The topic of environmental conservation and “going green” have been issues that have been discussed among politicians and civilians alike for decades. Pollution needs to stop, people need to be more energy efficient, more land needs to be nationally protected, places that are already polluted need to be rehabilitated, and so on and so forth. The environmental issues that are occurring today are a huge problem, and although many people know this fact, they don’t seem to want to do much about it. Although it is true that many people have already taken steps towards “going green,” like buying energy efficient lightbulbs and recycling their plastic bottles, they aren’t doing enough!
The reason the public may not be reaching their environmental protection potential is because these people may not know exactly just what is happening in the natural world today. According to the Environmental Education Foundation’s Environmental Literacy Report, the Yale Project on Climate control conducted a report in 2010 on the measurements of American’s knowledge on climate change. The results were far less than satisfactory.
“Overall, 52 percent of Americans tested earned a score equivalent to an F. Forty percent would receive a score of C or D for their level of knowledge, and about 8 percent would earn an A.”
Although the scores may be low, people do want to contribute to conserving the environment. Thus, the Environmental Literacy Report also discusses that about three-quarters of Americans feel good after taking steps towards helping the environment.
For those people who want to take that extra step in the right direction and really help do their part to protect the environment, 50waystohelp.com compiled a list of, as the name implies, 50 steps a person can take to adapt their normal life to an environmentally friendly one. Out of those 50 individual methods to help the planet, there are 10 that can easily and almost effortlessly integrated into a person’s normal, everyday routine.
- Go Vegetarian Once A Week. 50waystohelp.com states that it takes almost 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. The
more people that cut meat out of even just one meal a week can help decrease the amount of beef that is produced, and cut the amount of water that is used.
- Do Your Laundry Only When You Have A Full Load. Substantially reduce the amount of water you use by only using your washer when necessary. The same amount of water is used in each load that is washed, so you might as well save some water and do all your laundry at once, instead of multiple smaller loads.
- Use One Less Napkin. If every American used one less napkin during mealtime, around a billion napkins a year could be saved from being tossed into landfills.
- Buy A Reusable Water Bottle. Most plastic water bottles are unable to be recycled. Instead of buying bottles in bulk, by a nice, reusable water bottle and a water filter for your tap instead.
- Use Your Cruise Control More Often. You read that right! Cruise control can be used for more than just long road trips. Using this feature in your car can help conserve the gas in your tank, and help conserve fossil fuels as well.
- Shop at Your Local Second-hand or Thrift Store More Often. Many second-hand stores are absolutely wonderful. Check these stores for anything you could possibly need, and save even more natural resources from being used to make a brand new version of that item. Just because it has been used prior doesn’t mean it is any less great.
- Turn Off Lights. There are so many people who leave certain lights on when they leave the room and it wastes a bunch of energy. If it is an incandescent light, always turn it off. If it is a fluorescent light, only turn it off if you are leaving the room for more than 15 minutes.
- Use Matches Over Lighters. It may seem wasteful to buy and use a bunch of matches than it does to use a lighter. Well, this isn’t the case. Once lighters are out of fluid, they are discarded and usually end up in a landfill. Buy matches that are made our of recycled cardboard.
- Skip the Plastic Bag. Buy a few reusable, cloth bags to take with you to the grocery store when you shop. The plastic bags that are offered are not biodegradable and also end up in landfills that pollute the environment.
- Use Rechargeable Batteries. These are an investment that end up paying off for everyone. Buying a charger and a dozen or so rechargeable batteries cuts the amount of disposable batteries that get thrown away, and in the long run it can save you money. Regular batteries can be a bit pricey at times.