Part 1: Reduce Waste, Reuse, Recycle: A Mantra For Our Time
Reduce waste. Reuse. Recycle.
We have heard this environmental mantra for many years, but what does it give us and why should we care? These three words provide a guide towards rescuing our earth from the harmful effects of climate change. You may not see it, but climate change is already altering our environment. If you lived along the southeast coast of the U.S., you would see the ghost forests killed by the rising salt water. If you lived in southern Florida, you would see the frequently flooded streets and homes. And, if you farmed rice in Vietnam, the salt water would have destroyed your fields. There are more real-time examples than just these, and there will be many more to follow.
The increased atmospheric temperature causes climate change. Almost every expert agrees that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and methane gas are primarily responsible for the rising temperatures. These experts also agree that humans can effectively halt this. Each of us must take steps to reach this goal. We can do this by reducing consumption, reusing what we can, and recycling whatever is possible.
Like any good mantra, it bears repeating: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. The next three blogs by our solar powered products and composting supplies company will show you how you can do your part without dramatically changing your lifestyle. You might even discover ways to save money. First, here are ways to reduce.
Reduce waste by Saving Energy
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels provided about 65% of the energy used in the U.S. in 2016. Therefore, your reduction in energy produced by fossil fuels will directly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Go solar at home, work and play. The availability of a solar powered tools and LED solar powered lights is increasing while the cost is decreasing. Additionally, tax credits are offered in some areas. Excess solar energy produced often will be bought by energy companies and added to the grid. Many businesses are adding solar panels to cover all or a portion of their power needs. Personal solar powered gadgets, from chargers to camping lights, are available.
Check out some of our favorite solar mobile chargers that can charge your smartphone without the need for an electric outlet. This charger not only charges up to two devices at the same time, but can also be used as a flashlight.
For your next outdoor adventure, don't forget an awesome solar camping light. One of our bestsellers is the LuminAID Packlite Max 2-in-1 Solar Lantern and Smart Phone Charger, which is lit with LED solar powered lights. It's collapsible, so it can be easily concealed in your backpack. LuminAID solar inflatable lanterns can be collapsed down, so you'll have more room for other camping necessities, while also having a light you can use at your campsite or on a dark trail.
Include these simple steps in your daily routine as recommended by Harvard University. They will reduce your electric bill.
- Shutdown your computer.
- Use LED bulbs.
- Unplug idle electronics to eliminate vampire power.
- Use a power strip to unplug all electronics at once.
- Turn off all unused lights.
Additionally, saving energy also equals saving money. Check out these awesome energy saving hacks from our friends at Save On Energy.
Reduce Food Waste
According to the EPA, in 2014 Americans tossed away more than 38 million tons of food. About 95% went to landfills and combustion facilities, emitting harmful methane gas into the atmosphere. This is one area where you can save big. You paid for every food item you had to throw away. Therefore, you waste money to create harmful waste.
Reduce food waste in your home
The EPA compiled a list of food planning, storage, preparation, and thriftiness tips such as planning your meals before you shop; determining the proper place to store each fruit and vegetable; freezing cooked perishable items, and using leftovers creatively. The EPA also has a toolkit to help you calculate your food waste and determine how to stop it.
Reduce food waste by creating a secondary use!
- Some safe and nutritious foods, such as unwanted canned or frozen goods, can be donated to local food banks.
- Hook up your supermarket with an animal rescue group, such as a bird shelter, which will pick up unsalable produce.
- Compost. If you cannot create a compost pile, check for a nearby community garden that likely will be glad to use it. We also sell plenty of composting supplies!
To learn more about how recycling can help lower your environmental footprint, be sure to check out this comprehensive guide to recycling electronics from our friends at ICRFQ!
Reduce waste by changing your transportation
This is another way to directly reduce harmful gases and save money.
- If affordable, purchase an electric car.
- Prices are decreasing while selection and availability of power stations are increasing.
- Go by bicycle.
- Many urban areas are improving their bike paths and providing safe bike racks. Find a good used bike with a sturdy basket. You can exercise, help the earth and save money in the same trip
- Use a ride share
- Some urbanites have sold their car or downsized to one car. They rely on ride shares to do everything from going to the laundromat to going out to dinner
- Share rides with family and friends with the same destination and with co-workers
- Public Transportation
Use it when you can.
Reduce waste by sharing
There are many possibilities here. Think about all those items you need only occasionally. It might be a snow blower, or a chain saw, canning equipment, folding chairs, or a 12-foot ladder. Consider sharing the acquisition cost or trading with your neighbor. Use your imagination and creativity to save money while eliminating the energy and raw materials required to manufacture and transport duplicate products.
For example, how about a large solar-powered freezer shared by several neighbors?