Things you can do to Save the Environment

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Climate change is not just the defining issue of our time, but we are also at a defining moment in history. Weather patterns are changing and will threaten food production, and sea levels are rising and could cause catastrophic flooding across the globe. Countries must take drastic actions to avoid a future with irreversible damage to major ecosystems and planetary climate. The scale of the challenges facing our planet can seem daunting, but we can all do something. Here are things you can do to Save the Environment and help in the fight against climate change.

Things you can do to Save the Environment

Switch to LEDs

Things you can do to Save the Environment- Switch to LEDs

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are great. They can last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and they use at least two-thirds less energy, but even CFLS have issues. They’re hard to dispose of because they contain mercury. Enter light-emitting diode or LED bulbs. They emit light in a very narrow band wavelength so they’re super energy-efficient. Start replacing your old incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs now (if you haven’t already). They do cost more than CFLs and incandescents, but an equivalent LED bulb can last around 25,000 hours compared to the 1,000 hours that an incandescent bulb might have lasted.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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You can help reduce pollution just by putting that soda can in the recycling bin. It really does make a difference. Paper, too. Case in point: If an office building of 7,000 workers recycled all of its office paper waste for a year, it would be the equivalent of taking almost 400 cars off the road [source: EPA]. But you can also take reusable bags to the grocery, and avoid using disposable plates, spoons, glass, cups, and napkins. They create huge amounts of waste. And buy products that are made of recycled materials. It all makes a difference.

Reduce the amount of paper in your life

Things you can do to Save the Environment- Do you know that 40% of the world’s commercially cut timber is used for paper? This endangers natural habitats and uses a ton of water. Since it has become inexpensive to print, we do it without thinking. And lest you think you are paperless, think about your bank statements, the paper towels you use to clean the countertops, the junk mail you haven’t opted out of, and the way you wrap your Christmas presents. There are many areas where each of us can help to lessen paper production.

Travel responsibly 

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One of the most efficient ways of lowering your environmental impact is by traveling responsibly. This means, whenever you can, choosing a more sustainable way to get from A to B – walk or cycle when you can.

Transport is one of the most polluting sectors in the UK. But holidaying closer to home can make a big impact on your carbon footprint. One short-haul return flight can account for 10% of your yearly carbon emissions, and long-haul flights can completely determine your carbon impact.

If you have the time you can usually get trains to European destinations to cut your carbon footprint. Get creative and try to find alternate ways to travel.

If you do choose to go abroad and are looking to see the local wildlife, keep in mind how to go about it ethically. Attractions that involve you being able to pet, hold or feed animals for money are generally a no-go. Be wary of attractions involving any unnatural interactions with animals. As a rule: observe animals from afar in their natural habitat and look to support local conservation projects.

Conserve Water

Things you can do to Save the Environment

The little things can make a big difference. Every time you turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth, you’re doing something good. Got a leaky faucet? You might be dripping as much as 90 gallons (340 liters) of water down the drain every day. So fix it! It’s easy and cheap. And stop drinking bottled water. Switch to filtered tap water. You’ll save a ton of cash and help reduce a ton of plastic waste in the process.

Live Energy Wise

Make your home more energy-efficient (and save money). Your home’s windows are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of residential heat gain and heat loss. If they’re old and inefficient, consider replacing them. Also, be sure your home has the proper insulation. Insulation is measured in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value — the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. The amount of insulation your home needs depends on the climate, type of HVAC system, and where you’re adding the insulation. Smaller things you can do right away include replacing your air filter regularly so your HVAC system doesn’t have to work overtime. Keep your window treatments closed when it’s extremely hot and cold outside. You can also consider installing a programmable thermostat like Nest so your system isn’t running (and wasting energy) when you’re not home.