Notes from 2016: While starting Fresh Earth Apparel I did, what most small businesses do these days, I spammed the hell out of Twitter. Through the process I met Meg Hannon, who jumped on any opportunity to help out Fresh Earth Apparel. She was eager, positive, and extremely hard working. I have nothing but dear memories of Meg. This was a guest post by her, the first of a planned many.
11 April, 2014
5 Easy Ways to Help the Planet
Our planet is in crisis. The climate is warming at an alarming rate, forests are disappearing, wildlife is dwindling, and pollution levels are staggering.
But it’s not all bad news! All over the world people are becoming aware of the problems we face, and doing their part to help make the planet a better place. After all, it’s the only one we’ve got. Here are 5 easy ways that you can reduce your footprint and help to save the planet:
- Bring a reusable mug everywhere you go
A lot of people “can’t function” without their morning coffee, and many will enjoy several cups throughout the day. That waste piles up pretty quickly – each year 1.6 billion takeout coffee cups end up in landfills, and that’s just in Canada! These cups are not easily decomposed either – they will sit in landfill for decades, even centuries. Investing in a good travel mug will reduce the amount of waste headed to landfill, and can save you money – lots of coffee shops offer a discount when you use your own mug, score!
- Stop drinking bottled water
While you’re out investing in that reusable mug, get yourself a reusable water bottle as well! Not only is the commercialization and sale of water ethically unsound, it’s also really bad for the planet! Despite the fact that most plastic water bottles are recyclable, approximately 80% aren’t recycled – they end up in a landfill, or worse, the ocean. These plastics take thousands of years to decompose and are full of harmful chemicals. And that 1L bottle of water? It took 3L of water to package. Tap water is just as safe to drink and a lot more cost effective, so it’s a great idea to bring your own bottle whenever you leave home.
- Ride your bike
There are so many benefits of using a bicycle as your primary mode of transportation. Get those feet pedaling and you’ll be burning calories, pumping your glutes and producing a healthier, happier, and more productive you. Riding a bike also greatly reduces the strain on our environment: production of bikes requires a fraction of the materials, energy, and shipping costs of a car; plus they don’t give off any harmful emissions when in use. Last but not least, bikes are cheap! Buying a good bike and some gear to go with it might cost you as much as a single car payment. Repairs are occasionally required but inexpensive, and most can be done by hand. With no expenses on gas, you’ll be saving your wallet and the planet – so get pedaling!
- Be conscious about what you print
Whether you’re a student or you’re in the workforce, printing things is unavoidable. Demand for paper accounts for about half of commercial timber cut globally, and a typical business office produces 1.5 pounds of paper waste per employee per day. A lot of this printing is unnecessary, but what needs to be printed can be seriously reduced if we halve the amount of paper used by double-siding everything. Also, recycled paper requires 64% less energy than its new counterpart, and every tonne of recycled paper saves approximately 17 trees. Saving trees and money, yes!
- Adjust the thermostat
Winter in Canada can be pretty darn cold, but instead of cranking up the thermostat to fight off the chill, throw on another sweater or snuggle up with a loved one. Each degree celsius less will save about 3% on heating costs. When you’re running the AC in the summer the impacts are even greater – keeping your home one degree warmer will save 6% on energy costs. That means more money in your wallet, less fuel being burned and less air pollution. It’s a win-win!
As citizens of this Earth, we all have a responsibility to protect it. I’ve highlighted just a few easy ways that you can play your part. For more ideas, you can visit http://www.50waystohelp.com/
This post is a part of a hidden collection about a charity centred business I launched in 2013/14. The home post is here.