While it is clear that regulating the heavy industry and installing air-cleaning pillars might turn the tide in the right direction, the problem with this macro-viewpoint lies in the fact that it takes the responsibility off the individual. In other words, it endorses people who expect someone else to save the world while they go on with their lives as usual. In reality, our planet is in such a brittle state that it takes a joint effort to get things moving in the right direction. With this in mind, here are several activities that individuals can turn to in order to improve the state of things in the world.
Switch to a sustainable energy source
The first thing every individual should consider in order to save the environment is switching to a sustainable energy source. By that, we mean installing a solar panel to handle the needs of their household. The problem with this idea, however, lies in the fact that such an investment is quite expensive. According to some sources, it takes about $17.000 to make this idea come to life, which means that a project of this magnitude might take somewhere between 7 and 20 years to pay off. The reason why there’s such a large discrepancy in numbers is due to the fact that in some scenarios, you’re eligible for a government grant.
On the other hand, you don’t have to power-up your entire home with solar panels. Why not just install a solar-powered water heater and reduce the cost of your utilities? This kind of investment can pay off in as little as two years, which makes it more than viable for an average household.
Green up your commute
Another thing you should do is green up your commute and this can be done in several ways. For those who aren’t willing to sacrifice too much of their comfort (by cycling or walking to work), carpooling or using public transportation are viable choices. People who are willing to invest financially in making their commute eco-friendlier should probably consider getting a hybrid car, which is an investment that can pay off in a single year (although it might take as much as 11 years), with the right grant (at least for those who drive a lot).
Those who are willing to invest effort instead of trying to solve all of their problems with money should consider cycling. Apart from being green and healthy, this is also a frugal choice, seeing as how all you need is a bike along with some follow-up equipment. Furthermore, depending on your region and path choices that you make, you might want to do some additional upgrades on this vehicle like installing a mudguard.
Switching to LED
The next thing you can do, and this is probably the simplest one yet, is a switch from incandescent bulbs to LED. These bulbs have a much better watt-to-lumen ratio, which is why they provide the same amount of light while consuming just a fraction of the energy necessary. For instance, in order to get a brightness of 1300 lumens, you need a 100 W incandescent light bulb or an 18 W LED one. The difference is more than clear. Apart from this obvious advantage, due to the fact that they are exposed to lower heat levels, LED bulbs last up to 50.000 hours, while incandescent bulbs have a work span of 1.000 to 2.000 hours. This means that they also produce less waste, which is yet another plus.
Finally, in order to really make a difference, you need to adopt a habit of utilizing reusable materials as often as you can. For instance, you should use reusable bags for shopping and print as little as possible. Moreover, use recycled paper when you do have to print. Reusable beverage containers are also a good idea and so is buying a bulk container instead of spending money on individual packages. Above all, remember to properly recycle. You can even check if your own garbage disposal company offers recycling services. If not, you can switch it or look for recycling alternatives in your nearest surrounding.
The list goes on and on, yet, in order to make the real difference, the change has to come from within. It’s a common misconception to believe that most people don’t live green because they don’t know how seeing as how the lack of awareness is a universal excuse. While not all of these methods don’t take a lot of effort, they do take at least some effort which scares away those who aren’t strongly convicted. The end goal, however, is more than worth fighting for.
Audrey Taylor, the author of this post, was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford College, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across the Europe. Her hobbies include: home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies.