33 Best Ways to Save the Environment

Ways to Save the Environment: Taking steps to conserve and reuse is one of the best things you can do.

To help save the environment, and it is easier than you might think.

Start small and do your part just by changing your daily habits.

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1. To help save the environment.

Try decreasing energy and water consumption.

Changing your eating and transportation habits to conserve natural resources.

And reducing, reusing, and recycling to be more environmentally friendly.

Once you’ve made your own lifestyle more environmentally conscious.

You can also engage in activism to help educate others on doing the same.

2.Turn off electric items when they are not in use to save energy.

A good rule of thumb is that if you aren’t using it, turn it off.

This goes for lights, televisions, computers, printers, video game consoles and so on.

  • Use a power strip to control multiple items with the flip of a single switch.
  • You can plug all of your devices into one power source. This is especially useful for computers and entertainment system setups. When you’re done, simply turn the power strip off with the switch.
  • If you find that you have a hard time remembering to turn your devices and appliances off, try picking up an outlet timer at your local hardware store or online for as little as $5.00. Set the timer to turn off at the same time each day.

Ways to Save the Environment

3. Unplug devices whenever possible to limit the flow of electricity.

 Leaving devices such as laptops, desktop computers, mixer-grinders, ovens.
TVs etc., plugged in can use “phantom” energy.
Many devices and appliances simply stay on standby or enter sleep mode when they are turned off.

These items still draw electricity when they are in this state.

  • This is especially important if you go on vacation.
  • And for items that you do not anticipate using within the next 36 hours.

4. Adjust the temperature settings in your house.

Set your systems to a slightly lower or higher temperature than it is outside, when you can.

This makes it so your systems don’t have to work as hard.

Plus, the warmer the heat, the more money it costs; and the same goes for your air conditioner—the colder the air, the more money you spend.

  • When the winter is too cold to set your thermostat just above the outside temperature, set it at the lowest temperature that is comfortable for your family.
  • During hot summer weather, set your thermostat at the highest temperature that is comfortable for your family. For example, you might set it at 78 °F (26 °C). Although you might not feel cool, it’s far better than 90 °F (32 °C)!
  • Use a fan or natural ventilation as often as you can to keep cool when it is hot outside.
  • Wear extra layers and use a blanket to stay warm when it is cold outside.

5. Switch to LED light bulbs in as many lights as you can.

LED light bulbs do cost more than conventional light bulbs, but the benefits outweigh the cost.

They use 25-85% less energy, last 3-25% longer, and are much better/safer for the environment.

  • When replacing your bulbs, start with the lights that you use the most.

Ways to Save the Environment

6. Trade in your electric dryer for a good old-fashioned clothesline.

Tumble dryers are among the biggest energy-users in most households.

After the refrigerator and air conditioner.

Air drying your clothes is environmentally friendly and still leaves your clothes smelling fresh.

  • If you do use a dryer, make sure to clean the vent often for efficiency as well as safety.

7. Measure the energy your devices use, with the help of a kilowatt meter.

A kilowatt meter can be purchased at a home improvement store and costs around $20.00.

Simply plug an item into the meter to get a reading.

The tool will tell you how much electrical energy your device or appliance is using.

As well as if it uses phantom energy or not.

  • Use the readings to better gauge which items you should be using less often, making sure to turn off, and unplugging when not in use.

Ways to Save the Environment

8. Make conscious choices to lower your consumption of water.

Conserving water not only helps save our resources for future generations.

It can save you money on your water bill as well. Little things you can do to save water include:

  • Taking 5-minute showers or only filling the bathtub one-quarter to one-third of the way full.
  • Turning off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth.
  • Using urinals in public restrooms when they are available (for men and boys).

9. Wash only full loads of laundry in the washing machine to reduce waste.

Putting just a couple of dirty clothes into the washing machine uses extra electricity and wastes water.

To save on electricity and reduce waste.

Wait until you have a full load of dirty clothes before running your machine.

  • If you only have a small load of clothes, wash them by hand instead.
  • Alternatively, consider investing in a high-efficiency washing machine.

Ways to Save the Environment

10. Run your dishwasher only when it is completely full.

Dishwashers not only use a lot of water, they use extra energy to heat the water up.

Expect to save an average of $40.00 on your bills and prevent over 100 pounds (45 kg) of carbon pollution each year by only washing full loads.

  • If you only have a few dishes to wash and are washing by hand.
  • Use a plug to fill the sink about one-quarter of the way full.
  • Don’t allow the tap to continuously run while you wash and rinse.

11. Install low-flow plumbing fixtures to help save water with every use.

Consider putting low-flow faucets or faucet aerators in your kitchen and bathroom sinks.

And low-flow shower heads and toilets in every bathroom in your home.

A low-flow showerhead can cost as little as $10.00, but can reduce your water consumption by 30-50%.

  • For an affordable option, use a bubble-style solar cover; for a longer-lasting cover, try vinyl.

