Environmental damage is occurring every day and I, for one, don’t want to sit back and watch it happen! Are you with me? If so, this guest post from Andrea Bell is one you’ll want to read. Andrea discusses easy ways for each of us to incorporate more eco-friendly actions into our lifestyles. Let’s give Andrea the floor as today’s guest blogger.
Centuries of careless use and unawareness has come to a crescendo of environmental damage. The oceans are warming alongside the rise of global warming. The air we breathe in, and the water we swim in, is equally polluted. On top of it, ballooning carbon dioxide emissions and ozone degradation are serious threats.
There are presently around 700 million vehicles on the road that are producing 900 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. The World Counts confirms that our acts have also destroyed 27% of coral reefs. Each hour turns 1,692 acres of productive land into dry land. Our planet has also lost 80% of the forests, and 55 billion tons of finite fossil energy is extracted annually.
1. Use green cleaning products
Household cleaners chip in environmental damage. 1 in 3 chemical-based cleaning items consists of ingredients that are known to cause ecological problems. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like nitrogen, phosphorus, and ammonia present in these products are incredibly hazardous.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labels VOCs as the most dangerous of all the toxic chemicals in household cleaners. Recent research reveals that these household cleaners, along with perfumes and paints, are critical culprits of urban air pollution.
Alastair Lewis, professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of York, talks about the house cleaners-induced damage. He states, “It’s hard to say how much pollution is down to VOCs, but a rough estimate is that between one quarter and a third of all particles are made up of organic compounds that originate as VOC.”
Not only are these chemical cleaners harmful to the environment but they are unsafe for human health too. These cleaning substances hold the second position among reasons for children poisoning. Likewise, cleaning substances are concluded as the third most typical cause of poison exposure in adults.
In the light of these staggering revelations, an easy eco-friendly change to make includes switching to using green products. The market for environmentally-friendly household cleaners is diverse. Some real green household cleaner manufacturers are Seventh Generation, Method, and JR Watkins among others.
There is yet another option to go green, and it’s related to preparing your own eco-friendly cleaning recipes for household cleaning. For instance, you can make an all-purpose cleaner that cleans kitchen countertops, mirrors, windows and more at home. What you need to do is to mix one part of white vinegar with nine parts of water.
Fill this in a spray bottle and voilà! You have a green cleaner at your disposal that isn’t costly and contains only natural ingredients.
2. Conserve water and energy
Another eco-friendly change to make in your everyday life revolves around saving more of our planet’s scarce resources. Our duty to preserve water does not limit itself to times of draught only; it extends to everyday matters.
On average, 10 gallons of water is lost to leaks on a daily note. It makes up about 14% of the indoor use. A 2014 Government Accountability Report points out that 40 from 50 US state managers expect water shortage of some kind in their states in the coming decade. Therefore, small steps to curtail water wastage can go a long way in securing our future.
Some of the many steps that you can take on a daily basis are:
- Install water-efficient fixtures for faucets, toilet lid sinks, showerhead, and toilets. These faucets will help save a lot of water. For example, a 10-minute shower can save 15 gallons of water with the help of a low-flow showerhead.
- Baths waste the most amount of water. A bathtub of an average size takes 70 gallons of water. Thus, switching to showers is wise.
- Remembering to turn off the faucets while brushing teeth and shaving can help save 8 gallons and 10 gallons of water per day, respectively.
- Laundry cleaning takes 22% of the home water. Save water by ensuring that you set the washing machine’s cycle to the right load size.
- A person can save 2 gallons of water each day by switching to toilet lid sink from a toilet lid.
- Save water while dishwashing that roughly consumes 20 gallons of water when done by hand. Dishwashers save water and take down the amount of water used to 4-6 gallons.
- Turn off your tap while doing the dishes. Letting the water run results in water wastage of 10 gallons and uses energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for around 18 hours.
Similar to water, the resources used in energy production are also finite. Therefore, it is crucial for us to not only prevent energy wastage but also switch to energy-efficient solutions like those facilitated by Scoop.Solar.
You can also contribute to an eco-friendly imprint by shifting to smart energy today. It is a worthy investment as it helps save precious energy resources by moving from non-renewable to renewable energy sources. Some other ways to save energy include:
- Replace conventional incandescent light bulbs with light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) and company fluorescent lights (CFLs) that save 25-80% electricity and last longer too than traditional bulbs
- Turn off appliances or lights when they are not in use
- Replace old electrical devices with energy-efficient models
- Clean air filters as otherwise hot-air furnaces or air-conditioners use more electricity as they work harder
- Set the temperature on water heaters to low or get efficient water heaters that help save energy between 8% and 300%
3. Generate less waste
Lastly, try and minimize waste. Keep in mind that the “3 Rs” (Reuse, Reduce and Recycle) can serve as a means to this end. Americans generate more than 38 million tons of dangerous water annually.
The fact of the matter is that the waste produced doesn’t disappear into thin air. Instead, processing and recycling waste are energy-intensive processes, which add to the loss of energy. Waste like plastics are not biodegradable and climax in environmental harm. Plastic pollution results in air, water, as well as land pollution, both in its manufacture as well as incineration phases.
About 5.25 trillion micro and macro plastic bits float in the open ocean and account for a weight of 269,000 tons. Moreover, of all the marine debris, plastics pitch in a share of 60-90%. In this context, you can take the following daily steps:
- Use canvas bags instead of plastics ones
- Reuses cans, containers, and boxes for arts and crafts or store essentials in them
- Don’t throw out your clothing. Instead, pass them on to someone who can use them or donate them
- Buy stuff from brands that recycle material
- Use paper on both sides to prevent waste of paper that constitutes to 40% of municipal waste
- Get a reusable bottle instead of plastic bottles
A final word
Our environment is our responsibility. A safe future stands on the tenets of daily eco-friendly changes to curtail the damage done to the ecosystem. It’s these small steps that will make a substantial impact tomorrow.
About Andrea Bell
Andrea Bell is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter.