The world’s population is rapidly increasing, but often, nature can’t keep up with the pace. In the last fifty years, environmental legislation has improved the Earth’s health; and, private organizations have played a significant role in creating a better world. However, individuals and families can make the planet greener by modifying their habits.
5 ways your family can live greener TODAY
Your family can live greener by:
- investing in renewable energy
- planting a garden
- reducing non-recyclable waste
- starting composting
- using newspapers for wrapping gifts
Investing in Renewable Energy
Although some power companies have added renewable energy sources to their power grids, most companies still rely on fossil fuels to produce energy. Unlike oil, coal and natural gas, renewable energy can’t be depleted. Nor does it have toxic emissions harming the environment. Coal is still a dominant source of energy for power companies, but even the newly marketed “clean coal” pollutes our air.
In comparison, solar energy is a zero-emission energy source using natural sunlight to produce power. Solar systems for your home are more affordable and efficient than ever before. Some state and local government programs provide incentives if you buy solar panels for your home. You’ll save money and make a difference in the environment by preserving fossil fuels.
Planting a Garden
A great way to decrease your trips to the grocery store or local market: plant a garden on your property. If you can grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs, there’s no reason to buy overpriced produce from another state or country. If you’re new to gardening, it’s better to start small.
Your family can help you create a simple vegetable garden or an herb garden to get started! Eventually, you can add more plots as your gardening skills develop. If space restrictions on your property limit you, try vertical gardening.
You can grow:
- and many other fruits and vegetables
against a fence or trellis.
Reducing Single-Serving Waste
Non-recyclable plastic clogs up landfills, floats in our oceans, and shows up in the digestive systems of marine life. A significant amount of plastic waste comes from single-serving packages of food, drinks, and utensils. When you shop for groceries, avoid buying individually wrapped snacks. You can make snacks and treats for the family and seal them in airtight containers.
Before you go on a road trip, prepare meals and snacks that you can store in a cooler. You won’t have to grab food from a gas station or fast-food restaurant. A lot of waste accumulates during road trips because we favor convenient items when under a time crunch. If you make food for the journey, you’ll reduce waste and enjoy a higher quality of cuisine.
Composting Your Waste
Another excellent way to live greener is to start composting some of your garbage. You can’t compost everything, but eggshells, banana peels, coffee grounds, and yard clippings are some of the items you can throw in a compost bin rather than a garbage can.
Compost helps your garden and landscaping plants by enriching the soil and decreasing the effects of invasive insects and bacterial diseases. Your plants will retain moisture at a higher rate, and you’ll also save money on purchasing expensive compost from garden centers.
Using Newspaper for Wrapping
Wrapping paper is often recyclable, but most people fail to place it in the recycle bin. Evidence of this habit is clearly visible after the holidays with overflowing garbage cans filled with paper and ribbons. A newspaper isn’t as attractive as expensive wrapping paper, but we’re more likely to toss it in the recycling bin.
Encourage other loved ones to wrap their gifts in newspapers to reduce landfill waste and promote recycling. If more families participate in environmental practices, the world will be a cleaner and healthier place to live.
About the Writer: Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. She also developed a passion for traveling during her college years. Today she spends most of her time writing about the things she loves.