How to be More Environmentally Friendly
We've all been told that in order to help the environment, we should recycle, take shorter showers, and carpool. Although these are great ways to go green, there are a ton of things you can do in addition to be more environmentally friendly. Here are a few simple things you can do to make a difference.
If you are a homeowner, a simple way to be more environmentally friendly is to start a compost pile. A compost pile converts food scraps, yard clippings, and various other items into nutrient-rich soil. Composting not only reduces landfill waste, it is also beneficial to soil, plants, and the environment as it depletes the need for chemical fertilizers. To start a pile, lay twigs or straw on the bare ground, so worms and other beneficial organisms can access it. Next, add compost in layers, alternating between moist (nitrogen) and dry (carbon). Add manure, green manure, or any additional nitrogen source to activate the pile. Cover the pile to keep it warm and moist, and water it occasionally. Every few weeks, turn the pile with a shovel or pitch fork. Once the pile is established, you can add new materials by just mixing them in.
Believe it or not, your diet has an impact on the environment. By simply eliminating meat from your diet, you can conserve water, energy, and soil. It takes 100 to 200 times more water to produce a pound of beef than it takes to produce a pound of produce. Eating a plant-based diet also saves energy. Producing animal-based protein takes about eight times more fossil-fuel energy than it does to produce plant-based protein. Raising animals for consumption is also bad for the soil. The US has lost about one-third of its topsoil due to the erosion and soil depletion related to livestock agriculture. By changing your diet, you can help the environment and, not to mention, the well-being of animals.
Change Your Kitchen Habits
Simple changes can make your kitchen more environmentally friendly. For example, instead of using paper towels, use a dish towel. You should also replace paper plates and plastic utensils with reusable ones. Taking these actions will not only reduce the amount of kitchen waste you have, it will also save money. You can save water by putting a drain stopper in your sink, and reuse the water for plants, the yard, or, if the water is very dirty, water your compost pile. In addition, using a toaster oven is more energy-efficient than using a conventional oven, and using a microwave uses less energy than a toaster oven.
All in all, there are numerous different actions you can take to help the environment. The fact of the matter is that our actions are killing the planet and we are the only ones that can save it. Even the actions of one individual can make a huge difference over time, so be the one to make that change.