Guide on How You Can Do Your Part to Help Preserve the Environment
Earth Week Special Report How To Preserve The Environment Part 1 Reduce Reuse Recycle
Part 1: Introduction, The Basics, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Let us begin with a happy Earth Week, Earth Month, and Earth Day! This week we are celebrating Earth Week, and tomorrow is Earth Day 40th anniversary so we are beginning a 5 part Earth Week Special Report How To Preserve The Environment. Today’s feature is about reduce re-use and recycle, although not in that particular order. We hope you gain some insight as to how to protect your environment and can pass some of that along to your neighbors, friends and family to help spread the message this Earth Week, and especially on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
For those who are concerned about protecting the environment, it can be frustrating trying to encourage legislation or other governmental action in this day and age. Environmentalists are often left asking, What can I do? Motivating others can be both challenging and rewarding, but even this starts out on an individual basis. This is good news for all you natural born leaders! If you desire to protect the environment, you can rest assured that your efforts will not be fruitless, nor are you helpless. You can do something alone, and it does make a difference. If you have ever wondered what you, personally, can do to help protect your environment, here are some useful thoughts, ideas, and inspirations for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day 2010.
Earth Week Special Report How To Preserve The Environment Part 1 Reduce Reuse Recycle
Whether you are a well weathered environmentalist or just a beginner, it is always a good idea to review the basics. There are certain fundamental things that just about anyone can do to help his or her environment. Here are three fundamental and universal concepts for environmental protection which you may have already seen or heard somewhere, reduce re-use recycle.
This is often where many people start their eco-friendly ventures. Most communities now employ some sort of recycling program, whether they already pick it up at your house or not, I’m sure they have one for you locally. Recycling is important, but you may not know the various forms that recycling can take. Also, it’s always a good idea to improve and streamline your recycling efforts. Here are some examples of the different forms that modern recycling can take, and how to recycle in an innovative and effective way.
A. Organize your home recycling in bins. Make sure they are clearly marked and sorted according to your recycling center requirements. If you do not want (or can’t) use a lot of floor space, consider stacked bins or wall-mounted ones. Using a drill and bolts, you can bolt just about any lightweight bin to the wall, just make sure it can be easily removed when it’s time to take your recycling to the facility. The best way to make bolted bins removable is to make sure the holes in the bin are bigger than the bolts themselves, so that the bins hang on the bolts.
B. Get to know the nuances of your local recycling facility. It’s wasteful in and of itself to be disorganized and have to make multiple trips, or to dump disorganized items into incorrect bins, taking time and energy from the facility’s workers. By organizing your recycled items you will be more efficient in your home and in your trips to the recycling center, and help them be more efficient as well.
C. Think before you toss! Before putting something in the recycling bin, think for a moment about how you might be able to use it. Think about what you need, and see if what you are recycling could be used to fill that need. For example, if you have need of an iced tea or juice pitcher, and you have a glass jug or bottle that is ready for the recycling bin, wash out the jug and use it to hold the tea or juice.
D. If you have children or are just creative, think of craft projects for recycled items. Cardboard tubes, plastic and cardboard milk jugs, 2-litre plastic bottles and other handy items can all be used to make interesting recycled items and craft projects. You can get quiet sophisticated with these sorts of projects, making chandelier lamps out of plastic bottles, vases out of incandescent light bulbs, and drinking glasses out of glass bottles. You will save money and keep those items out of the trash (you’ll even keep them out of the recycling bin!), which is a fulfilling step toward preserving your environment.
There’s nothing terribly complicated here, what we mean is wasting less means using less. However, while this isn’t complicated, it can take some personal re-wiring. We often use more than we need to without thinking about it, just a bad habit so to speak. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself with regard to reducing your consumption.
A. How long do you spend in your showers? Consider setting a timer to reduce your water usage. We all know how comfortable a nice cool or warm shower may be, but to protect your environment, just stay on task, take care of your business and be done with it. I usually can be in and out in 5 minutes tops, and try to keep the water not to warm, but comfortable, both to save hot water and to not steam up the shower or burn myself.
