The impact of climate change can be felt everywhere, from rising sea levels to rising temperatures. Then there’s air and water pollution that can take millions of years to recover. Another issue is our over-reliance on fossil fuels – We aren’t shifting fast enough to renewable energy sources like solar and wind.
You as an individual may not be able to do much about these big problems, but you can play a small role in making the environment a better place. You have to start small before going big, and if enough people start small, then together we will find solutions to these big problems.
At the Hazelton’s office, we are doing what we can to make the Earth a little greener. Our floors and walls are all made of reclaimed wood and we strive to never let any raw material go to waste. Our belief is that we must all do our bit for the environment and not just for the sake of future generations, but also for the other species that populate our vast beautiful world.
Keeping all this in mind, here are five simple ways you can help Mother Earth.
1. Save Water: You’ve probably heard this a million times but turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth. You don’t need an audience of gushing water as you’re cleaning your pearly whites. Also, there’s no need to take long showers every day, unless you keep falling into sewers. And if you’re feeling up to it, try to take more cold showers than hot – it saves energy (therefore saves money too) and has many, many health benefits. Cold showers build willpower because it forces you to endure something uncomfortable. Cold showers also make your skin healthier whereas hot water dries out your skin.
2. Drive Less: If it won’t upset your schedule too much, think about taking public transportation to work instead of your car – you’ll save money on fuel! More vehicles on the road means more greenhouse gases. Or maybe you can bike to work, not only is it good exercise but you can also wave at drivers who are stuck in traffic. Another option is to carpool. Do you know anyone near your home that works in the same area as you? Or if you live near a co-worker or two, you can all go to work together.
3. Don’t Waste Food: Wasted food is dumped in landfills that results in the production of methane, a deadlier greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Also, ‘less is more’ really applies here, because the less food you waste, the more water you save (Don’t forget that cooking requires water so if you cook only how much you can eat, you’ll use less water). Best of all, the less food you waste, the more money you save on groceries.
4. Buy In Bulk: Products that come in bulk use less packaging than products that are packed individually. Natural resources are required to make packaging, so when you buy in bulk, you are supporting the environmentally friendly practice of using less packaging. For example, why buy toothpaste 10 different times, which comes in 10 different packages, instead of buying 10 toothpastes together in a single package? The latter uses less packaging. In this case, more is more: The more you buy in bulk, the more natural resources are saved. Costco, Bulk Barn and Sam’s Club are great places to buy in bulk and save money.
5. Cold Water Laundry: Not only does washing your laundry with warm water cost more money and use more energy, it can also damage certain clothes. Cold water protects the dyes and colours of clothes and prevents the shrinkage of clothes. The Laundry Goddess says that to successfully wash your clothes in cold water, you should only use liquid detergent, as most powders need warm water to completely dissolve and clean thoroughly. You must also ensure you use the right amount of detergent – too little and your clothes will remain unclean and too much will leave a soapy residue on your clothes. The good news is that most major brands offer detergent specifically for cold water, so you can make the switch easily if you haven’t already.
We hope we’ve made it crystal clear how saving the environment can also save your money. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but you can certainly use money to buy things that make you happy, like bubble wrap! Did you know popping bubble wrap has been scientifically proven to be incredibly satisfying? But more importantly, if you follow the tips listed above you'll be doing your part to make Earth a healthy home for us all. Remember, the actions you take today will shape tomorrow’s planet (and your wallet!), so we encourage you to make a positive difference today!
Author: Rohan Parekh