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How to Get Started With Protecting the Environment

Updated on June 19, 2013
How to get Started With Protecting the Environment
How to get Started With Protecting the Environment | Source

Help Save the Environment

If you are passionate about the environment and want to get involved and help out, it might seem like an overwhelming task. Don’t get discouraged: There are lots of easy things you can do that will help protect the environment. The easiest way to start helping out is to examine your own individual practices. Start at home by learning about the ways in which certain daily activities are harming the environment and then learn how you can change those practices for the better. To help the environment remember to use the three “Rs”: “Reduce”, “Reuse” and “Recycle”.

Reduce

The most important aspect of helping the environment is to reduce everything: Reduce the amount of waste that you throw away and the amount of products that you purchase and use. When making a conscious effort to start protecting the environment, the best way to help out is to reduce the amount of garbage that you throw out, in other words try to waste as little as possible. Understandably certain amounts of waste are unavoidable, but even reducing a little bit can help. Remember that every tiny bit makes a difference.

Many of the items found in stores are problematic for the environment; plastics, metals and chemical agents can all be bad. Even if they are properly disposed, a lot of these items will simply end up in landfills and water systems. Try to avoid buying things that contain harmful chemicals, toxic agents or things with a lot of plastic. When you purchase food look at the packaging; a product that has a lot of unnecessary packing materials will all end up in a landfill, or will require extra processing to get rid of it. Also, if the environment is important to you, try to buy from companies with a good environmental record, and stay away from companies that are known polluters.

Easy Ways You Can Reduce Waste

Get an Eco-Friendly Toothbrush
Every few months we replace our toothbrushes, throwing our old ones in the trash, but the truth is that the toothbrush handles were in perfect working order. Instead of throwing plastic away, invest in a toothbrush with a replaceable head or buy a toothbrush that is environmentally friendly, made from wood or recycled plastic.

Save Water
Many toilets flush a lot of water down the drain when they don’t actually need to be using so much water. Turn it into a low flush toilet by putting a brick or a water bottle in your toilet tank to save water.

Cut Back on Plastic
Plastic is terrible for the environment so try to stop buying bottled water. It takes a lot of energy and resources to make plastic and most of the time the bottles end up in a landfill. To help cut back on plastic, try to reduce or discontinue plastic water bottle usage. If you drink a lot of water, think about buying a water filter instead. Then use a reusable water bottle and pour your filtered water into it. It will save you money and the water is probably cleaner too.

Use Less Soap and Shampoo
Try to use less shampoo and soap because they contain harmful ingredients like phosphates that destroy water ecosystems. You only need a dime sized amount of shampoo when you wash your hair and many people use too much soap when they wash their clothes. Try to reduce the amount of soap that you use or look for soap and shampoos that are environmentally friendly and free of phosphates.

Reduce Power
Did you know that even if an item is plugged in and not in use, it is still sing energy? Try to reduce power by shutting off all lights when you are not using them and unplug electronics that are not in use. In the winter try turning the heat down in your home by a couple of degrees to save power, money and carbon emissions.

Reuse

Start Composting
Don’t throw away your tables scraps, try to compost them instead. Instead of throwing away your fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds and eggshells turn them into healthy soil for your garden.

Learn How to Sew
Sew your clothes to get new life out of old garments. Instead of throwing an item out because it has become unraveled or ragged, see if you can repair it or find a way to patch things up. If you are really creative you can turn something old into something completely different. For example: many people cut up old sweaters and turn them into quilts.

Recycle plastic, glass and paper
Recycle plastic, glass and paper | Source

Recycle

Paper, cardboard, plastic, cans, glass, food scraps, hazardous waste and electronics can all be recycled. Your electronics, batteries and hazardous waste should never be thrown in the trash: they need to be properly recycled or they will seep chemicals and pollute. Most recycled electronics can be turned into something else. Never throw out hazardous waste and always ensure that it is properly disposed of instead. Hazardous waste items include batteries, chemical solvents, paints and fuels. These items are the most polluting and cause the most environmental damage out of all residential garbage. Ensure that you bring these items to a local recycling center that can properly dispose of them.

Donate Old Clothes and Household Goods
Even if you are sick of wearing something, don’t throw it out. It’s very likely that someone else could use your old clothes. By donating clothes, shoes, household items and used toys to a charity or thrift shop, your accessories are getting a second life and helping the environment.

Take Action

Educate yourself: learn what else you can do to help the environment. If you want to get involved and help protect the environment, find a local group and join it. There are lots of organizations and communities out there, many of which are constantly looking for volunteers. A lot of these groups need people who are passionate about environmental issues and would love an extra set of hands to help out.

How Do You Help Protect the Environment?

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    • Amy Ney profile image

      Amy Ney 

      5 years ago from western North Carolina

      Wonderful information, thanks for making it available to all the readers here!

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Thanks I already do all of these (except the toothbrush, which I will do now that you pointed it out to me!) but I like how you laid it out, plain and simple. I pinned and tweeted this.

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