In 1970, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment.
“We must recognize that we’re all part of a web of life around the world.”
Being eco-friendly is no longer an option. We all need to do our part in taking care of our world everyday, not just on April 22 Earth Day. Our climate and planet earth need you to adopt eco-friendly habits!
5 Biggest World Environmental Problems
DW News does a great job of explaining the 5 of the world’s biggest environmental problems:
- Air pollution and climate change.
- Species extinction.
- Soil degradation.
Your potential effect on deforestation will shock you!
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Incorrectly, I didn’t think there was anything I could do about deforestation, particularly the rain forest since I live nowhere near a rain forest. Wrong!
While my son was home on a visit, at the grocery store I went to grab a package of hamburger to make tacos. He requested chicken instead. Turns out, it wasn’t that he was craving chicken. He said that eating less beef actually helps the environment!
Perplexed, I of course had him explain how me selecting chicken instead of beef could possibly have a positive effect on our environment and climate.
Here are a few main points about how cows affect the environment. There are many sources for this information, but I selected the below video by Reveal, so shout out to them for the easily understood explanation including the following facts. (Skip to the video, if you prefer.)
- World-wide livestock are a major contributor to green house gas pollution, and it messes up our climate in a big way.
- Cows take up a lot of space, eat A LOT, and need a lot of water.
- Rain forests are being cleared to farm cattle.
- Little known fact, U.S. fast food restaurants get their beef supply from outside the U.S.
- Cows naturally process grass in a healthy manner. However, now most cows eat corn which makes them bloat with gas.
- Cows are ruminates, so they create methane gas when they digest food. Chicken and pigs don’t.
- Methane has 21 times more climate changing power than CO2. In the U.S. cows produce more greenhouse gas than 22 million cars per year.
I’m not suggesting you stop eating beef, but you could cut down your overall meat intake. As explained in the following video, if every American would not eat meat or cheese one day per week, it would have the same climate change prevention effect as taking 7.6 million cars off the road for 1 year. That’s a powerful change I invite you to consider as we celebrate Earth Day.
RELATED READING: 99 Meatless Meal Recipes: Join the Movement
Please watch this video that explains the toll cows take on the environment, and what you can EASILY do to make a major positive effect on our environment.
15 Easy Eco-Friendly Habits That Everyone Should Be Doing
Yes, eating less meat can make a HUGE positive impact and could even slow global warming. But the following ideas are small things that you can easily incorporate into your daily life, and not just on Earth Day. Please consider implementing all 15 ideas, if you’re not already.
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1. Save electricity.
- Shut off lights when not in the room…EVERY TIME. Be mindful of how many lights you really need.
- Install a smart thermostat – FocusOnEnergy.com reports smart thermostats can save up to $120 annually.
- Unplug any appliances that aren’t in use. A power strip makes it easier: turn off one switch with multiple items plugged into it.
2. Use a reusable lunch box instead of brown paper bags.
(Click image to view on Amazon)
3. Use plastic containers for sandwiches, chips, etc instead of disposable plastic baggies.
(Click image to view on Amazon)
4. Turn the water off while brushing teeth or soaping hands.
5. Map out the route and run errands all in one trip to save gas.
6. Save extra napkins from drive-thru stops. Keep them in the car for spills.
7. When traveling, don’t throw recyclable items in the trash at a gas station. Save them for home if there’s no recycle bins available.
8. Re-use plastic shopping bags. Use in small trash containers or bring back to the store to use again on your next shopping trip.
9. Check vehicle tire pressure – proper PSI saves gas.
10. Re-use the back side of paper that you’ve printed on, but don’t need to keep.
11. Switch to e-bill and online invoices receipts and invoices.
12. Walk, bike, carpool, or take the bus. I recently started carpooling. I’m not only spending time with three amazing women, we are all also saving money on fuel and vehicle maintenance. Most important to the environment, we are reducing the amount of fossil fuels going into our precious air.
13. Fix leaky faucets.
14. Use reusable water bottles. This is a big deal. Every time you throw a plastic bottle away, you add waste to the environment that isn’t biodegradable. I know they’re convenient, but try to use a reusable bottle every day – even when you travel.
Popular Stainless Steel Water Bottles
(Click image to view on Amazon)
15. Switch out your light bulbs to environmentally friendly bulbs. This is super simple and saves you money.
Simple Steps You Can Do To Make Deeper Lifestyle Change
The suggestions above are great to be sure you’re incorporating into your life, but our environment needs more.
- As explained above, if you eat less meat, especially beef, you can make a huge impact on Mother Earth.
- Contact your representative. Contact your member of Congress or the Senate. Ask him or her to support climate legislation. Find a member of the House here and a member of the Senate here.
- Learn more about your carbon emissions. Be sure you’re doing everything you can to reduce your household carbon emissions. Find out more about your emissions and where you can best reduce them by using an online carbon calculator.
Happy Earth Day
Global warming is real, and we need to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle to take care of our environment. Be sure to read my other posts with 11 Simple Changes to Go Green AND Save Money.
What are little things you do to in your daily life to be eco-friendly and help preserve our planet? Please drop me a comment. Happy Earth Day!
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