Hi there! I’m Mia Chen, a Lansing Climate Reality member and trained Climate Reality leader. In honor of Earth Week, I’ve compiled 5 every-day things you can do to help protect the planet!
- Be conscious about your food waste
Throwing away large quantities of food not only wastes food, but resources as well. According to a 2012 report done by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 40% of the food in the US goes uneaten, or an equivalent of $165 billion each year1. This food ends up in landfills, where it produces large amounts of methane, contributing to the greenhouse effect. Instead of throwing away vegetable scraps, try boiling them into veggie stock or composting them! You can also consider buying “ugly” produce from the supermarket—you can save it from being thrown out, and it tastes just as good.
- Conserve water
Water is a precious resource! Although approximately 71% of Earth is covered with water2, only about 1% is usable and readily available3. Furthermore, treating water for our daily use is a largely fossil-fuel intensive process, meaning that by wasting water, we contribute to CO2 emissions. Plus, wasting water means a heftier water bill!
- Be mindful of what you consume
Both the meat and dairy industries have a profound effect on the environment. Important rainforests like the Amazon Rainforest are being cut down for agriculture and ranching, with the meat and dairy industry using 83% of farmland and producing 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions4. Switching partly or completely over to a plant-based diet can help keep both you and the planet healthy.
- Don’t litter
Trash, especially plastic trash, can have extremely detrimental effects on both us and the wildlife of the Earth. Pieces of litter may end up in various bodies of water, where it may be consumed by fish, birds, and other aquatic animals. The chemicals and toxins of plastic waste ingested by these animals can lead to fatal health issues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “plastic aquatic debris can directly interfere with navigation, impede commercial and recreational fishing, threaten health and safety, and reduce tourism”5.
- Conserve energy
Producing electricity can release CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Converting fossil fuels to energy also takes massive amounts of water. Saving energy can help reduce the environmental impact of the water you use. Another even better option is to look into renewable energy, like wind and solar, which produce no greenhouse gases and are more effective at converting energy to electricity6.
Let’s do our part to save our home! Together, we can make a difference.