• 19 Jun, 2018
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Though the trend has been around for decades, many people today have been making a large effort to move toward eco-friendly practices and go green. Through this, we have been heightening our environmental awareness and coming together to combat the negative effects of pollution. From reusable bag legislation and new inventions designed to clean our oceans, to simply recycling at home and ditching single-use plastic products, we’ve all made strides toward a greener planet.

This worldwide environmental movement has been wonderful to reflect on the current state of our planet and what change we can bring about to provide a thriving and healthy environment for generations to come. If you’re wondering how to go green, read these eco-friendly activities to contribute to the movement!

How to Go Green

Plant a Tree or Garden

One of the best ways to celebrate the earth is by helping it grow. Planting a tree is one of the most common eco-friendly activities, and for good reason! Trees provide us with essential oxygen to live and aid in filtering out pollution in our air. In a study done in 2014 by U.S. Forest Service researcher David Nowak and colleagues, the presence of trees prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in 2010. Especially in urban areas, planting a tree is a great way to give back to your planet and neighbors!

If your home doesn’t allow enough space for planting a tree, you can keep it more compact and plant a miniature garden. Whether you plant fruits and herbs for a working garden or put some succulents on display, tending to a garden will help you appreciate the earth a little more while keeping our air clean.

Volunteer for Community Service

Getting involved in a community event means extra hands to give back to the earth. Many communities organize green activities such as park cleanups, bike-to-work days, and recycling events to collectively bring awareness to going green and keep neighborhoods clean. Whether you organize your own event or attend one, you’ll be helping a great cause. Environmental community service is a great way to get children involved in eco-friendly activities at a young age.

And who knows, you might find a new passion for participating in these group events for the long-term! Get all hands on deck to make the community a cleaner place for current and future generations.

Mature African American Couple On Cycle Ride In Countryside

Ditch the Car for a Bike

Leaving your car behind and trading it out for a bike ride may not be possible every day, but on days with nice weather and an easy commute, try to get outside on your bike. Cars have a huge impact on the environment, and not a good one. Even before our cars hit the streets, a large amount of energy is used in production, and later in destruction. Our cars are filled with harmful rubbers, plastics, battery acids, fuels, and more that harm the environment – only three-quarters of car materials can be recycled.

While production and destruction aren’t as easily in our control, we can take a step toward protecting the environment by cutting down on how often we drive them. Cars produce about a third of the air pollution in the United States. Being fuel-efficient means cutting down on our contributions to poor air quality. By riding your bike instead, you save the planet and get some fresh air yourself!

Bring the Outdoors In

Feel the effects of nature by bringing it inside! Having some natural elements in your home is proven to make you happier and healthier. Today, having beautiful plants in your home is aesthetically pleasing, a trend that should stick around! A study by NASA reveals that houseplants aid in removing up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. Going green in your home can help improve concentration and productivity while keeping you relaxed and calm. Research which plants thrive best in your home environment and decorate away.

Additionally, you can make your home more natural and increase your overall wellness by eating fresh produce, enjoying the benefits of natural essential oils with aromatherapy in an infrared sauna, and opening windows for sunlight and fresh air. And if you want to go a step further, get a fish tank for the house! This little bit of nature helps lower blood pressure and heart rates.

Go Dark for an Hour

Being energy efficient helps the environment by decreasing the use of toxic power plants. Harmful power plant emissions typically come from the burning of fossil fuels, crude oil, or coal, thus depleting natural resources and emitting toxic fumes into the air. When we cut down on our energy use, we reduce the need for this energy and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This can be done by switching to cleaner energy resources like wind and solar power.

Unfortunately, switching power sources isn’t a goal we can all achieve easily. Instead, an easy step toward energy efficiency is going dark. This means turning off all electronics and unplugging as many appliances as possible. Once or twice a week, go dark for an hour and instead go outside if weather permits!

Portrait Of Man Carrying Recycling Bin

Make Small Lifestyle Changes

Lastly, you can continue to make small changes to your lifestyle to become eco-friendlier every single day! Easy changes like shorter showers and using reusable products can go a long way. Carry these 15 simple eco-friendly tips into your everyday life to make a big impact with small change:

  1. Switch out plastic water bottles for a reusable water bottle
  2. Have a recycling plan at home –  and compost if you can!
  3. Turn off lights and unplug cords when not in use
  4. Run household appliances less frequently
  5. Repair dripping faucets and leaky pipes
  6. Take shorter showers and turn off the water while brushing your teeth
  7. Use reusable bags when grocery shopping
  8. Change out old light bulbs for efficient, energy-saving bulbs
  9. Start cleaning the house with eco-friendly cleaning products
  10. Be sparing with paper towel and toilet paper usage
  11. Carpool to work and rideshare to events
  12. Switch bills to eBills instead of paper statements
  13. Close curtains or open windows to manage house temperature
  14. Try a vegetarian diet one day a week with Meatless Mondays
  15. Sign up for energy-saving incentives through your energy provider

No matter how you decide to go green, know that any effort is a big effort. A happier, healthier planet means a happier, healthier you, so get out there and let your green thumb or blue recycling bin shine!