8 Small Ways to Help Save the Environment
Given all those credit card offers and glitzy catalogs, houses receive tons of junk mail each year. Recycle that junk. Also explore how free sites like catalogchoice.org can help prevent your home from becoming a paper junkyard and save the environment at the same time.
Ride a Bike
If you live within a few miles of school or extracurricular activities, have the kids bike to save gas. Think about what you live close to, and start biking or walking to grab dinner instead of jumping in the car.
Plant for Clean Air
Plant a tree. Plant some flowers. Plant a shrub. Trees and other plants are this planet’s main source of oxygen. They are on the job 24 hours a day, working to improve the environment by taking in carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen.
Choose Green Toys
Pick toys made of sustainable wood or organic cotton. These products don’t contain harmful toxins sometimes found in plastic toys, like phthalates, the chemicals that make plastic durable, flexible and transparent. Phthalates are harmful to the environment and a child’s health.
Say Goodbye to Styrofoam
Styrofoam can sit in landfills for hundreds and hundreds of years. Take paper plates on picnics or buy eggs in cardboard containers.
Turn off Power
Turn off power strips and unplug electronics like your computer and cell phone charger. According to an article from the New York Times titled “Just How Much Power Do Your Electronics Use When They Are ‘Off’?” Roughly 50 devices and appliances in the typical American household are always drawing power, even when they appear to be off.
Check out your Footprint
Kids will be fascinated calculating their family’s “carbon footprint” – or how much greenhouse gas they emit. By answering whether they walk or ride to school, how many bags of trash their family takes out each week, or the types of electronics in your house, kids can see how many Earths it would take to support their lifestyle if everyone on the planet lived the same lifestyle. Visit calc.zerofootprint.net to test.
Rather than tossing those empty juice boxes and cookie wrappers, why not get paid for them? Upcycling is the process of turning trash into treasures. Companies like TerraCycle collect drink pouches, candy wrappers, office and beauty supplies, and more and turn them into bags, holiday bows, school supplies and other useful items.