Published on July 20th, 2015 | by Guest Contributor
How to Be Environmentally Conscious
The environment and its preservation has been of worldwide concern since the dawn of humanity’s modern evolution. With global changes and human factors evidently altering the course of the earth’s long-term sustainability, it’s pertinent that we focus on finding ways to counteract these effects. As such, eco-friendly decision-making and behaviors are conscious choices we make to preserve our environment, attributing to this planet’s longevity as a healthy place for humanity’s continued evolution. In fact, there are a variety of ways in which one can consciously approach their lives in eco-friendly ways. Below, we discuss a few important tips that you can consider in order to live a more environmentally conscious life. Every person, community and business, plays a role in preserving our planet.
Environmentally Conscious: What Does it Mean?
There are a variety of terms used to describe the kinds of guidelines, behaviors and laws that refer to minimizing harm to the environment. These terms, which you may have heard in various contexts, include environmentally friendly, environment friendly, eco-friendly, nature-friendly and green. Companies will often use such terminology to describe their goods and services or people might identify themselves and their lifestyles by using one of these terms.
Environmentally friendly lives can be achieved at the individual level, the community level and, the business level. Each can do their part to conserve the environment in their own unique way. It’s fundamental that we recognize that if we start with eco-friendly ways as individuals, by investing in businesses that support the environment, we can then build communities that prioritize the earth’s well being as well.
Related article: How to Be Truly Environmentally Conscious
Waste is an obvious culprit and pollutant, contributing to landfills and toxins which harm the earth’s soil and atmosphere. In order to contribute to the elimination or, at the very least, decrease of waste in our world, it’s important to be aware of the resources you use. Resources can tie into the ways in which you choose to travel or heat your homes or the ways in which businesses utilize paper and electricity for the production of goods and services. Whatever they may be, managing the efficient utilization of the resources you use will not only preserve them, but immensely reduce unnecessary waste. This form of conservation alleviates the unfortunate excessiveness and bulk that today’s modern world has grown accustomed to.
Related article: Six Natural Resources Being Drained
IMG 1. 90% of plastic bottles AREN’T recycled in the U.S. every year
In accordance with the reduction of waste, comes the concept of recycling. Reusing products is an excellent way of maintaining a reasonable level of resources in production without squandering them. Luckily, there are a number of products and resources that can be easily reused, refactored and, repurposed. In fact, in the U.S. alone, 69% of newspapers and 90% of plastic bottles are not recycled and thrown away instead. Unfortunately, these take thousands of years to decompose, producing an immense amount of landfill waste and toxicity to the earth. Newspapers can be repurposed to produce other paper goods and investing in reusable bottles is a great way to avoid the overproduction and waste of plastic ones. Recycling is fundamental to waste reduction and avoiding long-term pollutants harming our earth.
Related article: How to Recycle
Dispose of Harmful Chemicals Properly
Air and water pollution is often due to unfortunate chemical spills and opened containers. Solutions such as ammonia, paint and oil have been polluting our atmosphere and oceans for years, tainting our water resources, killing wildlife and, harming the ozone layer. The use of these chemicals in our modern world may be necessary for a variety of reasons but the ways in which we dispose of these can prevent toxins from entering our environment altogether. Use chemicals wisely and be sure to dispose containers in toxic waste sites which will handle these in environmentally friendly ways. And, as an additional tip, close all containers containing toxic substances as soon as you’re done using them.
Related article: How to Dispose of Your Toxic Products Properly
Composting turns waste into nutrient rich food for plantlife
IMG 2. Composting turns waste into nutrient rich food for plantlife
Composting has become a highly recognized process in today’s world, utilizing kitchen waste in order to provide plants with the nutrients they need to grow strong. If you’re averse to composting in your home, organizations are available to take your kitchen scraps and handle the composting on their own. This reduces landfill waste as a whole, eliminating obvious pollutants that penetrate the air and harm the earth’s soil. Moreover, produce and plant life can benefit from these nutrient rich soils, contributing to more organic farming and locally grown goods.
Related article: A Guide to Composting
Buy Locally Grown Produce
Purchasing locally grown products is vital in supporting local farms which often provide the most nutrient rich and organic produce available. This reduces carbon footprint as well, which has been catastrophic in harming the ozone layer through greenhouse gas emissions. Organic farming practices are quickly being introduced as community-wide movements, encouraging people to grow their own produce and selling it to their friends, neighbors, family and potentially, at local markets. Then, not only does this purchasing behavior encourage the maintenance of our planet’s protective layer, but it also supports the concept of organic farming and communal sharing.
Related article: Benefits of Eating Local Foods
What would we do without one of nature’s greatest resources? Water gives life to the food we eat, provides us with energy to heat our homes and power our appliances, quenches our thirst and, so much more. Conserving water ensures that we will avoid shortages in the future, preventing us from having the basic needs that allow us to survive on this planet. Consider recycling tap water for drinking purposes, shortening your showers and, closing the tap instead of letting it run unnecessarily. Simple changes make a huge difference in preserving this precious and often times, undervalued, resource of ours.
Related article: Conserve Water
From a societal perspective, environmental consciousness must be of utmost priority in order to preserve the planet for our survival. With a clear understanding of how our choices are fundamental to our own well-being, we can be sure to take measures that benefit the longevity of our existence. Thus, a healthy environment presently establishes a healthy home for ourselves and for years to come.
References for images:
IMG 1: http://intercongreen.com/2010/02/17/recycling-vs-upcycling-what-is-the-difference/
IMG 2: http://www.growingcity.com/top-5-reasons-you-should-compost
IMG 3: http://environment.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/conserve-water.jpg
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