Simple ways everyone can move toward a greener, more prosperous future today

Human activities are causing climate change and polluting the environment to such a degree that the future looks bleak indeed. However, it’s vital to remember that humans can turn it around if they work together and plan for a better future. Rather than feeling pessimistic and helpless, there are simple things that each person can do that can help. Collectively, those small actions make a significant impact as our society realizes the importance and necessity of going green.


Let’s not sell ourselves short: Humans are intelligent and adaptable and can live in harmony with nature if they care enough to do so. The fact that you’re reading this means you do.


Remember the Lorax:

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

So what are some simple ways that will help the environment and also make us all feel a little better in the process? If you’re reading this, chances are you can check many of them off the list. In that case, maybe it’s time to share what you’re doing with a friend, coworkers, or even boss.


Recycling: It’s not just for plastics


Most people with interest in going green are actively recycling unless they happen to live in communities that don’t have a program yet. If you fall into the latter category, you can express your interest in recycling with those around you, from your local government officials to your boss at work. Merely hearing that there is interest form enough folks can inspire people to start taking action.


For those living in areas with a recycling program, you are no doubt doing an excellent job of collecting and cleaning items like plastic or glass bottles and containers. Since every American, on average, uses 270 pounds of plastic waste a year, this recycling those items has an enormous impact. As a nation, the U.S. can make more than 260 million tons of waste a year. More than 140 million tons of that waste ended up in landfills.


Waste processing centers can turn that waste into energy sources like fuel, gas, and electricity. In the near future, this will revolutionize society.


In addition to recycling the usual items like paper, plastic, and glass, we can recycle things like used motor oil, used batteries, used tires, and even appliances, electronics, light bulbs, and furniture. The best part is it can be as simple as making a purchase at a store that offers a recycling service or even simpler: making a phone call.


For appliances, you can try calling local small appliance repair shops. If they aren’t interested in obtaining the items for parts themselves, then they will likely know who will. Your utility provider may offer to recycle appliances, and could even offer you credit on your account for taking part.


For information on how to recycle items like batteries, check out Earth911. The website uses one of North America’s most extensive recycling databases to show you exactly where to take more than 350 products and materials.


Another helpful website is Did you know you may be able to drop off batteries and old cellphones at your local hardware store in some places? Who knew it was that easy?


Simple ways to conserve water


Americans use about 300 gallons each day for an average family. That’s twice the volume of water as the next highest country. But consider you can save 80 gallons of water each week, just by turning off the water while you brush your teeth! Pretty remarkable, right? And it couldn’t be simpler.


Another relatively simple way to conserve water is simply to repair leaky plumbing like toilets, faucets, and sinks. Making repairs to those items can seem daunting, but may be much simpler than you think, and will prevent big expensive home repairs in the future.


With so many great videos available for free on YouTube, you may be able to learn how to make simple repairs yourself.


When buying appliances, you can use your buying power to encourage energy efficiency. For more tips on reducing energy use, see this excellent article from The Earth Project.


Another simple way to conserve water as well as reduce waste is to drink tap water rather than buying bottled water. Now in some areas, this is perfectly acceptable, while in others, you will need to invest in a water filter.


Of course, the common sense way to help conserve water is to merely take shorter showers. Sure, many people love a long hot shower or bath but cutting back can mean saving hundreds of gallons of water a week. Collectively, that really adds up.


Reduce chemical use


Consumers have much more power than they give themselves credit for. We can all influence what corporations do by choosing to buy products that are better for the environment. If you have the option, choose biodegradable, natural products. By doing so, it keeps some of the harsh and toxic chemicals from entering water supplies.


You can also try making your own natural cleaning supplies.


See some great tips below:


Other simple ideas for going green:

  • Ride in a carpool to work
  • Ride your bike if possible
  • Take public transportation
  • Buy a hybrid or electric car
  • Slow down to save on gas
  • Compost your table scraps
  • Grow your own food
  • Buy from your local farmers market
  • Landscape with drought-resistant native plants
  • Choose plants that help native wildlife


These are some of the easiest ways to go green that are all relatively painless. In a world where the future looks uncertain, taking some of these actions can work wonders to start feeling more positive. Then, by sharing that positive outlook with our friends and neighbors, we can have a much more significant impact across communities.


The sooner we realize how we are all interconnected; the sooner society will evolve to live harmoniously with the natural world. Then we can rest assured that we’ve done our part to ensure prosperity for ourselves and future generations.


Featured image via Pixabay



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Matthew Silvan

Progressive liberal from the American south. Working to educate and inform on issues like preserving the environment, equality for minorities and women, and improving the quality of life for mankind and our ecosystem. Following the facts in the face of a movement to follow only the money.

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