The new year is a perfect time to begin making subtle changes to your lifestyle to become more environmentally friendly. The idea that sustainable living is expensive, inconvenient, and socially isolating is a myth, and individual action is needed now more than ever to help save the planet. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to tweak your life to become a better version of yourself.
Use clean energy
Did you know that the burning of fossil fuels in the United States to make electricity is the largest source of heat-trapping pollution? Burning fossil fuels produces roughly two billion tons of carbon dioxide every year, and heat-trapping pollutants are the leading cause in global warming. Poorer countries, who often use the least amount of fossil fuels, will be first to suffer from the adverse effects of global warming, including famine, severe droughts, and natural disasters.
Solar energy is essential to creating a future with clean energy. Consider searching for solar panel installation near you by searching something like “solar panels near me.” Integrity Solar Solutions, who offer solar panels in NY, promote a more widespread use of renewable energy. Solar panels are key to solving problems related to global warming because they’re carbon dioxide free and do not release any harmful emissions into the air when producing electricity. Most argue that solar panels are too expensive, but this is untrue — the biggest cost is installation, and you’ll end up saving on operational costs in the long-term.
Stop contributing to landfills
There are currently over 2,000 landfills open in the United States, and these landfills create threats to our planet. In order to live more sustainably, you’ll need to start thinking differently about how you dispose of your trash. Conduct some research on what’s recycled in your area — most municipalities have recycling services listed online with specific pick-up days or requirements.
Americans throw away nearly half of their food supply every year — that’s an estimated 1,160 pounds of food per person every 365 days. Consider composting to avoid further contributing to landfills and to help out your local farmers. Composting cuts down on the energy required to transport waste. Once you’ve set up systems for recycling and composting, spread the knowledge to your friends, family, and neighbors. It might seem cheesy, but it’s a great opportunity to let the people in your life know how important their role is in protecting the planet.
Less is more
Living with less is ideal for both saving the environment as well as saving time and energy on things you don’t really need. The average American household contains over 300,000 items, and experts estimate that Americans waste nearly an hour just looking for things every day.
To start paring down your household items, consider how often you use things. If there’s something you only use a few times a year, donate it — and don’t feel like you need to hold onto things out of guilt or obligation. The things you choose to keep should serve some kind of purpose in your life, whether it’s an applied function or just inspirational. Put forward a genuine effort to declutter each room of your house, focusing on the drawers full of miscellaneous items you don’t know where else to put.
Making small changes in your daily life can have a huge impact on the environment, and will make you appreciate what you have. Don’t be afraid to educate the people around you on living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, as collective action is ultimately needed to save our planet. All in all, it’s essential to remain conscious about the kind of role you’re playing in the environment and the carbon footprint you’re creating.