I woke up this morning and the day was so new that the light filtering in through my window was almost greenish.
I pulled back the sheet that was covering my head and peered out at the tree tops.
For a moment, before my brain fully reconnected with my body, I was struck with this subtle yet powerful feeling of a fresh, clean start—the kind of lapse in reality that you wish would last forever.
It got me thinking about how many of our daily—and global—problems seem too big for us to handle, when what we really need is a crisp, new outlook—one where everything is possible and the world is our oyster instead of our landfill.
I also got to thinking about how it’s often those teeny, tiny changes that have the most profound effects.
So in honor of this sensation of vigor and verve, here are the five easiest things that you can do to help save our environment.
1. Pack your lunch.
Taking food from home is a simple yet realistic way to help. Every time you order out, you dramatically increase the amount of packaging that went into your small meal. An additional perk is that this is generally pretty darn friendly to your waist-line too.
2. Turn off your lights.
Seriously, I was taught this as a kid, but I know that apparently not everyone was since my neighborhood is usually filled with porch lights that illuminate the dark when all I want to do is see the stars and catch some zzz’s.
This is another suggestion that has a larger impact than you probably are aware of. Light pollution is an unfortunately huge problem with vast ecological impacts.
This tip also has another benefit besides saving the environment—you’ll save money too.
3. Toilet etiquette.
Ever heard if it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow yet it mellow? Classy, I know, but true.
In my home we have a well and septic system, and this helps highlight the importance that your toilet plays, not only with wasted water but with what’s appropriate to flush and not flush (ladies, I’m looking at you).
Also, fix your leaky toilet because can you believe that this wastes an average of 200 gallons of water every day?
Think before you flush. (I never thought I’d write that in an article—but I’m glad I did.)
This doesn’t just mean recycling your cans and bottles, it means re-using that manila envelope or box that you got in the mail. It means bringing your own coffee container to Starbucks as often as you can. That sort of thing. (Yet, please do go ahead and also recycle your cans and bottles as well. Thanks. Love, Earth.)
5. Remember the power of one.
What does it matter if you throw your plastic container away? It’s just one. Well, what if the entire world felt that way—it’s just one.
Your actions are important, and what you choose to do and not do on a daily basis impacts all of us.
This is a community problem, and it can only be helped if we remember to think globally while acting locally. Meaning, don’t forget the power of one—of you.
I write a lot of articles with seemingly easy suggestions that are actually quite difficult when put into practice—this is not one of those times.
Of course there a plethora of things that you could and should be doing to make our world cleaner, better and more efficient for both our present and our future, but if you’re not already then consider starting here, with these extremely practical tips.
“After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ‘I want to see the manager.'” ~ William S. Burroughs
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Ed: Bryonie Wise