This lesson has taught her giving back to our environment can be an accumulation of small actions.
“While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary.” Matt Bevin
We as humans impact the planet in big ways. The five “R’s” help us remember how to positively impact our environment with simple choices. These are all things you can start doing right away that greatly help Earth thrive.
R – Recycle: This is a great way you can help save energy and emissions! Items made from recycled goods need less energy to be created and wasted. Our garbage filling landfills is a terrible sight, and recycling saves on waste and helps many companies create goods from things we use every day. Note: read the recycling rules in your area, many of us accidently throw things in the recycling bin that can’t be recycled.
R – Repurpose: Give that old glass container new life, with a new purpose! We can save a lot of carbon dioxide from being produced by re-using glass products at home. Making a vase, using it as kitchen storage and change storage, the possibilities are endless! This doesn’t only apply to glass, we can re-purpose many things in our home instead of throwing it away.
R – Reuse: Every year, we lose 20 million trees to make paper cups. That is a lot of trees! Grandma suggests using reusable mugs and thermos’ to lower this number, which reduces carbon emissions and saves trees, which lots of species use for homes. Grandma keeps a mug at her work desk, and in the car.
R – Reduce: Hang drying your laundry can lessen your carbon footprint by upwards of 2,400 pounds a year! The smell of hang dried laundry reminds Grandma of the good ol’ days. A “carbon footprint” is the measure of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere via our daily activities. Buying locally sourced food also helps reduce your carbon footprint, and a very simple change is to replace incandescent lightbulbs in your home with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs.
R – Refuse: This is the last R, and a fun one! Refuse plastic bags at the grocery store. Did you know it takes at least 1,000 years for a plastic bag to degrade? Next time at the grocery store, take a reusable tote! Refusing to use paper products you don’t need can also help, such as plastic straws, flyers handed out in public (if you aren’t planning on reading it) and paper cups. Refusing un-necessary paper products can lead to less manufacturing and a healthier Earth!
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