We all know the environment’s incredibly polluted due to modern industry and a consumer society. It’s easy to feel helpless when faced with a colossal problem like a changing climate and overwhelming strain on resources due to a consumption-addiction society. Billions of people are contributing to the decline of a habitable planet, and it’s easy to feel like your actions as an individual don’t matter one way or another. While it’s true that much of the change needs to happen within corporations and governments, your personal actions are important too!
To tackle this problem affecting every single person across the globe, everyone needs to take steps to reduce their impact. You can do your part by making your lifestyle as eco-friendly as possible and by demanding action from your local and national politicians. Here are six actions you can take to help the environment in your daily life.
Install Energy-Saving Lightbulbs
Reducing your energy consumption is one of the easiest ways to do your part in the mitigation of make climate changes. Something as simple as changing out your lightbulbs can not only cut down on your energy usage but can also reduce your energy costs.
Switching from traditional incandescent lightbulbs to LED or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can save around $45 per year. These bulbs also last much longer than traditional lightbulbs, reducing replacement costs. Some regions even offer energy-efficient bulbs at a discount to encourage people to make the switch.
Support Eco-Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Individuals aren’t the only ones making an impact on the environment. Corporations are among the biggest culprits when it comes to climate change. For this reason, it’s important to support businesses that are committed to fighting climate change.
Your dollars matter. Use them to support small businesses and entrepreneurs who incorporate sustainability into their values whenever possible. Buying sustainable products drives up demand for them and forces companies of all sizes to consider their impact on the planet.
Learn (and Share!) the Statistics Around Climate Change
You already know that climate change is a major problem. But do you have the data to back it up? Knowing the magnitude of the problem is important for educating others and spreading awareness.
Finding statistics isn’t difficult, but it’s extremely important to choose your sources carefully. Some sources will skew their statistics or make misleading claims, and it’s important to find a neutral source that is collecting data for the good of society, not just for their own profit.
Learn some of the most important statistics so you can confidently share them with others. Remember to be respectful when discussing the issue—people are more receptive when you can understand where they’re coming from.
Ensure Your Furnace is Clean & Not Over-Consuming Energy
We use a lot of energy to heat and cool our homes in different seasons during the year. If you have a centralized system, then you probably use a furnace for heating and an air conditioner for cooling. These systems use filters to ensure that dust and debris are not blown into the home, and the filters can get dirty quickly.
It’s important to replace the filters on your furnace or air conditioner as necessary to keep your energy consumption down. By keeping your furnace equipped with a clean filter, you’ll save around 7.5% on your heat bills and reduce energy use by up to 15%!
Consider Carpooling or Riding Your Bike
If you want to help improve the environment, then it might be time to leave your car at home! It’s a huge waste of energy to commute in your car solo. If it’s safe to do so, it’s much more eco-friendly to bike or to carpool to work.
Depending on how far you are from work, this may or may not be an option for you. But it’s a good idea to check into options in your area or to ask a coworker who lives nearby to carpool with you. If you live near public transit, that can be a good option as well.
Be Strategic with How You Use Your Energy
We waste a lot of energy for no good reason. We keep electronics and appliances plugged in at all times, use hot water when cold would suffice, and install energy-wasting systems in our homes.
Try to be strategic with how you use your energy. Think about everything you do throughout the day and consider how you could save energy while enjoying the same lifestyle. Maybe that means switching to power strips that can be shut off when you’re not using your devices. Maybe that means installing a heat pump instead of a furnace.
There are lots of ways to improve the environment on any budget. If we all took the time to really look at how we use resources, we could cut down on emissions and create a better world.