Do you remember in school when we would celebrate Earth Day? I remember cleaning up our schoolyard and even the nearest park. Assemblies would be had, and we would learn about our precious planet. A solitary resource that we have pretty much been treating like a garbage can. Littering, pollution, deforestation, and materialism have created the backbones of our very own destruction. To the point where predictions have been nearly set in stone that our oceans will be completely void of life by 2048. So for Earth Day, let’s find new ways to reuse, conserve, and treat our only home better. That’s why I’ve come up with 8 Simple Ways To Conserve Resources to Celebrate Earth Day. They might be obvious, but hopefully, you will see some new ideas to put to good use in your surroundings.
8 Simple Ways To Conserve Resources
Turn off the Lights
It’s so easy to walk into the room, turn the lights on and leave them on. Even when you leave. Especially at night. There are certain comforts and security we get from being in the light. However, not only does this hike our Electricity bills, but it forces a nonrenewable resource to pump more and more. Did you know that the simple act of turning a light on costs/uses the most energy? Just that simple act of flipping a switch or pressing a button to turn something on costs the most. So why constantly leave the lights on when you don’t need them. Turn the lights off when you leave a room. It’s amazing how easily most healthy eyes adjust to the darkness.
I did say some of these would be obvious, but a lot of people don’t really know WHAT can actually be recycled in their area. Your local municipality or city website should have a section on it that not only shows you WHEN pickup occurs but also WHAT they accept. Some will accept certain recyclables that others don’t, it depends if they can find a market or a company that is willing to recycle them for their project. This can also change over time as well. Sometimes, something that was once accepted, is no longer accepted because there is no market anymore. Or it can even be the opposite way around, something that wasn’t accepted is now accepted because they found a market to recycle the item. The biggest part of recycling though is to always make sure the things you are putting in the bin are thoroughly washed. There is now washing machine in the plants, and if they are terribly dirty or not up to their standards. They will just throw it away. This defeats the entire purpose. Here’s an amazing example out of a small community in Japan. We should all strive to one day be like this town.
NEVER Throw Out Leftovers/Food
Wasting food in a land of plenty should be a criminal offense. I’m just being honest here. Think about it, even if you don’t take into consideration, the fact that there are people starving all over the world (even in our own backyards). ” Food waste in America amounts to $162 billion and between 31% to 40% of American food supply goes to waste, primarily in homes, stores, and restaurants, according to a new study.”
Now when you think of the amount of food waste each home, store, and restaurant accumulates, it’s honestly sad. In your own home, you can make sure to lessen your food waste by a few simple changes.
- Don’t throw out leftovers, if there is very little left, you can easily use most meals in another meal/snack later on in the day or week. You can create new dishes out of yesterdays side dish.There are honestly so many ways you can reuse leftovers, that throwing it out is honestly stupid.
- Buy only what you need for the week. Meal plan (here’s a link to a recent post I did on meal planning) and decide on your grocery day. Then buy only what you need for that week. This allows you to get through what you have before wasting your money on something at the store, and inevitable throwing something in the trash because it’s not FRESH anymore.
- Have a leftovers night. If you go Monday to Saturday making meals. There is bound to be a few meal options waiting in the fridge. Have one or two night a week where everyone chooses what they want to eat and just heat it, and eat it!
Don’t just throw your produce and everything willy-nilly in the trash bin. COMPOST, it’s super easy to do. Any organic plant materials just put them in a bag and when it’s full you can either get a composter yourself, find someone in your local area who composts and would take your produce, or your local municipality/city might actually have green bins for you to put your compost in. No matter what your situation, there is no excuse for throwing organic materials away instead of composting them. BONUS: You don’t have to take the trash out as often, because plant matter, tend to fill the majority of our trash bins anyhow. What can you compost? Pretty much anything organic and plant matter. So, produce (fruits and veg), coffee grounds, tea etc.
Stop Buying Brand New
Did you know that every time you buy something new from the store, that store then sends a notice back to the manufacturer that basically tells them MAKE MORE. Meanwhile, a similar or same item is up for sale on a local buy and sell group, or in your local thrift shop in perfectly good condition. If we look at these groups, sites, and stores FIRST, and then buy new when we absolutely have too. We will be sending a big message to manufacturers to cut down on manufacturing needlessly. Which will also decrease the pollution going into the air from these places as well. It’s pretty much a win-win.
Use Your Local Library
Libraries are not dead, they are not going extinct. Actually, they are far from it. How many times do you think you are going to read a book? Most people only read a book once. Then if you purchase it, it will sit around your home on a table or shelf for months or years collecting dust and having no use whatsoever. So what I like to do when I am interested in a book, is to go to the library and check it out. If they don’t have it in that particular library, they can usually request it from another supporting library. If it’s a brand new book out on the market, they can put a purchase request in to buy it. This way they are purchasing it for many people and it will be used for many years. It’s a bonus too, you don’t have that extra clutter
We all know we should, but who is actually paying attention to how long they are in the shower? I mean, I don’t know about you. But that is ME TIME. Which is why we need to find another form of “me time”. There are so many ways to cut down on water consumption.
Here are a few:
- Cut down on shower time. Figure out what you actually have to do in the shower and then just.do.that. Easy peasy. It’s so easy to lose track of time. So if you are like me, then set a timer on your phone. When you hear it go off. You have 5 mins to finish what you are doing and TURN THAT WATER OFF.
- Place a filled 2-liter bottle of water in your toilet tank. This will make your toilet use less water to do its job.
This is pretty common. Indoor plants are getting super popular, and there is a reason for it. They have been scientifically proven to improve our moods, as well as the air in our home (which is a bonus in the winter when we can’t open our windows. You can also plant plants on whatever outdoor surfaces you have as well. Flowers are great for the bee population (which is in a steady decline thanks to the pesticide and honey manufacturing industries), and you can easily plant produce and herbs as well to help lower your grocery bill a bit.
These are all incredibly easy ways to stop waste and start caring for the only planet we can inhabit. I would love to hear from you. What are you doing to curb waste in your home, work or other places? Let me know in the comments below. For the TL:DR video version click HERE.