4 Easy Ways to Help Save Mother Earth

Climate change is real. Trash continues to pile up and yet many of us continue to throw water bottles into the trash and waste electricity as if it has no effect on our planet. It isn't hard to make a change, but many people don't know what they should be doing. Here are five very easy steps to take in order to help reduce waste, recycle and reuse at home or at work.

  1. 1. Recycle

    First, let's address what can be recycled. Glass, aluminum, paper, cardboard and most plastics can be recycled. For a more detailed list, you can visit deq.virginia.gov, which is the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. An easy way to start recycling is to have two garbage bins, one for trash and one for mixed recycling. Make sure they are labeled so that your efforts will be effective. Many public places already have recycling bins, but if you notice that your job does not, encourage them to get some. If you live in a dorm where it might be harder to recycle, make an agreement with your roommate or hallmates to take turns taking out the recycling so it is less of a hassle. 

  2. 2. Reduce The Amount of Trash You Create

    This may sound like a daunting task, but I promise it isn't! Reducing the amount of trash that you, your family or your roommates create can be super easy! For example, use a refillable water bottle. It is super simple and most people already do it. Next, bring your own bags to the grocery store. This is another popular way of reducing. Some less popular ways are to say no to plastic straws at restaurants. If you need a straw, you can buy reusable ones that come in a variety of materials and rubbers. Lastly, use fewer paper plates and paper towels and use less plastic cups and plastic silverware. I am guilty of using too many paper plates myself because washing dishes sucks. But, it saves a lot of paper and reduces the amount of trash that we put into the landfill.

  3. 3. Repurpose Old Clothes 

    Most people don't think about it, but clothing gets thrown out every day and it takes up a huge amount of room in landfills. There are lots of different ways to repurpose your old clothes. Madewell accepts your old jeans and uses them to create insulation for homes. Plus, you get a coupon! Also, many churches and non-profits host clothing drives for people in the community, especially this time of year when it is getting colder. Or, you could get creative and find ways to upcycle your old, worn-out clothes into new pieces for your wardrobe! Lastly, there are lots of instructions out there for turning your old clothes into pet beds. You can make them for your pets or donate them to the local shelter. All in all, there are plenty of better options than throwing away your old clothes. 

  4. 4. Use Less Water and Electricity

    This is a pretty easy one that many people just don't feel like doing. I can relate to that, but it's easy once you get into the habit. Take shorter showers, or just use less hot water! Don't leave the faucet running in order for it to get hotter or colder. A good way to avoid wasting water while still letting the temperature adjust is to catch the water in a pitcher and use it for drinking water. I run my water through a Brita pitcher because I don't like the taste of city water. With electricity, make sure you turn off the lights, TV, heater, lamp or any other electricity-eaters when you leave a room and they are no longer in use. If you are leaving for a weekend or more, take the time to unplug the toaster, blender, lamps and nightlights from the sockets. 

Whichever way you choose to help the environment, put your best efforts into it! We all must work together to create a change. It will be inconvenient, hard and frustrating, but it is all worth it to help save Mother Earth!