Global warming and climate change are such monumental challenges, it seems impossible that there’s something any of us can do to make any kind of significant change. But when you consider that there are nearly 335 million people in the U.S., a lot of little actions can result in a major impact. Here are a few small steps you can take in your daily routine to make your home a little easier on the earth.
- Conserve Water – With places in the country experiencing unprecedented drought, conserving water has never been more important. From low-flow shower heads and taps to simple steps like turning off the water when you’re washing your hands and watering plants with half-full water glasses, small actions can save hundreds of gallons of water every year.
- Choose to Reuse – This might just be one of the easiest steps any of us can take, and it might also have the biggest positive impact on the environment. Challenge your family to see how many different ways you can eliminate single-use plastics. There are reusable solutions for nearly everything we need – water bottles, coffee cups, food storage containers, shopping bags, even diapers. Each time you choose reusable instead of disposable, you are making a huge difference!
- Minimize Paper Products – Paper might be a renewable resource, but it’s not always sustainably sourced, and as the population grows, it gets harder and harder for the forests around the world to keep up with the demand. By shifting from paper towels and napkins to dishrags and cloth napkins, you can significantly cut down on the amount of paper products your family uses. And when picnic and outdoor dining season hits, look for reusable dinnerware and drinkware for your parties and picnics instead of throwing away paper plates and cups.
- Start a Garden – Not only is there a great sense of reward in growing your own food, small gardens also significantly reduce the impact on the environment that comes from transporting fresh produce hundreds of miles to grocery stores around the country. If you live in an apartment, or a garden simply isn’t an option for you, try growing small pots of the herbs you frequently use for cooking. And don’t forget to shop at the local farmers’ markets whenever you can.
- Adjust Your Thermostat – This is another very simple step that every household can take to make a huge impact on the health of the environment. By lowering your thermostat a couple of degrees in the winter and throwing on an extra sweater or curling up with a blanket, you’ll not only save on your energy bill, but you’ll lower your carbon footprint as well. And when summer hits, move your thermostat a couple of degrees warmer so your air conditioner isn’t clicking on quite so much.
The more you can incorporate small steps into your daily routine to be a little more environmentally friendly, the more you’ll discover new ways to contribute to the global effort to preserve the most important resource we have: our planet!