Being more conscious of how you are affecting the planet starts with small and easy changes in your daily life that will eventually create strong and long-lasting habits. These habits can be important skills that stay with your children as they grow up and learn what it takes to make a positive impact on the world. Start by taking the steps necessary to be more environmentally friendly and to lower your carbon footprint.
Here is how your family can go green in 2020!
Stop Wasting Food
Conservation International states that 40 percent of America's food production is never eaten. All of that wasted food means more than wasted dollars and it is a serious climate burden.
It takes a lot of energy to package, ship, and store food waste. Uneaten, rotting food creates greenhouse gases - while one in eight Americans do not have enough food. How can your family help change this?
The easiest way to stop wasting food is to reduce sizes. For example, use a smaller dinner plate, eat smaller meals, and own a smaller refrigerator. This can make a huge difference – not only for the environment, but also for your wallet.
Adjust Your Diet
According to Conservation International, our food system causes one-fourth of all greenhouse gases. That is 10 percent more than every car, train, and plane combined. Tweaking your family's diet can greatly help reduce global warming. For example, beef emits more than 300 grams of carbon. Chicken emits about 50 grams, and fish emits around 40. Vegetables emit less than 15 grams of carbon. By eating less beef and more veggies, the earth and your body have the potential to be healthier.
Install Solar Panels
Carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases have greatly increased in recent decades. At the same time, the threat of global climate change has grown. Renewable energy offers a way to reduce greenhouse gases and protect the climate. Electric power is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases in America.
Solar energy is a carbon-free alternative available throughout the United States that is quickly gaining a lot of popularity due to how much you can save from energy costs.
An expert company that provides solar installation in San Jose states that “solar installations offer homeowners a better return on investment than any other home improvement measures.” Solar panels can be an investment into your home that also benefits the planet. If you are interested in solar panels for your home, start by checking out the Department of Energy website to learn about solar energy in your state.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
You have heard this message before, but does your family really do it? The small changes you make at home can have a big impact on the environment. The "three R's" of sustainability can save money, energy, and natural resources. State and local governments manage recycling programs. Call your city or county to learn about recycling in your community. The Environmental Protection Agency is another good information source. See the website for tips on how to recycle items, reduce food waste, and educate your family.
End Electronic Waste
Most American families replace their cell phones every two years. There is another option for your family: fix the phones yourselves. This reduces toxic waste in landfills. There are many video tutorials online that show you how to repair electronic devices. If you must replace a device, recycle the old one. Recycling recovers thousands of pounds of copper, silver, gold, and palladium for reuse.
Skip Overnight Shipping
Four out of five Americans shop online. Online shopping is convenient and often cheaper than driving to a store. It also has a smaller carbon footprint than driving. That said, overnight shipping contributes to greenhouse gases due to more trucks on the road. Before you choose a fast delivery option, consider whether you need an item in two days. Also, resist the temptation to return things you buy online. These changes stack up over time to help the environment.
It may not seem like much at first. But, small changes make a big difference when you go green – and no one is too small to make a difference. Here's to a healthier earth in 2020!
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