Plastic items with every number of resin identification code is recyclable, but varies from location to location.
Avoid utilizing plastic bags if at all possible. Reusable bags (such as cloth bags) are an alternative, and after 6-10 uses, you make up for the energy used to make it. After your reusable bag is ineffectual, it can be given to the Grateful Thread.
Electrical use is the biggest household energy consumer. Even when electronics are not in use, they still require energy, so shut down your computer(s) every night. It takes all of 5 seconds.
You can actually grow food from scraps. Instead of waste ending up in landfills, they can be used to provide more food. Carrot tops (with the greens), garlic, green onions, and potatoes all work. Pineapples can be grown from tops as well, but requires 2 years to produce fruit.
Eat locally! The fuel needed to transport food is a huge contributor to carbon emissions.
Conserve water at home. Wasting water is one of the biggest ways individuals impact the health of the planet. Taking measures to use less water is something you can start doing right away. If you live in an area with a water shortage, this is even more important for the health of your region's environment. Try to check off as many items as possible from this list:
Check and fix any water leaks. A leaky faucet can waste a lot of water.
Install water-saving devices on your faucets and toilets. A low-flow showerhead could be a good start.
Don't wash dishes with the water running continuously. Use a method that requires less water to get the dishes clean.
Turn off washing machine's water supply to prevent leaks. It doesn't need to be on all the time.
Replace old toilets with new ones that use a lot less water.
Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes. Doing a half-load wastes water.
Don't use too much water to water your lawn.
Don't leave the faucet running while you brush your teeth.
Use fewer chemicals. Chemicals used to wash our bodies, homes, cars and everything else get washed down the drain or absorbed in the grass, and eventually end up in the water supply. Since most people use heavy-duty chemicals for all sorts of things, chemicals are doing real damage to waterways and aquatic life. The chemicals aren't good for humans, either, so do your best to cut back on them. Here's how:
Learn about alternatives household cleaning items that do not use hazardous chemicals. For example, using a solution of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water works as well as most commercial cleaners for basic cleaning jobs. Baking soda and salt are cheap, nontoxic cleansers, but should be used in moderation.
When no good alternatives to a toxic item exist, determine the least amount required for an effective, sanitary result and use a minimal amount each time you clean. Paying close attention to the requisite amount will help you reduce and also save money.
Instead of using chemical-laden shampoos and soaps, try making your own.
Instead of using pesticides and herbicides, find natural ways to get rid of weeds and pests.
Help identify large-scale water polluters. Individuals can only do so much when it comes to keeping water clean. Businesses and industries are often the culprits when it comes to water pollution. In order to protect the earth's water, concerned citizens should speak up and find ways to stop pollution at its source.
Join a local environmental group that works to clean up the water in your area, whether it's a river, lake or ocean.
Contact your local representative to speak up about your views on keeping water chemical-free.
Volunteer to help clean up beaches or riverbanks.
Help others get involved in efforts to clean up the water in your area.
Dispose of toxic waste the right way. Paint, motor oil, ammonia, and a host of other chemicals should not be poured down the drain or directly into the ecosystem. They'll soak into the earth and end up in the groundwater. Contact your local sanitation department to find out about best practice for disposing of hazardous waste and toxic chemicals.
Drive and fly less often. Another big source of air pollution that has led to global warming is emissions from cars, trucks, planes and other vehicles. The manufacture of the vehicles, the gas needed to run them, the chemicals they burn, and the production of roads all play a part. If you can drive and fly less often, you'll be doing a lot to help save the planet.