People can support the environment in many ways, and it is a subject that is becoming far more intense around the globe. Global warming is something that we cannot get away from and the temperature rises around the world are being seen. This is having a direct effect on the ice melting, which has a direct impact on sea level, and there is an increasing number of animals that are on the endangered list. Governments around the world have taken many steps to try and take preventative measures however there is still a lot of accountability placed on people and business to help make a change. People think that this is a situation that can not be influenced by one person’s actions however if everyone had that same opinion, we would never get there. Below are some of the simple changes people can make in order to help make a difference.
People spend a lot of money annually on the household bills and heating their home is one that usually tops it. There are a lot of things that people can do to reduce their energy use and therefore affect their environmental impact.
If there are draughts in the home where heat is escaping from the windows or doors then this will make the homeowner use a lot more energy in order to compensate. This is a typical problem that people have and instead of addressing the root cause of this, they use and waste even more heating. Getting new windows or doors to improve the containment of heating may seem like a drastic step, however, in 2019 most homes are now equipped with double glazed windows and doors as normal. There are many different specialists around in different states that are deemed as experts on this and can offer replacement windows and doors are competitive rates. There are more details about their locations here.
You could go a step further in terms of how you are heating your home and opt to change this to solar power. Hearing about this, you may think that this is a massively complicated project – but it’s not. This is becoming far more common (especially in states that are exposed a lot to direct sunlight). Installation of solar panels on your home roof is also sometimes supported by the local government who will sometimes compensate some of the costs or even in extreme circumstances do this for free.
If you are still using gas or electricity to heat your home then it is sometimes difficult to understand what it is you are using day on day. There are smart meters now available from companies that will give you visual indicators to the heating and electricity used. This then allows you to be a little more proactive in terms of seeing any weak spots and taking the appropriate corrective measures to prevent misuse.
People spend a lot of time using transport. Whether this is their own personal motor vehicle to get to work, public transport to get to the city or flying on a plane to go on vacation, this is a massive cause of climate change. There is no government that is saying people should not travel however there are a number of things people can do.
If you have a car then you should take into consideration its fuel efficiency and the type of fuel it uses. This is far more a priority nowadays for people not only because of the cost savings but due to the Co2 emissions and the impact of these. Before jumping into your car, you should consider whether this is appropriate. If it is a short journey, why not walk or if longer – is there suitable public transport that can be used. Electric cars are also becoming far more popular. While Tesla is leading the market for luxury cars in the USA, there are many more affordable brands coming out with electric cars. Hopefully, people will soon be driving just electric or hybrid cars.
It is really easy for people to go online and book their next fantastic vacation to somewhere beautiful without even considering the effect on the environment. There is a lot more focus on this nowadays where governments are taxing airlines quite significantly for the emissions forcing the airlines to take drastic measures. Airlines are constantly now looking for ways to improve on their environmental impact and engines are becoming far more efficient but there is still a long way to go. Like cars, there is a lot of investment in the potential for electric aero-engines.
There is not enough emphasis on cycling in the US and this could be due to the fact that the US hasn’t really invested in things such as “cycle lanes” like a lot of European countries. This should not deter people from considering this option as not only does this help improve an individual’s fitness, it does not emit any Co2 emissions similar to the motor vehicle alternative, therefore, making a great personal impact.
If you are forced to travel to work by using a motor vehicle then you could consider sharing this with some of your colleagues. Even if your work does not promote or have one of these schemes, you can easily communicate with people internally and when you acknowledge that they are from your local area, make contact with them to see if they would be interested in sharing.
Every year we are seeing a massive improvement in the recycling efforts by people and companies. We are seeing that some companies are moving from using things such as plastic straws to paper straws due to the plastic waste effects. Recycling in the household may be deemed as a pain however it doesn’t have to be. You can now purchase trash cans for inside your home that help you separate the different types of waste and outdoors you have this capability also. There are also loads of different recycling centres dotted around every state that allow you to dispose of waste in a more environmentally friendly way.
Nowadays when you go to restaurants, you may even notice that they have different trash cans for different waste as they commit to the efforts. In the workplace, you will notice that most offices now also have segregation for paper, plastic and trash. Adhere to these notices as if the recycling trash can is contaminated with things that shouldn’t be there it has a pretty drastic effect on the effectiveness of these efforts.
Zero-waste shops are also popping up everywhere. These are brilliant as it means that you can get many of your favourite dried goods and fresh fruit and vegetables without them being in plastic or other wasteful packing. Simply take your own bag along, weigh out what you need, and pay for it. It is an easy and convenient way to stock up on what you need, help the environment, and support local initiatives.
It might sound simple but turn lights off when they are not in use. People misuse lighting all the time and some for what they think are good reasons. One of these may be to have outdoor lights to deter any intruders, however a smart alternative would be to have sensor lights so that if an intruder does violate your space or property, the light will go on. Within the household, for security, you can also have the light timers where lights will go on and off at different times to deter any potential intruder.
In the business place, there are many different places that now have sensors. These sensors are placed in offices and even restrooms. If there is no-one occupying the area, they will turn the lights off automatically after a set period and will then go on when someone is in the area. This is a fantastic way to be more energy efficient and improve on the electricity bills the business might have. The specific lightbulbs that people use are also improving where you can get far more energy-efficient bulbs. These bulbs may also seem a lot more expensive for the initial offset however, in the long term, these last a whole lot longer than your standard bulbs and use a lot less energy. Therefore, the savings may not be seen straight away but they are definitely there.
Make Your First Changes Today
It can be difficult to think about how your changes can have an impact on the environment. You are just one person in billions, how will you make a difference? However, that is simply not good enough. There are so many little changes we can all make and they will all add up and help the environment. Take a good look at some of the areas where you might be able to make some changes. Before you know it, you could be living a much more eco-friendly life. Try to make a few changes today!
This is a collaborative post. All views and text are my own.