The world is a beautiful place, yet the current state of our environment is alarming.
Did you know?
- The US has less than 4% of its forests left.
- More than 100 million Americans live in urban areas where the air is officially classified by the EPA as unsafe to breathe.
- 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean every year.
- One in four mammals is at the risk of extinction--78% of marine mammals are threatened by accidental deaths such as getting caught in fishing nets intended for other species.
- At least 50 million acres of rainforest are lost every year, totaling an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland combined.
- Everyday in the United States, we produce enough trash to equal the weight of the Empire State Building, yet 84% of all household waste can be recycled.
- If the entire world lived like the average American, we’d need 5 planets to provide enough resources.
|Michel Comte for Vogue 1996|
It's kind of hard to believe all of that is happening and that we are the source of the problem. Many of us, including myself, often think the actions we take in our own lives are too small to have any real impact on the environment. We see now that that's untrue.
Here are 10 easy ways you can do your part to help save our environment:
- Take shorter showers and skip baths. A 5-minute shower uses approximately 15-25 gallons of water. Most baths require 40 gallons of water.
- Wear organic fabrics like cotton and linen. Natural fibers are less harmful to the environment and are better for your skin.
- Aside from animal welfare related issues, the production of leather goods has a significant negative impact on the environment due to the toxicity of chemicals used to process and tan the leather. Make the switch to vegan leather--to be sure yours is eco-friendly, look for goods made of "Oeko-tex Standard 100" certified, eco-friendly polyurethane.
- Replace your cleaning products with baking soda and water. Baking soda is an all-purpose, natural way to clean your house.
- Recycling one aluminum can uses 95% less energy than making one from new materials.
- Prevent 300 pounds of C02 each year by buying fluorescent light bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs use 60% less energy than regular bulbs.
- Invest in an energy-efficient laptop. Laptops save almost 50% more energy than their desktop counterparts.
- Buy locally grown produce instead of the frozen, pre-packaged stuff. Frozen food uses up to 10 times more energy to produce.
- Start a compost pile. Use leaves, food scraps, and other biodegradable items. Add the earthy mix to your yard and garden.
- Instead of buying a case of waters at the grocery store, invest in a reusable nalgene.