Saving the environment is a popular topic these days. Air pollution, global warming, water pollution and deforestation are all major concerns. It may seem like there is nothing individual people can do to help protect the environment, but this is simply not true. Small things add up to big changes. If your family wants to help save the environment, you should consider implementing a few of these ten tips.

1. Reuse and Recycle

Try to recycle cans, bottles, plastic containers and paper whenever possible. Most municipalities have some sort of recycling program, but don’t give up if you don’t have access to one. There are many other ways to repurpose items that would normally go in the trash. Use egg cartons and newspaper in craft projects or plastic containers as planters for flowers or succulents.

2. Purchase an Electric Vehicle

When you decide to purchase your next car, consider an electric vehicle. EVs help combat climate change and smog by reducing emissions. This both improves overall public health and reduces damage to the environment. While you can certainly charge your EV at home using regular electricity, you can also use a renewable energy source, such as solar panels, to charge your car. This reduces emissions even further.

3. Toss Toxic Products

Choose environmentally-friendly products whenever possible. This means phasing out toxic household cleansers, rethinking your personal care items and considering the ingredients in your food. Many products have synthetic dyes, fragrances and preservatives. They may also be tested on animals. A great way to save the environment is to commit to using products that are all-natural and do not utilize animal testing. Do your research before purchasing anything for your home. There are many great alternative options on the market today.

4. Start a Compost Pile

Start a small compost pile in your backyard to turn food waste into humus, which is an ingredient in healthy soil. You can use this material to enrich your existing soil and make your backyard even healthier. Composting is relatively easy, but requires some patience. While you can make a compost pile yourself, there are many compost bins available on the market to make the process easier. Compost items such as grass clippings, tree leaves, coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, printer paper, vegetarian animal manure and wood shavings. Avoid putting meat, dairy, coal or diseased plants in your compost pile.

5. Donate Unused Items

Another great way to recycle unwanted items is to donate them to worthy causes. Do some research about charities in your area that accept donations of toys, clothes and household appliances. You will be doing something good for someone else and saving the environment at the same time by keeping items out of the landfill.

6. Decrease Your Electricity Usage

Limiting your electricity usage is actually very simple. It just takes changing a few habits. First, you should turn off the lights in any room you are not currently using. Encourage your family to do the same. You can also shut down your computer when you are done using it for the day, choose energy efficient light bulbs and unplug electronics that are not in use.

7. Use Cloth Bags

Plastic is bad for the environment. It is often discarded into the ocean and can be fatal to marine life. Cloth bags are durable and last for many years. Get a few reusable bags and make sure they are easily available to family members when heading out on shopping trips.

8. Conserve Water

There are many easy ways to conserve water. Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth, take shorter showers and only run your dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load. You can also collect rainwater and use it to water your backyard.

9. Volunteer or Raise Money

Finally, devote time or money to a worthy cause. You may want to pick an eco-friendly charity and hold a garage sale or bake sale to raise money to donate. You could also spend time picking up trash, planting trees or working with an advocacy organization.

Author: Finnegan Pierson

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