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The topic of climate change has become hot news lately. The Earth is going through extreme changes and unfortunately our living things are suffering because of these changes. Although there are people who do not believe in climate change, there are others who do believe and are trying to do whatever they can to help. Fortunately, the changes to help Earth do not have to be as drastic as throwing their car away and walking everywhere. There do exist some smaller and more achievable methods which are still efficient in helping the Earth. This way, everybody can do their part in trying to help the Earth without having to go above and beyond.

1. Take Notes Electronically

Fortunately, the world has become increasingly technology dependent. Due to this advancement, students can now start taking their notes electronically. In taking notes electronically, students are drastically decreasing their need for paper. Even though it seems like such a simple and insignificant change, think about it this way: less paper used = less trees killed.

2. Adopt Reusable Bag Practices

Even though it is tradition in many homes in Miami to have a plastic bag full of plastic bags, steering away from this tradition can potentially help Earth. Instead of taking up paper or plastic on your next trip to Publix, try purchasing one of their reusable bags instead. This is a small purchase many people seem to overlook but can equate to reducing the unnecessary use of plastic.

3. Recycle

As redundant as this method seems, a lot of people still skip this one. Whenever able, please recycle! The more recycling our population does, the more we can decrease how much trash goes into landfills. It only takes a few seconds to walk to the recycling bin and it can cause a lifetime of good for our Earth.  

4. Power Down

In most households, appliances and electricity are used. Usually the appliances used in these households stay plugged in into outlets all day even though they are not used. This usually leads to the expenditure of unused technology and an increase of the electricity bill. To combat this, one can buy a surge protector to connect various appliances and then just flip the switch whenever they are not using the appliances or they are leaving the house. That way you are helping the Earth little by little and your electric bill!

5. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Switching your light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent (CFLs) or LED bulbs can make a mountain of a difference in the long run. Even though they tend to be a little more expensive, it is worth it because they end up lasting up to five times longer than regular light bulbs so you will get some bang for your buck.

6. Avoid Palm Oil Products

Palm oil has become an increasing factor to climate change. This is due to the method in which palm oil is harvested. To harvest palm oil for processed foods and other products, hundreds to thousands of acres of peatland forests must be burned down. These fires release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than regular forest fires and have drastically reduced certain species of animals. By avoiding palm oil products or buying products that have “ethically sourced” palm oil, you’re taking a stand against these companies that are causing harm to our Earth.

7. Decrease Meat Consumption

This is a method many people have turned to and have even gone as far as to go completely vegan or vegetarian. Omitting meat consumption for as little as one meal a week can make a huge change in the environment. If taking meat out of one’s diet seems like an impossible feat, try buying meat that has labels specifying free range, organic, hormone and antibiotic free.

8. Think About Your Water Usage

Reducing the usage of water can help save a lot more water than believed. Something as small as cutting down shower time or turning of the faucet when shaving or brushing one’s teeth can cause a huge change in saving water and helping the water bill. Reducing one’s shower by four minutes every day can save about 3,650 gallons per year!

9. Commit to Reusable Containers

Instead of drinking and throwing away large amounts of plastic bottles throughout the day, try using a reusable water bottle that can be bought at Walmart or Target. Think of the money you will save from refraining to buy multiple bottles of water. But also, think about the contribution being made to reducing the amount of plastic used in the world.

10. Reduce Your Paper Towel Consumption

Instead of constantly using paper towels in everyday life when cooking or cleaning, try using a regular towel in place of this. The use of a regular towel instead of a paper towel helps reduce the use of paper which ultimately helps the environment.

Angely is a Biology major on a Pre-Med track, she is hoping to be either a Neurologist or Oncologist in the future. She has a high interest in the Environmental Sciences and hopes to get her Master's degree and Ph.D in Environmental Sciences in order to do research on coral reefs. She is a volunteer at Nicklaus Children's Hospital and Co-Fundraising chair for Tri Beta.
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