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22 Ways You Can Help the Environment This Year

by One Tree Planted April 09, 2024 4 min read

22 Ways You Can Help the Environment This Year
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22 Ways To Protect Our Planet

Have you ever encountered someone who doesn’t believe in climate change or isn't concerned about the plastic in our oceans? While someone's negative outlook can definitely be a damper on your day, we’re here to remind you that even the tiniest seeds can grow into mighty forests. So don’t let a negative opinion get in the way of you doing your part for the planet!

Small acts of environmental stewardship are a fantastic way to make a difference over time. If you’re interested in learning new ways to fight climate change and work towards a greener future, check out our list of ways you can help the environment this year!

1. Learn How To Store Produce

Do you feel a pang of regret when you have to toss that wilting bag of spring mix or the lemons you could have sworn you bought just a few days ago? Learning how to properly store your fresh produce so it lasts longer will benefit both nature and your wallet, as it can help you reduce waste!

2. Keep Plastic Out Of The Kitchen

Plastic cutlery, straws, cling wrap and sandwich bags can all be swapped for reusable and eco-friendly alternatives. Bamboo utensils, metal straws, beeswax wraps and silicone sandwich bags are just a few options that will help divert plastic from landfills. 

3. Utilize Public Transportation

Taking advantage of city bikes, buses, subways, trains and streetcars can help minimize carbon emissions. Where to begin? Before ordering a cab or hopping into your own car, see if you can take public transit instead — especially for long commutes or non-urgent errands.

4. Only Wash The Essentials

Each load of laundry can use up to 20 gallons of water. To cut down on water usage, stick to washing the essentials. This means tossing your sweaty gym clothes and undergarments in the bin, but holding off on the denim jeans or sweatshirt you wore for only a few hours. 

5. Unplug Energy Suckers

Certain electronics, such as laptop chargers, speakers, game consoles, and printers, can suck up energy even if they aren't being used. To minimize this, simply unplug your electronics or use a smart power strip to easily turn off multiple electronics at once. 

6. Start Meal Prepping

Prepping your meals ahead of time is a way you can easily reduce food waste. Try reserving some time each Sunday for cooking and meal-prepping and see how planning your meals ahead can have a positive impact on your mood, your health, your wallet and the planet!

7. Fix Broken Items Instead Of Tossing Them

These days, it’s common to replace broken items instead of getting them fixed. From kitchen appliances to clothes and furniture, call the mechanic or seamstress before clicking “add to cart”. Fixing or repairing your broken items will help extend their life!

8. Make A Sustainable Period Product Swap

It’s easy to use an excessive amount of plastic during that time of the month! Using silicone menstrual cups, reusable cotton pads, period undies and compostable wipes can all help reduce the plastic that is thrown into the bin during your period.

9. Do A Closet Deep Clean

Take an hour (or two) to clean out your closet and make a donation pile for the items you don’t use anymore. Clothes, shoes, jackets and jewelry can all be donated to local charities or secondhand shops that divert waste in landfills. 

10. Use Renewable Energy

There are many ways you can incorporate renewable energy into your lifestyle. Driving an electric vehicle, signing up for solar panels, sourcing a green energy provider and swapping in LED light bulbs are just a few great ways to green up your energy usage.

11. Be An Activist In Your Community

Believe it or not, you don’t need a large following to be an environmental activist! Educating yourself through research, attending peaceful protests, donating money and reaching out to your local political representatives are all great ways to be an eco-activist in your community.

12. Conduct A Trash Audit

Conducting a simple trash audit for a whole week can help you understand just how much garbage you’re producing. Record your trash each day and when the week is up, take note of where you could improve and ask yourself if you could make any sustainable swaps to reduce waste.

13. Get Inspired By Changemakers

Prominent eco-activists provide a wealth of knowledge through websites, documentaries and books. Jane Goodall, David Attenborough, Paul Hawken and Greta Thunberg are all fantastic environmental activists that you can learn from.  

14. Go Paperless When Possible

Digital options for bank statements, newspapers, magazines and tickets are available for those who prefer to go paperless. There are also many online resources that you can use to remove your name from mailing lists. Reducing the paper in your mailbox is an easy way to save trees!

15. Volunteer your time

Volunteering at local eco-restoration events is a great way to expand your social circle, get active, and of course, help the environment! Google your local environmental organization to find an event near you.

16. Make A Donation

If you’re unable to volunteer your time, donate to an organization that is doing great work. Naturally, our favorite recommendation is planting a tree with us, which will help the environment for years to come.

17. Ditch The Dairy

Did you know that swapping out the milk in your morning cereal can have a positive environmental impact? Reach for plant-based alternatives such as oat or soy milks that require less land, water and emissions for production.

18. Change Bad Habits

Do you keep the water running when you brush your teeth, or your car idling when you run into a store? You're not alone, but try to change your habits and take note of the little things you can do to save energy or reduce carbon emissions. 

19. Lead The Next Generation

You don’t need to be a teacher to educate youth on climate change and sustainability! Watch educational documentaries, read books and discuss important environmental topics with your kids or young relatives to teach them how they can work towards a greener future and make a positive impact. 

20. Be Water Conscious

You may already know that taking shorter showers, reducing laundry loads and hand washing dishes can help you reduce water usage.  But did you know that eating less meat also reduces water usage? Swap your burger for a grain bowl the next time you’d like to make an eco-friendly choice! 

21. Invest In Green Energy

Put your money where your mouth is and invest in a greener future! You can do this by buying renewable energy stocks from companies that use wind, solar and hydroelectric sources. With the world moving away from carbon-based fossil fuels, investing in clean energy is a wise move for your portfolio and the planet.

22. Hold Brands Accountable

If you’ve noticed that your favorite brands have unsustainable business practices, you can help change their ways! When enough people show their desire for eco-friendly solutions, brands are more likely to consider them to keep their customers happy. Don’t be afraid to send out that email and start a conversation!

We hope these mindful tips will encourage you to make conscious actions towards helping the environment this year! Just want to plant a tree? We can help with that!

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