Laura is a 17-year-old from Ontario, Canada. She enjoys reading, traveling, and music. In her free time, she loves watching Friends reruns.
It is now widely known that reducing our environmental impact is not only a duty to our irreplaceable Earth, but a requirement for our not-so-distant future. At the rate our species is consuming natural resources and polluting our environment, we are causing extreme climate shifts on our planet. This is why we need to take initiative and do our part for our home, as our future may not be so bright if we ignore it.
1. Compost it! In the area where I live, composting has become as natural as taking out the garbage or blue boxes. It is used by almost everyone, and there is even a special ‘green bin’ the community provides to every resident. Garbage trucks pick these up to be put in the city’s compost area. If your area has this option, jump on the band wagon if you haven’t already! If it is not available, do it yourself in your own back yard!
2. Litterless Lunch. These are essentially lunches without any garbage produced. Kick the brown-bag habit and use the alternative: a trendy insulated lunch box and Tupperware. Those plastic baggies used for sandwiches are usually not reusable, create extra waste that is avoidable and add to the grocery bill. This is something you can even try to implement in your school. If you’re part of an Eco-Club, announce a specified ‘literless lunch’ day once a week where prizes will be awarded.
3. Turn down the thermostat. We’ve all heard that turning down the heat one degree can save immense amounts of power. Why not go for two or even three degrees? It is an easy way to conserve energy and do your part for the environment. Not to mention your parents will be happy with the lower heating bill! Just throw on an extra sweater in the winter or pour yourself a cool glass of water in the summer—you won’t notice those few degrees, guaranteed!
4. Water down the drain. Have you ever left the water running when you’re brushing your teeth or washing the dishes? Try to use as little water as possible when performing every-day tasks. Rinsing your dish after dinner does not require a gallon of water! Be conscious of your water use.
5. BYOB! Bring Your Own Bag! Plastic bags that are ever so popular in grocery stores take up to 500 years to decompose! Don’t add to the plastic bag population at your local landfill—buy reusable grocery bags. They are often offered at grocery stores. They are a smart investment, and they don’t break like plastic bags!
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