12.Be a mindful consumer to reduce your extra waste.

Before making a purchase, ask yourself how your purchase will impact other people and the natural environment.

This can be as simple as buying an entire jar of peanut butter.

Rather than individual servings; or as complicated as deciding the most environmentally-friendly car to buy.

But don’t stress—start small.

  • In general, avoid purchasing products with excess packaging. Oftentimes, food companies expend just as much energy creating the packaging for food products as is expended in producing the actual food.
  • Don’t buy what you don’t need.
  • Buy for durability. For items you do buy, look for things which will last a lifetime.
  • Search “buy it for life” to find forums and recommendations for durable products.
  • Borrow or rent items you need only for brief or occasional use.
  • Buy secondhand clothes and household items from thrift stores, consignment shops, and private sellers when you can.

Ways to Save the Environment

13. Use reusable items whenever possible to limit the trash in landfills.

While disposable items are super convenient, anything made to only use one time and throw away should be avoided.

Not only do they create more environmental waste, they end up costing you more money in the long run.

  • Opt to use your own reusable shopping bags instead of the plastic bags provided by the store.
  • It may mean more clean up, but try using your regular cups, plates, and utensils at your next birthday party or event.
  • Most tap water in developed countries is safe to drink, which means that buying bottled water is unnecessary. Buy a glass or metal bottle and fill it with water.
  • Next time you need batteries, get rechargeable ones instead of disposable. Most batteries can now be thrown out with the regular trash—thanks to a reduction in chemical use—however, they still take up space in landfills. 
  • If you’re menstruating, consider using a reusable menstrual cup, such as the Diva Cup, rather than pads and tampons. These cups are easy to insert inside your vagina, just like a tampon, where they collect your menstrual fluids for hours at a time.

14. Donate your old household items so someone else can reuse them.

Don’t just throw your old stuff in the trash.

Consider selling it or giving it away to someone who can use it.

Donate clothes and household items that are in good condition to a charity or non-profit organization like a school or a church.

  • Craigslist.org is a useful resource for buying, selling, and giving away used items locally.

15. Turn useless junk into something fun and cute, or fresh and funky.

Upcycling is fun and good for the earth. Instead of throwing things away.

Give them another purpose by making jewelry, household accessories, or restyled clothing.

  • For instance, you can turn an old T-shirt into a grocery bag, or use cinder blocks to make outdoor planters or bookshelves.

Ways to Save the Environment

16.Use paper products made of 80-100% recycled paper.

If the product states that it has a high post-consumer content, that’s even better.

Even when you are using recycled materials, be reasonable.

Use only as much toilet paper, napkins, and paper towels as you need to get the job done.

  • The very best option would be to use a washable cloth or sponge for most of your cleanup.

17. Recycle to lower the amount of environmental waste you produce.

Aim to recycle clothes, glass, metal, plastic, and paper as you can.

If your area offers curbside recycling, use it.

If your area doesn’t offer curbside service, or if you have items not accepted for the regular service.

Take a special trip to a recycling center that is convenient for you.

  • Check the rules and regulations in your area to ensure you are recycling properly.
  • For instance, some areas may not accept glass and some places may require you to separate your materials.
  • If you are required to separate your materials beforehand, get your children involved if you have them. Children often enjoy separating items and this teaches them to be environmentally conscious as well.

Ways to Save the Environment

18. Dispose of hazardous waste properly.

Many materials including fluorescent light bulbs, cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, automotive fluids, paint, and e-waste (most anything with batteries or a plug) require special disposal.

These items should never be thrown away in a landfill, sanitary sewer, or storm drain.

19. Do not use helium to inflate party balloons.

Fill balloons with regular air and then hang them appropriately.

Teach children (ages 8 and up) to blow up their own balloons.

As they usually will find this to be more fun than using helium.

Always pop balloons before throwing them away.

Contact your local waste management office for proper disposal options.

Ways to Save the Environment

20. Try eating less meat and dairy to help the environment.

Domestic meat and dairy production requires a lot of natural resources.

Eating less meat and dairy, and more plants, is one way you may be able to help the environment, and stay healthy yourself.

  • If you are advised to maintain animal protein in your diet, look for more sustainable practices such as localized farms, or learn to hunt responsibly.
  • Meatless Monday is a national non-profit public health campaign that encourages people to give up meat one day a week. Visit their website at http://www.meatlessmonday.com/favorite-recipes/ for some meatless recipes.

21. Brew coffee in a regular coffee pot or French press to reduce waste.

Try to avoid drinking coffee from individual-serving coffee pods.

The mini pods of ground coffee for single-serve coffee makers create a lot of extra waste.

Because they are designed to only be used one time and then thrown out.

Although some brands may be recycled after they are cleaned).

  • Use a mug or other reusable cup for your coffee instead of a disposable cup.
  • If you love the convenience of single-serve coffee and have already invested in a single-serve machine, look for a washable, reusable coffee pod that will fit your appliance.

