Part 1 of this article makes the point that even though you’re not a legislator, the leader of an environmental cleanup organization, or maybe even an environmental activist, there are still some simple things you can start doing immediately that will make a positive impact on the environment. The point is, if all of us do a little, it can add up to a lot! By doing one or two (or all) of the things on this list, you really can make a difference. You can also set an example for the people around you, whether family, roommates, or friends, and start your very own ripple effect! Here are six more ways to start right now in making Earth a greener place.
5. Turn Off the Lights!
Get in the habit of switching off lights in rooms that aren’t being used. In connection with this idea, consider gradually replacing your standard light bulbs with energy efficient ones. Yes, they cost more, but they also last longer and give just as much or more light while using less electricity.
6. Turn up (or down) the Heat!
There’s a great new device available for personal climate control: it’s called a sweater. Put one on, and quit running the heat up to 73 degrees! Seriously, if you would lower your thermostat in the winter to around 68 degrees Fahrenheit, you would save on home energy costs and still be quite comfortable, most of the time. If you get cold, you can always dress warmer. In the summer, keep the setting on about 77 degrees, and use ceiling fans or free-standing fans to move the air around. You’ll still feel cool, and your energy costs won’t break the bank.
7. Recycle Paper at Work
Many offices have caught the recycling wave and have special containers available to allow recycling of most types of paper, instead of sending it to a landfill that’s already full. If your office doesn’t have a recycling program, consider setting one up. Many communities offer incentives.
8. Buy Recycled
Purchasing products made from recycled materials helps keep the green wheels rolling. Look for the recycling symbol on the product or its packaging. If you have a choice between a product made from recycled materials and one that isn’t, choose the recycled one. It may cost a little more, but you can’t put a price tag on a healthy environment.
9. Stay Informed
The environment and its needs and challenges are in the news regularly. Know what officials and concerned people are saying. Whether you agree or disagree, you need to know what’s happening.
10. Write Your Elected Officials
Hey, you put them in office; you have a right to tell them what you think! Send your congressional representatives (state and national) a note or email, telling them that the environment is an issue that’s important to you. If you don’t know how to contact them, go to www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml, where you’ll find an easy to use directory and email links.