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Environmentalism Made Easy
Posted by Murriel Cherise Perez on Jan 14, 2007, 00:45

Welcome to 2007! New Year's resolutions often end up being rather overambitious; such as go to the gym every day or too ambiguous such as be a better person. Instead of trying to change your life all at once, why not take weekly steps to live responsibly and better the world around you?

 

I know, I know – easier said than done, right? Well, you don’t have to quit your job and set up shop preserving indigenous cultures or rescuing endangered species; although it would be fantastic if you are ever so inclined. Living responsibly is much easier than that – it starts at home.  It is so easy that after a while, it becomes a way of life much like the way that cars, running water, and many other great inventions have become ways of life.

 

With this inaugural column of Eco-Friendly, we'll start things off slowly with the basics of conservation and environmental awareness. Most likely, you have heard these tips before, but it never hurts to have a little reminder of the things we should be doing to preserve the earth and ecosystem that we call home. As the column progresses, expect more information about exciting, lesser known ways of conserving the environment and making a positive contribution to society.

#1: Don't Litter

Although almost all Americans know that waste belongs in the trash can, newspapers, candy wrappers, and all sorts of junk end up on the streets, beaches, and parks instead of in the trash bin. Maybe you were actually aiming for the trash can, but missed. Forgive yourself for not being Kobe Bryant, then pick up your trash and end your free throws until they make it into the bin.

#2: Recycle

If the local waste management department doesn't pick up your recycling, just designate a special trash for cans, bottles, and other recyclable material, and bring them in to a recycling station. Frequently, recycling stations are set up beside supermarkets, so you can just drop the bag off before you go in to get your groceries.

 

Don’t overlook parties, picnics and outdoor beach barbeques. Since a good number of bottle and can trash is generated on these occasions, and the facilities may not have recycling containers, just bring a separate bag to collect the recyclables. If you're really ambitious, you can take the extra step and label the bag "recyclables" so messy trash doesn't end up mixed in with the bottles.

#3: Electricity

Turn off your holiday season lights early. Better still, maybe it's time to consider taking them down for the year. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. If possible, don't leave the thermostat on when you leave the house. Instead, try to set the timer to turn on when you expect to return.

 

OK – so far, so good. But we're just getting started. Don’t forget, all sorts of excellent side benefits result from just a few proactive steps. In addition to personal gratification and the knowledge that you are improving society, many of these actions will also save you money, in the form of lower electric bills and extra change from recycling. Why wouldn’t you start today?






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