5 Weird but Effective Ways to Help the Environment
Funky Ideas that Make the Earth a Happier Place
Tired of every “Going Green” article giving the same 10 tips?
Try eating less meat. Buy reusable straws. Carpool. It’s gotten a bit old, hasn’t it?
Once you’ve tackled the basics, continuing to lessen your carbon footprint can become a challenge. But, worry not! Your friendly neighborhood science enthusiast (hello!) did a bit of investigation to find uncommon tips that can help you be kinder to mother earth. Discover 5 weird [but effective] ways to shrink that environmental effect a tad more:
1. Delete Your Emails
Did you know that your emails are using up energy? All those gigabytes of content sit in servers across the world and the more data you have, the more energy you’re using up.
According to the Good Planet, each individual email contributes to the production of about 0.3 grams of carbon dioxide, and storing 1,000 emails takes servers about 32 kWh. That means that an action as simple as clearing out your spam and your inbox can prevent unnecessary energy use and CO2 output!
Bonus tip: you can also clear files on your cloud storage for a similar effect. The less you have on servers, the better!
2. Download Your Music
Streaming music and watching music videos can take a toll on your data and your battery. Along with using up energy to constantly recharge your phone, streaming through 4G or Wi-Fi can use a ton of energy up too! Instead, opt-in for a service that allows you to download your favorite tunes. Instead of reloading the same songs over and over, you’ll cut back by keeping it handy on your own device’s storage!
On top of the environmental help, having a collection of music to listen to offline is game-changing. Especially in places that have poor or no signal, like mountain roads and airplanes, downloading ahead of time is ideal.
Important Note: For downloading to be more eco-friendly, you need to listen to it a few times or more. If you’re planning on watching or listening to something only once, it’s better to stream it once.
3. Change Your Bank
Your bank might be funding fossil fuels. According to bank.green, the top 60 private-sector banks invested 3.8 trillion dollars in the fossil fuel industry in only five years. If your money is stored with one of those top 60, a remarkably effective way to help the planet is to swap over to a bank that pledges to only make ethical investments.
When you move your money over to a bank that keeps its finances green, your currency will no longer be part of what large banks use to give businesses loans to expand pipelines, plants, and other facilities. Rest easy while your money stays far away from petroleum, coal, and other fossil fuels.
If you’d like to see whether your current bank is sustainable, bank.green has an amazing search tool! No matter your country or bank, you can search to see your impact. When you’re ready to make the switch to a sustainable bank, you can head on over to bankforgood.com. Bank for Good’s search engine can help you find a financial institution near you. Plus, their filters can make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for from a new, green bank.
4. Save Your Dryer Lint
If you’re a big fan of camping or are looking to add items to an emergency kit, this tip is for you. Dryer lint is a rather good item to use to start fires (There’s a reason you need to remove it after each cycle)! Once you save up enough, you’ll be able to start fires in a jiffy.
With this strategy, you won’t have to go out to purchase fire starters. You’ll save money, cut down on production costs, and also prevent more trash from being sent off to the nearest landfill! If you’re not the outdoorsy or prepper type, check out this neat article on other ways to reuse dryer lint.
5. Recycle Less
Okay, hear me out on this one. Recycling the wrong stuff can make it a lot more difficult for your local waste treatment facilities to sort and process materials. Before you lump together all your waste into the blue bin, make sure that what you put in the bin will actually be able to be processed by your city. When you throw something in like a soggy piece of pizza cardboard, not only will someone have to pull that off the conveyor belt, but it also has the potential to damage other recyclable objects to the point that they’ll have to be trashed.
Also, not all material we consider recyclable is actually processable. Plastic, for instance, is not all recyclable: many types can’t be melted down properly to be reused in modern recycling facilities.
If you want to check what your city accepts, check out How2Recycle.com. Not only will it let you know what your city accepts, but it also links to sources that will help you find locations to properly dispose of items that aren’t accepted by your city. You can also visit Earth 911 to learn more about how and where to recycle near you.
Have a unique tip for helping out the planet? Let me know in the comments :)
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