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Simple Everyday Habits You Can Do To Help The Earth

As a young girl I remember taking a pledge with Michael Phelps (American competitive swimmer) on promising to turning the faucet off when I am brushing my teeth. It is something I have always done as a simple but effective way to reduce water waste. So here are some simple ways you can help the earth everyday.

Colgate - Michael Phelps Spread the Save Water Message This Earth Day

Turning Off The Water When Brushing Teeth 

On average, about two gallons of water flow from a faucet each minute. Something as simple as turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save up to three or four gallons of water per person per day. That’s more than 1,000 gallons of water per year or enough for almost 100 four-minute showers.”(Nov. 6 Tap water can add up to big waste)

“There is a common misconception that there is an unlimited supply of water for human usage. This is a misconception because while water is renewable, water is not always easily accessible... Water can also be located in different areas of the world, in uneven quantities. This means that sometimes, depending on your location, water can be very difficult to access…Humans mainly use water in the form of freshwater. If freshwater in the water cycle is hard for us to access, then it can’t be used by humans…Sea water can’t be used directly to provide drinking water as its salt content is too high and the processes to remove the salt come at a huge financial cost…From an environmental point of view, by looking to use sea water you would be taking a natural habitat away from the world’s marine creatures and organisms... Ninety-seven percent of all water on the earth is saltwater, which is not suitable for drinking. Only 3% of the water on Earth is freshwater, and only 0.5% is available for drinking…Water usage needs to be carefully monitored and not taken advantage of as everyone is susceptible to a water shortage. Climate change is only amplifying this problem as precipitation and weather conditions are more volatile making it hard to ensure stable water supplies."(Delaurentis Marabelle Delaurentis)

Washing Clothes With Cold Water

The Cold Water Saves Initiative educates about the benefits of cold water washing, a sustainable action that greatly benefits the environment with little effort on the individual’s part. About 90% of the energy the washing machine uses goes towards heating the water. According to the Sierra Club, every household that switches to cold water washing could eliminate about 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.Many garment care labels in your clothing specify to wash in cool or cold water. Your clothes can fade, shrink or bleed when washed in the wrong water temperature. The right temperature can prolong the lifespan of your clothes and save you money.If we all do our part to conserve energy, we can contribute to the health of our planet.”(Cold water saves)

Reusable Shopping Bag

“Bags that are not recycled end up becoming litter, because they do not biodegrade…scientists have only just begun studying the consequences of microplastic proliferation, and we do not yet know their effect on animals, humans, and the environment…Reusable bags are made from many different materials… In addition to varying widely in their eco-friendliness, there is the chance that reusable bags go unused, because consumers have to remember to bring the bags with them to the store. The biggest positive of reusable bags is that their use cuts down on the amount of litter on land and in the ocean. Studies have found that bans on plastic bags in cities in the United States and Europe have decreased the amount of plastic litter in nearby waters.”(National Geographic Society Sustainable shopping-which bag is best?)That’s good news!

Reduce Food Waste

“Today, an estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste. That’s equal to about 1.3 billion tons of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens. It could be enough calories to feed every undernourished person on the planet. But wasted food isn't just a social or humanitarian concern—it's an environmental one. When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. And if food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. About 6%-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food. In the US alone, the production of lost or wasted food generates the equivalent of 32.6 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions.”(Fight climate change by preventing food waste)

References 

https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/35280/FoodWaste.pdf

 

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