22. Buy your food locally to reduce pollution caused by transporting food.

Transporting food from far-off locations takes a toll on the environment.

Food must be shipped in trucks, by rail, flight, or by ship—all of which produce pollutants.

Buying food that is sourced locally will help eliminate.

Or reduce the environmental impact caused by transportation.

It also goes without saying that local products are more fresh.

Hence, they are higher in nutrient value. 

  • Visit farmers’ markets to find local vegetables and fruits or use a CSA (community-supported agriculture) service to get fresh produce on a regular basis.

23.Don’t waste food.

Plan your meals so that you don’t cook more than you will eat.

Store your leftovers and use them up at one of your meals over the next few days.

If you do have an overrun of food, such as after a party, share it with friends or neighbors.

Ways to Save the Environment

24. Walk or ride a bicycle when your destination is close to home.

Surprisingly, short trips are generally the harder on your car and on the environment than long trips.

Next time you only have a short distance to go, swap out your car for your feet or bike.

  • Ensure that children learn to ride a bicycle at a young age, as the benefits of bike riding far outweigh any risks. Encourage schools to install bicycle racks so that more children can ride bicycles to school.
  • Always wear a helmet and safety reflective gear when riding a bicycle.

25.Organize a carpool to commute for work or school to save gas.

Coordinate with another person or 2 that you work or go to school with to set up a carpool.

This can help the environment by saving on gas as well as maintenance on vehicles.

Work with other parents in your neighborhood to form a carpool to take the kids to school or extra-curricular activities.

  • Carpooling will also enable you to take the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on a highway, which will usually save time and money on gasoline.
  • If you live near your children’s school, consider organizing a “walking school bus” instead of driving.
  • Children walk or bicycle to school together in groups, supervised and guided by parents.
  • Neighborhood parents can take turns leading the group.

26. Take public transport for an affordable, low-impact option.

If you live in an area that has a bus, light rail, or subway system.

Consider taking this option to get to work, school or wherever you may need to go.

Replacing car trips with public transport trips reduces congestion on roads.

And reduces the overall amount of gasoline that is used.

  • Many bus systems in major cities operate diesel-electric hybrid buses.
  • Which further reduces harmful emissions.

Ways to Save the Environment

27. Plan out your errands and combine trips to reduce pollution.

Make errand trips more efficient by planning out where you will go and hitting all of your stops in one trip.

This will make your trip a little longer.

But you will have fewer of them and won’t be driving the same path multiple times.

  • Don’t forget to call ahead or check online to make sure you’ll arrive during business hours and that what you want is available.
  • When you can, simplify your purchases by checking their availability online or by phone before you make a trip. For example, you might use a grocery app to select the foods you need so you know they’ll be available when you get to the store. Not only will this save you time on grocery shopping, it’ll also save you a trip to a different store!

28.Drive an electric car if you have been looking for a new vehicle.

Or consider a hybrid car, which runs on both gasoline and electric motors.

These types of vehicles not only give off less emissions into the air.

But they also can save you money with fewer trips to the gas station.

  • You may also be able to get a tax credit on your state during the tax year that you bought a hybrid car.

29. Take fewer airplane flights.

Whether for work or vacation, lower the number of flights you take each year.

Airplanes emit vast quantities of carbon dioxide and other polluting materials.

Which increases annually due to increased numbers of flights around the world. 

Do your part by taking fewer flights.

  • If you can, opt to stay longer in a location rather than traveling back and forth.
  • Trains or buses are good alternatives to short flights.

30. Contact your government officials to ask for their support.

Call or email your congressional representatives and local officials.

Ask them to support environmental conservation and renewable energy.

And to create and support policies that hold companies accountable.

31. Donate to an environmental cause if you have extra money to give.

There are hundreds of organizations that are dedicated to working on environmental issues.

Find one whose mission and vision you support and donate money to help them achieve their goals.

  • Some donations to nonprofit organizations are tax-deductible.
  • Ask for a receipt so you can be prepared to deduct the donation on your taxes if it’s allowable.

Ways to Save the Environment

32. Join an environmental organization if you want to be involved.

Choose an organization that works to save and protect the environment.

Check out Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, or the Environmental Defense Fund for starters.

You can join an organization with a general focus on the environment, or one that supports a specific area.

  • If your interest is mainly in water conservation, check out WATERisLIFE or Charity:Water.
  • If air quality is a top concern for you, look into joining Clean Air Task Force or Earthjustice.

Ways to Save the Environment

33. Volunteer your time to help promote a better environment.

You can help by picking up litter, fixing bikes, planting trees and gardens.

Cleaning up rivers, and educating others.

Find an activity that suits your interests and set aside some time to go and help out.

  • Volunteer with a group of friends, a class, church group, etc.
  • If coordinating a volunteer effort isn’t your thing, do it on your own!

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