Can one person really make a difference in the health of the planet? Here are 10 small choices with a big impact – both on the environment and on your wallet!
When you look at all the problems in the world today – from climate change to air and water pollution, species extinction, soil depletion, and more – it may seem hopeless. Can one person really make a difference?
In fact, while your individual choices and behaviors may not change the world, when enough people make enough small changes, it can indeed make a big impact!
While you may not see the evidence of your choices immediately in the world around you, you will at least see a big impact on your wallet if you make the small changes below.
1. Eat Fewer Animal Products – Replace a few meals a week with whole, real, non-processed vegetarian or vegan food options and you will spend less money on food and potentially improve your health as well, thus spending less money on healthcare too. The effect of eliminating one gallon of milk from your shopping cart can save over 2000 gallons of water due to the amount of feed and water it takes to care for the cow!
2. Drink Fresh Filtered Tap Water – Plastic bottles, even recyclable ones, add a huge amount of pollution to the environment and landfills. Nothing is wrong with tap water in most cases – and there are many affordable water filter choices to help improve the taste and reduce any potential contaminants that may exist in your local water supply. Get a refillable container and add a filter and you have water that is better than bottled without the huge environmental impact.
3. Unplug Your Appliances When Not in Use – It might not seem like much, but whenever an appliance is plugged in, it is using power – even if it isn’t turned on. Turn them off, and unplug them when not in use to save money on your bill and reduce fossil fuel usage.
4. Start a Car Pool – Driving less is one of the single most important things you can do for the environment. If you are able to car pool to work with a few other employees, you can all make a substantial impact on your carbon emissions over time.
5. Take Public Transportation – Even better than a car pool is using public transportation where it is available. You’ll spend less money on getting to work and actually be less stressed out too from not having to deal with traffic, thus saving money on future medical bills.
6. Take the Stairs – When you are in a situation where you have a choice between an elevator, escalator, or the stairs – choose the stairs. You’ll get healthier and use less energy, thus impacting not only your health but the entire environment. If you work at a place where you have to go up and down the stairs a lot, you might even save money on a gym membership. 🙂
7. Turn Off the Water While You Brush Your Teeth – You might be shocked to learn how many gallons of water you waste twice a day when you brush your teeth by keeping the water running the entire time. To see for yourself, try catching the water when you brush. Save that amount by turning the faucet off while you brush. There is literally zero benefit to keeping it on anyway.
8. Switch Conventional Light Bulbs for LED Bulbs – LED bulbs use less power than conventional light bulbs of which over 95 percent actually goes toward heat instead of actual lighting. The light bulbs may be a bit more costly to buy up front, but over time you’ll save money as they last 10-20 times longer and use less electricity.
9. Buy Used When Possible – From cars to furniture to clothing, buying used is a great way to save money as well as lessen the environmental impact of your lifestyle. Fewer items will need to be produced new, cutting down on waste, materials, and fuel. And when you’re ready to buy, consider trading in or donating your used items for someone else to enjoy – which will also further reduce waste!
10. Use a Reel Lawn Mower – This might seem like a lot of hard work, but if you’ve never tried a reel lawn mower (a mower which uses no electricity or battery), you’re missing out. They are very simple to use (and easier than you might think), work great, are good for your lawn, and save tons of money and pollution – plus you’ll get more exercise mowing the lawn, which could reduce future medical bills!
These small changes all add up, and over time, they can make a big impact on your environment and the world – not to mention your wallet. If everyone adopted just one or two of these changes in their daily lives, it wouldn’t be long before we would see a huge difference in the health of the planet!