In many cases, there is no way we can save the environment without giving up certain standards—even high ones. People tend to think that if we walk more, use smaller cars, recycle plastics/cans, compost certain forms of waste, reuse water, buy energy-efficient appliances…then such actions would cut down, and even interfere with the growth of an economy. People who think this way are greatly mistaken!
In fact, it is easier to save the environment much more than people think we possibly can, and without experiencing detrimental effects. We can conserve natural resources much better, and save the environment much more if we change certain daily habits like the ones related to eating and transportation—amongst others.
Generally—in addition to many other ways that can be used to save the environment, and which might not be listed in this article—we can save the environment much more through the following 18 ways:
1. By reducing our rate of/dependence on driving or using vehicles
Even though it’s quite true that we might not be able to walk always and everywhere, it has to be noted that the use of vehicles for everything, continues to produce emissions that compromise our air and health. One of the worst things that usually happens is when people leave vehicles on without using them for the purpose they were designed or manufactured for. It’s dangerous for people to continuously inhale polluted air. We can save the environment much more if people actually walk or take public transits much more than has been the norm.
2. By conserving water much more
Regardless of how much or less water is available in an environment, it can and should be conserved much more than has been the norm in many places. We can save the environment much more if we stop taps from running for too long without using them, especially when we brush and cook. We should try to make more use of spigots or regulators that control the flow of water, and shower-heads that conserve water and energy.
3. By reducing or conserving the amount of paper we use
About 40% of the world’s timber is used for producing paper. Paper production uses a lot of water and endangers natural habitats or environments where organisms or groups of organisms live. Since it has become normal to print and use paper, people don’t usually think about the effects of the excess paper that is being littered indiscriminately in the environment. We can save the environment much more if we lessen paper production and usage by reducing the amount of paper that is being wasted in many world activities.
4. By reusing refillable plastic water bottles/containers much more
Most people use refillable water bottles and containers once, or a few times and throw them away forever without seeing any value in using them again and again for the same purpose, and in a way that can save the environment. It is wasteful to throw away water bottles or containers that can be reused; in addition, waste endangers the environment and affects environmental health. We can save the environment from much more health hazards if we reuse refillable plastic bottles or containers, and plates/utensils, instead of disposable ones.
5. By being more mindful, and carefully scrutinizing what we throw away into trash cans or containers
Before you throw away “waste” collected from the kitchen or any other part of the house or environment, observe whether it contains any items that can be used or recycled. The obvious truth is that there are much more valuable wastes than we are usually aware of. There are lots of plastic bags and wastes that can be reused or repurposed, rather than thrown away.
Plastic bags that are thrown in the open environment can suffocate animals that mistaken them for food. Truth is that there are lots of so-called “useless trash or junk” that are still useful, and can be turned into something fresh and purposeful. We can save the environment much more if we don’t throw away wastes that we honestly believe can be reused in one form/way, or another.
6. By saving much more electricity
We should get adapted to turning off switches whenever we aren’t using light bulbs, laptops, desktops, TVs, and general electrical appliances. In addition, we should lower air conditioning or heating equipment when necessary: whenever we can, we should make our air conditioning or heating systems less hot or less cold, instead of allowing them run unnecessarily on certain temperatures.
We can save the environment much more if we stop the habit of leaving electrical devices plugged in without putting off switches. Leaving switches on can still allow such devices use what is known as “phantom” energy: electrical energy that is drawn in even though devices are in sleep mode after they have been turned off.
7. By preventing wastage of food
Many people draft a plan for the food they would eat in a day, week, or month, without ever taking time to quantify the approximate amount that would be enough for eating without leaving excess and throwing it away as waste into the on-looking and helpless environment.
By buying and using a necessary amount of food, people can save money and the environment, and reduce production of waste. We can save the environment much more if we cook only the quantity of food needed per meal/meal time, so that we won’t cook more than necessary. In addition, we can properly store leftovers and use them as one or more future meals. In other cases where there are unplanned leftovers, we can give them to beggars or people who are homeless.
It is believed that food production is one of the major causes of wildlife extinction. The food we eat contributes to approximately 25% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and is responsible for almost 60% loss of global biodiversity.
8. By living a bit of a vegetarian lifestyle—if we can’t live it completely
Nobody has to give up meat forever; however, it would bring the human body and general environments much benefit if people commit to living a meat-free lifestyle every few days, weeks, or more. It takes about 2,500 gallons of water—which is insufficient in so many societies—to produce only one pound of beef; imagine the quantity of water that would be required to produce the uncountable pounds of beef eaten on Earth every year. We can save the environment much more if we cut down the quantity of meat we produce and eat.
