As familiar as it may sound, reducing pollution, much like charity, begins at home, literally. When individuals are conscientious about their trash and recycling habits they become more aware of the other ways they impact the environment outside the home. As a result, what they practice outside the home frequently inspires and encourages others to consider their own contributions to our planet’s health. This can be readily recognized in the subtle ways illustrated in the early grade school years; teachers showing children how to make fun, colorful things with cardboard bathroom tissue tubes, plastic milk bottles and other used items go a long way to instill awareness. Beginning with that concept, we can all contribute in similar as well as other ways.
Recycle, Reuse and Re-purpose
There are many items we toss in the trash without first considering another way we can use or re-purpose them. Styrofoam packaging that protects electronics like TVs, DVDs and other fragile items can be broken into small pieces or used as is for shipping holiday packages. That can be a goldmine in shipping and packaging supplies for online auction sellers who ship vinyl records, collectibles and other delicate objects.
Plastic Can Be Fantastic
Plastic grocery bags can be used for outdoor enthusiasts to pick up trash items left on the trail by inconsiderate hikers; they can also be used to waterproof items shipped in the mail that are occasionally exposed to rain and snow by careless mail persons. Plastic milk bottles, washed and rinsed, are perfect for hydrated, concentrated juice mixes, iced tea or coffee, and other refrigerated beverages.
Reduce Electricity Usage
Even though lamps, TVs, DVD players, computers, and other objects that use electricity are turned off, the juice is still flowing. Unplug them, or if they are plugged into a power strip turn the power strip off. The reduction in electricity will be noticeable and may amaze you.
Heating and Cooling
Strive to be more conservative with heating and air conditioning. Lower the thermostat a few degrees when leaving the house or going to bed at night in the summer. An environmental management specialist with a Master’s of Public Administration degree recommends turning off or lowering the air conditioning when leaving the house for a weekend or longer. What may seem like trivial contributions could have a significant impact on your living expenses as well as the environment in the long run.
Earth is the only planet we have to support us, so we should do everything we can to support it. Taking these steps to reduce pollution and your carbon footprint is a great way to start.
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