5 ways to save the planet one person at a time

treehugging mattersWith all the talk about saving the environment and leaving a better planet for our younger generations, it’s hard not to want to do your part.

And while people tend to have a “one-person-CANNOT-make-a-difference” attitude, this simply is not true.

The world is composed of a whole lot of individual people. Every step that is taken has a significant impact on the big picture — every step matters, after all. One way you could do your part is to reduce the waste in your home.

Here are a few ideas for ways to reduce your household waste.

Pay Attention to Packaging

Have you ever bought a small item that came with more packaging than necessary?

In the marketing industry, bigger is better. They want their products to stand out and not be pushed to the back of the shelf, never to be seen.

However, all this extra packaging creates a lot of waste. When shopping, pay attention to the amount of packaging of the products you purchase.

Trying to buy items with less packaging and buying in bulk are both good ways to reduce the waste generated in your home.

Go Paperless

Or as paperless as possible.

Follow the example set by Professor Gerald Smith, who has conducted paperless classes for over a decade!

A lot of companies have a paperless option for billing. Try electing to have your bills and communications sent to you via email to avoid a mailbox full of correspondence.

Also, exchange your paper towels for cloth rags or towels. Cloth baby diapers are also a big waste-saver. There are even reusable cloth feminine products that do the job, while still eliminating the waste.

I would recommend sticking with regular toilet paper, however. Let’s not get too carried away!

Choose Reusable

As with the paper products, anything that can replace a disposable item will reduce your waste.

Reusable shopping bags are amazing. Not only are they bigger, allowing for more room in the trunk or back seat, but they are also environmentally friendly. Rechargeable batteries are another easily reusable item.

Re-purpose and Buy Used

Things like kids’ toys will be out-grown in a year or two. Why not buy used and reduce the amount of throw-away your house produces. Your kids will never know the difference, and you can give them to someone else when you’re finished too.

With the same idea in mind, try re-purposing other items destined for the landfill. Old papers can be cut down and made into small note-cards for grocery lists, old clothes make excellent cleaning rags, and newspapers can be used to clean your mirrors and glass surfaces.

Or, for a project with a little more flair — try turning old pajamas into pillow coverings, or grow some wild bamboo to use for fencing material.

Recycle

There will be things that we are forced to get rid of if we want to avoid being featured on an episode of Hoarders. However, paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass items are recyclable. Also, making compost out of table scraps will not only benefit your garden or yard, but it will also reduce the amount of trash generated.

With just a little bit of awareness and a lot of waste reduction, you too can impact the future of our planet. Another way that you can make a huge difference is by convincing your family and friends to reduce their waste. Just think of the overall impact when they spread the word as well!

[Photo: Dandy_lions/Flickr]

About this guest author: Gracie Davids tries to do her part; she is a contributing writer for FlowerDelivery.net.

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About Guest Author

We have lots of great guest posters that write some awesome articles here at Eco-Snobbery Sucks. This is their collective story.

  • http://plantedcity.tumblr.com/ Plantedcity

    I cycle, take transit, live in a walkable neighborhood, grow some of my food, shop with cloth bags, use a refillable water bottle, avoid air travel, compost, recycle, talk green issues with fam & friends, write politicians and newspapers, battle climate change deniers online, and more. 
    BUT, climate change is the issue that has the potential to overwhelm the ecosystems and economies that we all depend on. Avoiding runaway climate change requires changing our energy system and how much fossil fuel energy we consume as a global population. In a very small window of time. Legislation is required to change the energy system. That is why I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that it will take people power to force governments to enact the necessary legislation to make this change.
    Cloth shopping bags and composting admittedly feel good, but they aren’t going to get us anywhere we need to go within the context of a rapidly growing global population, a limited resource base, and a shrinking time horizon. The sooner we all come to that conclusion the better our chances are and will be. 
    There are things we can do that have some impact like how we get around, the food we eat, and where we live, but citizens are only one part of the economy. There are also large vested interests in maintaining the fossil fuel economy as long as they can. We can’t lose sight of the need to change our energy-economy. 
    Finally, I realize this may not be a happy thing to read. I wasn’t happy when I studied the energy system and learned that there are lots of things that we are doing, thinking we are having an impact, when it’s largely symbolic.
    I will close with a couple of resource that I think will provide some food for thought and positive action: 
    1) A new book from the Union of Concerned Scientists (‘Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living’, http://www.ucsusa.org/global_w… that shows, “the most effective strategies for reducing your global warming emissions, and how to take action at work, in your community, and politically.”
    2) A short YouTube video (‘How Many Lightbulbs?’, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… featuring UK physicist, David Mackay.  It’s based on his excellent book, ‘Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air’. Cheers,
    Steven (‘Planted City’, http://plantedcity.tumblr.com/…