Schools Training

5 Simple Ways to Make Our Planet Better

22 APR 2014

 

On Earth Day, people around the world are being extra conscious about protecting the environment of the only planet we have. As a student, there are habits you can adopt to help save the Earth and also save some extra cash.

Here are some very simple ways you can contribute to protecting the environment:

1.    Get a Reusable Mug – and use it!

Environment Impact:

Canada produces approximately 1.6 billion paper coffee cups each year. That’s equal to about 350,000 trees and 400 million gallons of water! To make matters worse, paper cups aren’t very biodegradable due to the lining used to keep liquid from seeping through. Paper cups stay in landfills for about 500 years!

What you can do:

Get a reusable mug that you adore and bring it to class, work and any place you might need to caffeinate.

How you benefit:

Besides having a better mug that will stay warm longer, tons of places offer Bring-Your-Own-Mug discounts! You can save 10% on your cup of Joe every time!

2.    Be a part-time Vegetarian

Environment Impact:

Meat productions are one of the main killers of natural resources, especially on our water supply. The raising of livestock also depletes fossil fuels and topsoil resources.

What you can do:

You don’t have to commit to being a full-time vegetarian to make an impact. Over 1,800 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef so you’re definitely doing the planet some good by skipping meat at least once a week.

How you benefit:

Much of the meat being consumed contains many chemicals and hormones that you can do without. By avoiding meat you lower the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

3.    Go Paperless

Environment Impact:

A single bill you receive every month is equal to half a tree each year.

What you can do:

Most companies allow you to access your bills online – just ask!

How you can benefit:

As some companies are charging customers anywhere from $2 to $4 per paper bill, you’ll be saving on this unnecessary expense. You’ll also avoid that paper clutter and simplify your life a little.

4.    Unplug!

Environment Impact:

Even if your electronic devices are turned off, it doesn’t mean they’re not using electricity. This excess waste of energy, called “phantom loads”, collectively costs the U.S. $11 billion per year.

What you can do:

If you’re not using it, pull the plug.This means your chargers, TV, microwaves, etc.

How you can benefit:

“Phantom loads” add about 10% to your electricity bill every cycle.

5.    Leave the car parked at home

Environmental impact:

Cars have one of the largest negative effects on the environment. It impacts the Earth’s water quality, use of resources and is one of the main sources of carbon dioxide emissions.

What you can do:

Why not take public transportation or ride your bike a couple of days a week?

How you benefit:

Taking into consideration today’s gas prices, the money you’ll be saving on fuel is an obvious benefit. You’ll also have more free time to read that book you haven’t had time for by sitting on a bus or subway.

If you want to learn more about how you can protect the environment, have a look at some educational articles on the subject. You can also check out your school’s news to find out how your school is helping the environment and have a look through the school directory to see how other schools are getting involved. Happy Earth Day!


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