Keep it clean

Ways you can keep our planet healthy

by Taylor Key, Staff Writer

While earth day is often a great reminder to care for the planet that supports life as we know it, it’s important to know how the average person can contribute to the planet’s overall health and our continuous well being 365 days a years. Here are some ways to go green and celebrate Mother Earth.

1. Get better about recycling 

This year alone, it is estimated that the world will produce 2.6 trillion pounds of garbage. This number may seem like a lot, but there are several ways an average person can help. You can make an effort to buy foods that come in boxes that are either made from recyclable materials, and make sure to put those eco-friendly materials back into the blue bin.

2. Make an effort to conserve water 

Not everyone in the world has such an open access to non polluted, fresh water.  With droughts that are affecting various parts of the country, the water we do have shouldn’t be wasted. You can help preserve some h2o in a variety of ways.  Try turning off the water while you brush your teeth, or opting to take a shower instead of a bath, saving the world, and your water bill, dozens of gallons.

3. Change old light bulbs into better, energy conserving ones 

In the United States, over 270 billion kilowatt hours of energy is used a year in the residential sectors alone, a far greater number than the majority of other countries. However, in recent years, companies have created bulbs that require far less watts of energy to use.  Not only do these bulbs require only about 30% to 80% the amount normal bulbs use, but they also last longer than the average type, meaning that you can save money and save the environment at the same time.

4. Skip out on red meat at least once a week 

It’s no mystery that red meat is yummy most people would love to have steak for dinner or bacon for breakfast. But not only is it chocked full of cholesterol and fat, recent evidence points to it also being a serious contributor to global warming and decrease of the environment. The meat industry is directly responsible for 85 percent of all soil erosion in the U.S and over a third of our raw materials go to raising livestock. By cutting down the meat just one day a week, it can help limit these effects.

5. Bring your own bags to the grocery stores 

In the Austin area alone many stores have begun to make it mandatory to bring in your own bags while out shopping, and for good reason. The plastic used to bag goods can take thousands of years to naturally degrade and can have harmful effects on wildlife that gets caught in them. While simply keeping a handful of cloth bags in your car when you go shopping is a small change, it can make a big difference.