The planet is in crisis. Rampant consumerism has created a seemingly unstoppable march towards environmental destruction and degradation. It is understandable that many people might think that they can’t make a difference. However, as famous land trust pioneer Robert Swann once said: “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”. Everyone has a role to play in reducing our environmental footprint, so get started today by considering any of these tips below.
Coffee Cup Runneth Over
Every year, billions of disposable coffee cups go into landfill unnecessarily. While you can typically recycle paper and cardboard, the wax coating on these cups makes them unsuitable for doing so. If you’re looking for a simple, yet effective way to do your part for the environment, consider purchasing eco-friendly reusable coffee cups. The average American consumes 3.1 cups of coffee per day, and if you were to use a reusable coffee cup, you could save over 1,000 disposable coffee cups from ending up in landfill each year.
While we’re on the topic of coffee, our unabated love affair with the sweet, black elixir of life offers another opportunity for environmental responsibility. Used coffee grounds from cafes contribute hundreds of thousands of tons of waste that enters landfill and releases methane, a greenhouse gas thirty-four times more potent than carbon dioxide! Encouraging your favorite local coffee shop to participate in a coffee ground recycling program can send a powerful message of environmental responsibility and make a huge impact.
It’s In the Bag
Over 380 billion plastic bags are used by American consumers every year. Many of these plastic bags are not only ending up in a landfill but are polluting our oceans as well. You can reduce your environmental footprint by instead opting for reusable shopping bags. Most reusable bags are made from biodegradable and renewable cotton and can be used over and over for years. The next time you’re dashing off to the grocery store, grab a few reusable shopping bags and eliminate your contribution to the growing threat to the ecology and wildlife.
Vermicompost, otherwise known as worm farming, is growing in popularity both here in the US and abroad. With a small investment of funds and effort, you can create a worm farm that can recycle hundreds of pounds of food scraps and paper waste each year, saving them from the tip. Those wriggly little critters can eat their way through their body weight every day and their castings (aka worm poop) make the highest quality fertilizer known to man that you can spread on your garden plants to keep them healthy and vibrant. If you have kids, it’s also a fabulous opportunity to learn about how the earth naturally renews itself, and little hands love getting dirty and playing with these fascinating creatures.
Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose
We are living in a throw-away society when we should be making a conscious effort to repurpose, recycle, and reuse as many things as possible. Repairing or repurposing household items such as furniture, office equipment and the like can save you money and reduce solid waste. There are reams of information online about ingenious ways to find a new life for old items, so get creative and save the planet, as well as your wallet
It might seem like you may not be able to do much to help the environment. After all, you’re only one person. However, small changes throughout your day – such as those mentioned above and many more can help any individual or family to make a difference. Don’t wait for someone else to fix the problem, do your part and reduce your environmental footprint.