Reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat.
Back in the seventies, Earth Day was a major push for environmental awareness and responsibility took the scale of a national emergency. Companies and factories were pumping out products with no regard to the damages that came with it. Oil spills, toxic waste, landfills, sewage, pesticides, wildlife habitats destroyed and species on the brink of extinction, the carbon footprint trail got longer and longer. To make sure we are not overstepping Mother Nature today, here are five small things we can do for the environment.
1. Use alternate transportation.
Instead of driving to work, consider walking or riding a bike. No gas emissions harm the atmosphere and you will get some exercise out of it. If you cannot avoid using a car, try carpooling with friends and coworkers or take a ride with Lyft or Uber. Public transportation is still readily available too. Cut back on using a car that uses gasoline and use an electric vehicle in its place, like a scooter. An electric output will cause less damage when compared to gaseous output as well. Or sport a pair of roller skates; nothing says "seventies" like a couple of four-wheeled boots!
2. Use less of anything excess.
America is known for its excess. If gluttony was an export, no one would be importing it but the United States. To make sure you are not guilty of using more than you need, start with the necessities. Water does not need to be running while you brush your teeth or shave. The same goes for showers; long, hot showers feel nice but a faster shower means a less frequent water bill. Buying takeout or cooking your own meals can lead to leftovers. Limit the number of times you eat out and cook out as well as ration certain portions. Save this food in the refrigerator and make another meal or smaller meals on the go with it for later. Unplug chargers to avoid wasting electricity. If there are clothes you have not worn in years, donate them to someone who will wear them for an even longer time.
3. Garden your own greenery.
Planting your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to start your own healthy farm to table eating. Plan when you will grow certain foods and pick and cook with them when their fresh and ripe for picking. This will also save you trips to the grocery store. Different seasons mean different foods, so you will always have some variety to look forward to on your plate. Plant a bed of flowers to give add more colors to your garden too. More plants mean more oxygen for you, more pollination for the bees, and more renewable resources from the environment's natural soil.
4. Live the analog life.
How we use the environment is just as important as how we reuse it. Enjoy what the fruits of your labor with some outdoor activities like a picnic or yoga. Attend local and community events that are proponents for mindful and eco-friendly ways of living. Write a letter instead of texting your grandma on Facebook. Watch a concert or go to a game live and in-person instead of live on pay-per-view. Read a book and not an e-book. Used the sun and not a tanning bed to get that golden brown skin you are after. The environment will be good for you if you are good to it.
5. Donate to your local green movements and programs.
Supporting all the green thumbs out there will guarantee your conservation efforts are met and reproduced for future generations. Every living thing plays a vital role in our ecosystem, from the land to the sea to the air we breathe. It is all connected and we have to stay connected in the environments we share. If there is not a Go Green Initiative in your town or city, start one of your own in your community. Volunteer and give back to the environment in any way you can that cultivates a budding and thriving place to live in and with.
There is one you and one planet we all live on, so respect and replenish both, for you and for everyone.