Florida dept of agriculture: The environment is a fragile place, and unfortunately we as humans have done some irreparable damage to it over time. However, our love for the outdoors and desire to leave the world in a better state than we found it has inspired many people to take action and do their part to help protect our planet. While this can seem like a daunting task, there are plenty of ways that you can make an impact as an average Floridian. Here are 10 tips on how you can help the environment from someone who knows first hand. .
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you care about the environment. You’re not alone! Many people feel the same way, which is why so many are taking action by making small changes in their daily lives. The smallest changes can have the biggest impacts, especially when they’re universal. These tips will help you reduce your carbon footprint and protect our beautiful home – Earth!
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10 Tips for the Average Floridian to Help the Environment
The environment is an important part of our lives, but it can be challenging to make a difference as an individual. To help the environment, most people look to government or large organizations for action and assistance. But what can the average person do? Luckily, there are many small changes that have a big impact on having a cleaner and greener planet. Here are 10 simple tips to help the environment in your everyday life. Let’s face it, the world we live in is not perfect. Humans have made it a much less hospitable place with pollution, deforestation, and more than enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Because of this, there are many things you can do to help clean up and green up your local area as well as the earth at large. These tips might just be what you need to feel like you’re making a difference!
Go Meatless on Mondays
Going meatless one day a week is a fantastic way to reduce the impact of your diet on the environment. According to the Sustainable Food Trust, meat production is responsible for almost 15% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, 70% of which comes from livestock. This is because the process of raising animals for slaughter accounts for large quantities of carbon dioxide, methane, and Nitrous Oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than CO2. Adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. A vegetarian diet has almost twice as much potential to reduce your carbon footprint as a meat-based diet. A vegan diet can reduce your carbon footprint by almost three quarters.
Use Reusable Bags
If you buy groceries, you’ve probably been told at some point that you should use reusable bags. And maybe you’ve thought, “But those things are so ugly!” Well, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are millions of different kinds of reusable bags, including many that are stylish enough to be used as everyday totes. But why should you care if reusable bags are ugly? Well, if you’re worried about your weight, don’t be. If you’re worried about the environment, though, you should be! Every time you use a new plastic bag, it ends up in the ocean where it will be around for thousands of years or even more. And marine life can get tangled up in or eat these bags, causing them to die. If you use reusable bags, this doesn’t happen! And you can wash them if they get dirty so they stay clean.
Turn the A/C down and open the windows
Air conditioners cool indoor spaces by removing warm air and replacing it with cooler air. Central air conditioning systems use large amounts of electricity and make indoor spaces much less biodiverse than they would otherwise be. The air inside could be several degrees cooler than outside, but if you leave the windows open, you’ll bring in cooler, more biodiverse air. Plus, you’ll save on your electricity bill! If the outside air is cooler than the inside temperature, you can open the windows and let the cooler air in without sacrificing comfort.
Drive Only When Necessary
Vehicles that use traditional fuel, like gas-powered cars, emit carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. While every car, truck, and van creates CO2 emissions, some ways of getting around produce more of it than others. While it’s almost always better to walk, bike, or take public transportation than to drive, sometimes we need to hop in the car. When this happens, it’s a good idea to consider ways to reduce your car’s emissions. Driving a hybrid car can reduce emissions by about 40% compared to driving a standard car, while an electric car can reduce emissions to as little as zero (assuming the electricity in your region is mostly sourced from clean energy!).
Buy Clean Energy Stocks
As a Floridian, you’re lucky enough to have access to some of the cleanest electricity in the country. But what exactly do you know about your electricity provider? Did you know that you can invest in your electricity provider through a stock? This has several benefits: You can make money off of your investment through dividends, you have a say in how your electricity is generated, and you can help the environment by choosing a clean energy provider. For example, you can invest in Florida Power and Light’s clean energy fund, which is one of the cleanest electricity providers in the country. Doing so can greatly reduce the CO2 emissions from electricity generation, among other pollutants.
Ditch the Dryer and Hang Your Clothes Out Instead
Almost every household has some type of appliance that dries your clothes. But are these appliances really necessary? Think about how clothes were traditionally dried: on a clothesline. While this may seem like a primitive form of drying laundry, it actually has many benefits over an electric dryer. According to the EPA, clotheslines use about as much energy as is used to heat a family-sized swimming pool, which is about 600 kilowatt-hours per year. This is a considerable amount of energy, but it’s considerably less than the 2,500 kWh used by a standard dryer to get the same job done. Plus, drying your clothes outside cuts down on wear and tear on your dryer. You can also buy a natural drying rack for inside the house for smaller loads of laundry.
Go Organic with your Food Choices
If you like to buy organic food, you can make a huge difference in terms of reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Pollution from agriculture is a major source of water and air pollution, and it can also contribute to climate change by releasing nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon dioxide. Specifically, fertilizers and herbicides used in standard agricultural practices create nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. According to research published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering, organic food reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 99%, while conventionally farmed food can produce up to 50 times more greenhouse gases. Organic food can also reduce water pollution, thanks to reduced fertilizer use.
These tips may seem small, but together they can make a big difference. The best way to protect our planet is to start with yourself. You can help reduce pollution, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and help the environment by simply making some simple changes in your daily life.