9. By properly disposing hazardous wastes
There are certain kinds of wastes or items that shouldn’t be thrown in open dumps, landfills, and sanitary sewers; examples include pharmaceutical products or by-products, pesticides, paint, fluorescent light bulbs, cleaning products, batteries, etc. It is advisable to dispose such items in a special or more technical way because if the common/popular methods are used to dispose them in the environment, they could deteriorate environmental air, land and water quality to an irreparable extent.
We can save the environment much more if we properly dispose hazardous waste much more than it has been usually disposed in many societies and environments, especially in developing or underdeveloped countries/societies.
10. By using our voices, websites, the internet, or any platform
One of the noblest things to do in life is to speak up for what is right, or speak up for the truth—for reality! Everyone would agree that it is right to speak up for the environment, and let people know how it should be saved or protected. We seem to be the first generation to know fully well that man-made activities are gradually destroying the environment; and we may be the last to do anything meaningful to save it.
We can save the environment much more if we use our voices, websites, platforms or brands to speak up for protection of the natural world which is the home of humans, animals, plants, and every other type of living and non-living thing. So speak up because people are out there and ready to listen, learn, and take action!
11. By downloading/installing softwares, instead of buying discs
Downloading many types of software—rather than buying them—reduces the amount of paper and materials used for packaging, and consequently reduces transportation/air pollution and waste of time and other forms of energy. In addition, it is often cheaper to download softwares than to buy discs that are used to install softwares. We can save the environment much more if we install more softwares by downloading them from the internet, rather than using them from paper-enveloped discs.
12. By using the internet to make more payments and receive more statements for household bills
Once there is good internet connection, making payments, and receiving statements online is quick and convenient, and can also make a huge difference on the depreciating state of the environment because it can cut down reliance and dependence on paper.
It was once reported that if every household in the U.S. received electronic statements for household bills, instead of offline paper statements, about 18.5 million trees could be saved; and the unnecessary production of 2.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases could be prevented. We can save the environment much more if we make more payments and receive more statements online, rather than buy discs offline; in addition, we can use e-mails to send more correspondences, rather than paper.
13. By using rechargeable batteries much more
Science has informed us about the extent of damage that corrosive acid (from discarded batteries) can create in/on soil, especially when it ends up in landfills. Apart from the fact that using rechargeable batteries can protect the environment much more, it can also save money on the long run. We can save the environment if we make use of rechargeable batteries much more than batteries that can’t be recharged more often!
14. By minimizing the amount of pesticides and fertilizers needed or required
Many farmers and food producers rely heavily on pesticides and fertilizers to kill pests, protect their growing crops, and help them grow as much as possible. On the other hand, the use of pesticides and fertilizers is often unregulated, unchecked, and thus causes more harm to the environment. We can save the environment much more if we use pesticides and fertilizers in a much more precise and regulated manner.
15. By reporting smoking vehicles to local air agencies
Air pollution is one of the most common and destructive forms of pollution, both to the environment and living things in general. Although it is true that smoking vehicles are the sources of income in countries with low standards of living, it is advisable to put smoking vehicles away because people’s health and lives are far much more important than vehicles that pollute the air and deteriorate environmental air quality. We can save the environment much more if we report vehicles that emit too much smoke than usual.
16. By painting with brushes and rollers, rather than using spray paints
Anybody who compares the mechanism behind spray paint, and painting with brushes or rollers, will come to a quick conclusion that spray paint emits higher quantities of chemicals into the environment than brushes and rollers do. We can save the environment much more if we minimize the rate and quantity of harmful chemicals emitted into the environment; in this regard, brushes and rollers should be used much more often than spray paint.
17. By regularly inspecting, servicing and emptying septic tanks
One of the most disturbing causes of land and water pollution is failed septic tanks/septic tank systems, especially in underdeveloped or developing nations. Septic tank systems run unchecked by both owners, and the government agencies in charge of environmental protection. We can save the environment much more if we regularly inspect, service and empty septic tanks at appropriate times.
18. By inspecting and regulating the amount and quality of noise circulating in the environment
Noise or sound pollution is the propagation of poor quality and harmful noise that has a negative impact on human and animal health. Most of the world’s noise is caused mainly by machines, transportation, and poor urban planning—especially side-by-side placement of industries together with residential buildings; this results in noise pollution and emotional imbalance within residential areas.
High noise levels can contribute to cardiovascular effects in humans, and increased incidences of coronary artery disease. In fact studies are showing that the rate and quality of noise has had negative effects on a range of animals in various habitats—generally, noise can directly impact the health of humans and animals. We can save the environment much more if we regulate noise-producing activities and put industries at an appreciable distance away from residential areas and various types of marine (water), land, and air environments.
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