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10 Simple Ways to Help Save the Planet

These days, being environmentally conscious requires more than just recycling your plastics. With weather patterns changing and sea levels rising, making everyday choices that help reduce greenhouse gases is imperative to the future of not only our planet but for us as a species. 

What can we do as individuals to help save the planet? 

There are plenty of things you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint. Being more conscious about pollution, conserving natural resources, protecting wildlife and learning how to be more sustainable are all actions that can contribute to a cleaner and greener world. Coming together as a global community is crucial for our future on Earth, and although it might seem daunting, making smart choices throughout your day can add up in the fight against climate change. 

1. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle 

Probably the most common form of environmentalism, recycling reduces pollution, conserves natural resources and saves energy. Glass, paper, metal and plastic can be reused and repurposed, keeping billions of items out of our landfills. 

  • Bring reusable bags when you go shopping
  • Avoid using disposable plates, forks, spoons and cups
  • Buy items made with recycled material
  • Visit your local recycling depot to drop off plastics, cans and bottles
  • Buy products with less packaging
  • Buy only what you’ll use and when you can buy second hand
  • Donate used clothing and household items

2. Conserve Water 

Using less water helps conserve our most precious natural resource. It also saves energy and means less water is lost to contamination. 

  • Keep water off when you are not actively using it like…
    • Doing dishes
    • Brushing your teeth
    • Lathering up in the shower
    • Washing your car
  • Stop drinking bottled water (saves money and reduces plastic waste) 
  • Keep your grass a little longer for less watering

3. Be Car-Conscious

A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. If you can limit your time on the road each week, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions greatly. Better yet, buy an electric vehicle and skip the emissions altogether.

  • Combine errands
  • Don’t idle your car
  • Carpool
  • Drive efficiently to save gas mileage
  • Take transit or walk when you can
  • Drive an EV (electric vehicle) 

4. Compost 

According to Environment Canada, organic waste makes up 40% of residential waste in our country. Without composting, most of this ends up in our landfills or incinerated. Composting not only saves disposal costs and reduces the methane emitted from landfills, but it also creates valuable soil amendment, reducing the need for manufactured fertilizers. 

5. Give up Plastics

People around the world buy one million plastic bottles every minute. Add to that, up to five trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. There is no question that humans have a problem with plastics. With only about 9% being recycled, over 150 metric tons of plastic are currently in our oceans. 

  • Bring your own reusable bags shopping and say no to plastic bags
  • Don’t use plastic straws
  • Use a reusable cup instead of plastic
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Don’t buy bottled water

6. Switch to LEDs

LED lights use 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts. They also last up to 25 times longer. Switching your bulbs and holiday string lights can not only help save the planet, but it will also save you money. 

7. Eat Sustainable Foods

Large-scale food production and animal-based agriculture are responsible for up to 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. By eating more grains, fruits and veggies and fewer meats and processed foods, you can make a difference in your carbon footprint. 

  • Buy organic (takes 30-50% less energy to produce) 
  • Grow your own fruits and veggies
  • Eat less meat and processed foods
  • Aim for 2-3 plant-based meal days per week. 

8. Live Energy-wise

Making your home more energy-efficient will help the planet as well as save you money. Ensuring your home has proper insulation and efficient windows can make all the difference in how much energy you consume to keep warm or cool. 

  • Replace your air filter regularly
  • Keep windows and blinds closed when it’s extremely hot or cold outside
  • Install a programmable thermostat, so your system isn’t running and wasting energy when you’re not home. 
  • Turn off lights and unplug electronics that aren’t being used. 

9. Plant a Tree 

A great way to combat climate change is to plant a tree. Plants absorb carbon from the air along with sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other smaller particles. A young tree can absorb about 5 kilograms of CO2 per year. Once that tree reaches the age of 10, it can absorb around 21 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year. Even better, through photosynthesis, trees convert this CO2 into sugars that not only feed the tree but produce clean oxygen that benefits all living things. 

10. Shop Online

Keep your car at home and shop from the comfort of your energy-efficient home. Shopping online is easy, safe and lessens your carbon footprint by saving energy and reducing gas emissions.

  •  Avoid rushed shipping
  •  Buy more items together to minimize shipments
  • Support brands with eco packaging