The end of April is approaching which means that Earth day is getting closer and closer. Our planet has been around for billions of years. It is just fine without us, but with us, not as much. Unfortunately, we don’t treat our planet with the care and love it needs. However, it’s never too late to change. In this article, we’ll talk about some things you can do to save our planet!
#1. REDUCE - It is no secret that we are filling our planet with waste. Some places have run out of land to store their garbage, resulting in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like - a giant patch of garbage floating in the ocean. Many Americans often don’t think about where their waste is going or how much they produce. That waste ends up in the landfills, on the streets, or, unfortunately, in the ocean.
The first step to creating less waste is to reduce the number of items you use in a day. The easiest way to reduce is to purchase wisely. Pay attention to the packaging of a product. Is there an unnecessary amount of packaging? Can the packaging be recycled? Does your local recycling center accept that type of item? Being able to answer “yes” to these questions before buying a product can do a great deal for the planet, provided that you follow through and recycle.
Another option to reduce waste is to limit the use of paper. Are you out on a shopping spree? Instead of getting a print receipt, why not get an e-receipt? E-receipts not only make it easier to track your spendings, but it saves plenty of paper. Tired of those annoying newsletters in the mail from a store you don’t even shop at? Cancel them. If you are subscribed to a certain magazine, why not get a digital copy? It’s environmentally friendly and is cheaper than a hard copy. Overall, just be aware of the items you use in your everyday life and think of realistic ways you can reduce waste.
#2. REUSE - Every year America produces approximately 38 metric tons of plastic waste. Plastics can take anywhere from 20 to 500 years to decompose. That is a huge range of time, and a lot of that plastic can be harmful to wildlife and marine life. An amazing alternative to plastic is investing in reusable items.
Rather than purchasing plastic water bottles, why not invest in a water filter and a reusable water bottle. This will reduce the amount of plastic waste dramatically if you consistently purchase plastic water bottles. The water bottle filling station next to Anchor News has saved the use of over 28,000 water bottles by refilling reusable water bottles.
Next, I don’t know about you, but when I’m going on a walk through my local park, 99.9% of the time a plastic bag will fly my way. I get that some of us may feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, but wouldn’t you rather want to feel like a reusable eco-friendly bag? You can purchase reusable bags at Walmart for only $0.98.
Another great way to reuse items is to purchase clothes at thrift stores rather than consuming in fast fashion. Fast fashion is a term used for businesses that make trendy clothing at extremely low prices, however, the factories producing the clothing produce an extreme amount of waste that ends up in the atmosphere and our oceans.
#3. RECYCLE - Recycling is perhaps the best option to reduce waste. The United States throws away $11.4 billion worth of recyclables each year. Recyclables consist of the usual paper, plastic, and glass. However, many people don’t know that you can recycle your food waste.
In the United States, food is the largest source of waste in our landfills. That’s right; more food ends up in landfills than paper or plastic. However, there is a way to recycle food waste. COMPOST IT! About 25% of items in your waste bin can be removed and composted into your backyard. You can compost basically anything. Composting has many benefits such as enriching soil, retains moisture, reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, and many more. Before you throw your trash out think if there is anything that can be recycled or composted.
To sum everything up, you don’t have to drastically change your life to save the planet. Just be aware of the amount of waste you produce and make small changes in your life to reduce the amount of waste. I hope you learned something new and try out some of these tips. Have a very happy Earth day and be kind to our planet!