How to Become Eco-Friendy
Going Green is Easy!
My mom recently started working for a local environmental group. Before she started this job, I thought I was eco-friendly. Turns out I was far from it. Now I am taking steps to help improve my bad habits. Listed below are 5 easy things that you can do to help the environment:
1. When you go shopping, don't use plastic bags! In fact, 60,000 bags are being used right now. And now. And now. That's right, every second 60,000 plastic bags are being used (http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/plastic-bag-facts.html). A healthy alternative to these bags is canvas bags. Canvas bags are very cheap ($1-3 ea) and can be used over and over again. They don't rip nearly as often as plastic bags, and they look a lot better too.
2. Don't drink bottled water! You have probably had Dasani water before, right? Well, guess what? Every time you are drinking Dasani water, you are drinking filtered tap water. That's right, you are basically paying people to bottle your water for you when 80% of these bottles aren't even recycled (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0304-04.htm). Want to know how you can help the environment and save money? Buy a faucet filter. They only cost about $30 and will save you a lot of money each year.
3. Don't use paper towels! Almost everyone uses paper towels. But why? Why use paper towels when you can use cloth napkins or kitchen towels instead. Converting to cloth can save you bundles of cash each year.
4. Turn off the vampires! An electrical vampire is something that, even when turned off, continuously uses electricity. These devices include, but are not limited to, laptops, clocks, phone chargers, and game systems. It's really easy to do. When you are done using your laptop or other appliance, just shut it off and unplug the cord.
5. Reuse, reuse, reuse! This is really the easiest thing to do on this list. You can reuse so many things that you probably throw out now. For example, what happens if your printer runs out of ink and spits out an illegible piece of paper? Well, just take that paper and put it in a little box/tray. You can then use this paper next time you need to write something down really quick like a shopping list or somebody's phone number. Furthermore, you can reuse those plastic ziploc bags that you so often pack your kid's sandwich in. Don't just throw it out and get a new one when your done.
Why it Matters
Many people ask: Why does it matter? What difference will it make if I throw out this bottle? What difference will it make if I shop with plastic bags? Well, I ask them: What if everyone said that? What if everyone threw out their bottles? What if everyone used plastic bags when shopping? Then, sometime in the future, we would all be screwed. Or, if not us, our children and grandchildren. This piece of an article from http://www.squidoo.com/ was shocking to me: "Some of the hazardous waste in landfills gets into the groundwater and
pollutes it. When common garbage is burned, it can release dangerous
gases into the air. Each year Americans throw away 1.6 billion pens, 2
billion razors and blades and 220 million tires. They discard enough
aluminum to rebuild the entire U.S. commercial airline fleet." I thought to myself, that can't be right, can it? It's not right, actually. In fact, it's too low. This report was written 22 years ago, and things have just gotten worse since then. The report goes on to say "No one really knows how much plastic is fouling the oceans, but a
recent report estimated that up to 350 million pounds of packaging and
fishing gear may be lost or dumped by fisherman and sailors each year.
Millions of pounds more may come from individuals, private boats, and
factories." Do we really want our ocean to look like the above picture? I certainly don't. So make a difference and follow the 5 steps above!