B. How many batteries do you use? If you find yourself changing your batteries often, consider investing in rechargeables to reduce waste. Disposable batteries can really take up space in landfills, and they contain environmentally harmful substances. Also, to be really effective in protecting your environment you can purchase a solar battery charger, which is not expensive, and you can also reduce your electricity use by utilizing these nifty devices. You can find some at the Alternate Energy Store if you would like to purchase or get more details on these.
C. How many lights do you have on? Take a look around. Are there rooms with the lights on but no one is in them? Are there lights on in your home or office that are unnecessary in the daylight? Try to use natural light as much as possible, and turn off the lights when you leave the room. Also check your refrigerator for the temperature setting. We don’t need those to be 32 degrees, but it SHOULD NOT EXCEED 40 degrees at any time. The freezer can be another place of waste, as we have a tendency to crank those up. If you have a thermometer, you can check these and make sure they aren’t being abused as well.
D. What kind of lighting do you use? You probably already know this, but compact fluorescent bulbs use less energy than incandescent ones, and last longer for that matter. If you have an old CRT monitor, that is another energy hog, you should seriously consider upgrading to an LCD now.
E. How often do you do the laundry? You may find that you are using your clothes dryer more than once a day. Consider hanging clothes up to dry, outdoors in nice weather, and indoors in the winter. (You’ll also raise your household humidity this way, a real benefit during the dry winter months.) They have some nice indoor clothes dryers available for a very reasonable price.
F. How much bottled water do you buy? If you are buying bottled water often (and especially if you are buying bottles in cases on a regular basis), switch to reusable water bottles made from eco-friendly plastic or stainless steel (BPA Free ideally). This will reduce your use of plastic bottles, which can be recycled, but they also have to be manufactured first, which is not an environmentally-friendly process. Plastic bottle manufacturing uses petroleum products and produces emissions. Also, less than half of all water bottles ever get recycled, so the less that are made the better. Also, switch to a home water filtration system and make your own water, which will both save you money and recycling efforts. See more about that here. These all will help to preserve the environment.
3. Re-use and Refurbish
Here is the last of our basic conservation concepts. Closely tied to recycling, re-using and refurbishing extends to consumer purchases as well. Here are some examples of how you can re-use items.
A. Fix it. If you have an item that is on the blink, look into having it repaired or repair it yourself. Whether it’s a kitchen mixer or a pair of shoes with a detached sole, try to repair and re-use whenever possible rather than tossing items out and buying new ones. Online tutorials can be very helpful in this regard.
B. Buy used items. There area great many options to be had with regard to used household items, from clothing to furniture. Look in antique stores, thrift shops, flea markets, and other such stores to make your purchases. Even better, find out if a friend or co-worker is looking to get rid of something you need, such as a chair, table, kitchen appliance, etc. Goodwill and St. Vincent Depauls as well as the Salvation Army also have some wonderful used items which are suitable for anyone and they are not expensive, so you’ll save money as well!
C. Donate your used items. If you want to encourage others to re-use, contribute to the pool of re-usable items out there. Donate to charitable organizations, friends, co-workers, etc. and much of this is also tax deductible, so again, you can save money too!
D. Eliminate disposables. This includes cameras, flatware, paper plates, napkins, cups, and so forth. Wash and re-use what you can rather than continuously throwing away and buying new.
E. Think cloth, not paper. Replace paper facial tissues with handkerchiefs and paper napkins with cloth ones. Try to use old rags and towels as much as possible instead of using paper towels. Cover food in the microwave with a saucer or bowl rather than a paper towel. They have some microwave food covers available for less than $2.00 and work great!
We hope that our Earth Week Special Report How To Preserve The Environment Part 1 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle has helped in your bid to reduce your negative impact on the environment and you will refer or inform friends during this 40th anniversary of Earth Day and please remember to reduce reuse and recycle! Happy Earth Day!
Now that we have discussed some of the general basics, let’s talk about your close environment – your home, yard, neighborhood, and community. What are some things you can do in your immediate area to preserve your environment?
Stay tuned tomorrow for the next in our Earth Week Special Report How To Preserve The Environment Part 2: Home Environmental Efficiency, and we hope you will pass this along to friends, family, neighbors and anyone you may think will benefit from this report. Thanks again for visiting with us and have a great Earth Week!