of water), and save trees (for every one hamburger from animals raised on rainforest land, some 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed).