We hear more and more each day about the damage us humans are doing to our natural world and it may seem like little progress is being made to fix these problems. Perhaps we need to be reminded that the natural world does not need mankind to survive and flourish but mankind does need the natural world for it's survival.
If we see ourselves as stewards for the welfare of our environment then we are all part of the solution. The good news is that efforts are being made worldwide to be more sustainable and protect our environment. Every person can contribute to this effort in some way every day.
10 simple things you can do to help the Earth
1. Change your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) last 10 times longer than a standard bulb and use at least two-thirds less energy.
2. Bring your own reusable bags to all stores you shop at (not just the grocery store).
3. Buy products that use minimal or no packaging. Buy loose fruit and veggies as opposed to pre-packaged items.
4. Napkins contribute to the annual destruction of 34 million trees a year. Use less and take only what you need.
5. Avoid exfoliating scrubs and body care products with plastic microbeads. The pellets end up in the water supply and harm fish and wildlife.
6. Avoiding using disposable plastic, aluminum and paper products. When preparing foods at home use reusable pans and dishes.
7. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. You could save up to 5 gallons of water a day.
8. Buy used items whenever possible. Every used item you buy and use is one less item in our landfills. Save some money and the planet at the same time.
9. Don't buy bottled water. Invest in a few BPA free water bottles and refill them. Add a water filter system in your home if your drinking water needs to be filtered.
10. Buy a travel coffee mug – coffee shops are happy to fill them for you. Starbucks uses about 8,000 paper cups per day. Do the earth a favor and bring your own cup.
What others are doing:
From trash to treasure-Sweden opened their first mall for repaired and recycled goods. Recycling has now gone from local drop-off centers to a shopping mall that sells only repaired or up-cycled products.
Norway takes the first step in protecting ALL their trees-Norway became the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation.
Costa Rica Conservation and Renewable energy-25% of their land is protected as reserves and national parks and over 90% of their electricity is produced through renewable means such as hydroelectric, geothermal and wind power.
Germany – who needs landfills-Germany is leading the way on recycling.Of all their municipal waste about 45 percent is recycled, 38 percent is burned and 17 percent is composted.