Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
These are three great ways to eliminate waste and protect the environment. The 3Rs are all about reducing the waste we produce, reusing products as much as we can, and turning any materials for a new purpose.
Reduce should be the number one priority to combat climate change. Start by cutting down on what you use in your everyday life – from ditching the plastic bags, to bringing your own reusable containers when grocery shopping, and making a meal plan to avoid food waste.
Talking about food waste, do you know that Americans throw out 60 billion kilos of food each year? That equates to 40% of U.S. food supply going into the dumpster. Aside from making a meal plan, always check the items in your pantry for their expiration dates. Food expiration dates refer to food quality and not really to food safety per se. It is not about drinking spoiled orange juice for the sake of saving the environment, but if you’re tossing the yogurt and the bread as soon as they hit the sell-by date, you could be wasting a lot of good food.
Cans, jars, textiles, and papers are only some of the items we can recycle and repurpose. It only needs some imagination and determination to do our part.
Eat Sustainable Food
How do you eat sustainably? By eating more whole grains and less red meats, also by avoiding processed food and growing your own fruits and vegetables – all these could conserve our natural resources. Do you know that two pounds of beef release 132 pounds of harmful greenhouse gasses? Wonder how much carbon dioxide two pounds of peas release? Just 2 pounds. That’s why the eco-friendliest diet is plant-based.
If we don’t want to contribute to the 25% greenhouse emissions caused by large-scale food manufacturers, eating sustainably is the way to go. One word of caution though, foods that are often air-freighted comes at a cost. These foods, such as asparagus, berries, and green peas, require to be flown as they won’t survive a long-distance truck or boat trip. By flying them in, it produces fifty times more carbon dioxide emissions than sending them by boat.
Use Long Lasting Bulbs
By simply switching to LED lights, you are greatly contributing to reduce the environmental impact of your home and office. Not only you save energy that translates to making your home greener, you are also reducing waste as LED bulbs can last longer than the average light bulb.
LED bulbs cost more than incandescent and CFL bulbs, but they are super energy efficient and can last around 25,000 hours compared to the 1,000 hours of an incandescent bulb. If you haven’t already, start replacing your old bulbs with LED lights and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save up to 80 percent in energy costs per year. Since we are on the topic of energy saving, flip the light switch off when you leave the room.