Invest half an hour to protect the environment by changing how you live each day
By Larry West, About.com Guide
You may not be able to reduce global warming, end pollution and save endangered species single-handed, but by choosing to live an earth-friendly lifestyle you can do a lot every day to help achieve those goals.
And by making wise choices about how you live, and the amount of energy and natural resources you consume, you send a clear message to businesses, politicians and government agencies that value you as a customer, constituent and citizen.
Here are five simple things you can do—in 30 minutes or less—to help protect the environment and save Planet Earth.
Drive Less, Drive Smart
Every time you leave your car at home you reduce air pollution, lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve your health and save money.
Walk or ride a bicycle for short trips, or take public transportation for longer ones. In 30 minutes, most people can easily walk a mile or more, and you can cover even more ground on a bicycle, bus, subway or commuter train. Research has shown that people who use public transportation are healthier than those who don’t. Families that use public transportation can save enough money annually to cover their food costs for the year.
When you do drive, take the few minutes needed to make sure your engine is well maintained and your tires properly inflated.
- Benefits of Public Transportation
- Keeping Your Tires Properly Inflated Could Help Save the Planet—and Your Life
Eat Your Vegetables
Eating less meat and more fruits, grains and vegetables can help the environment more than you may realize. Eating meat, eggs and dairy products contributes heavily to global warming, because raising animals for food produces many more greenhouse gas emissions than growing plants. A 2006 report by the University of Chicago found that adopting a vegan diet does more to reduce global warming than switching to a hybrid car.
Raising animals for food also uses enormous amounts of land, water, grain and fuel. Every year in the United States alone, 80 percent of all agricultural land, half of all water resources, 70 percent of all grain, and one-third of all fossil fuels are used to raise animals for food.
Making a salad doesn’t take any more time than cooking a hamburger and it’s better for you—and for the environment.