The health of the environment remains a cause for concern, both here and abroad. But each day, we can make the choice to conserve precious resources, to actually improve water, air, and soil quality. Here are just a few simple ways we can make a difference, for ourselves, for the next generation, and those that follow:
- Stop using nonstick pans. Bird owners in particular should use cast iron pans, as nonstick cookware releases a toxic chemical into the air when they reach high temperatures. Remember, the chemical is there, even if you can’t smell it. If it’s poisonous to birds, what is it doing to you?
- Swap traditional light bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs, with use up to 75% less energy, and will actually last up to ten times longer. As a bonus, you’ll also save a little bit of money on your energy bill.
- Use a natural concoction of vinegar and dishwashing detergent to spray weeds. This combination works to control future weed populations while also eliminating the poisonous chemicals found in commercial weed sprays.
- Besides being aesthetically pleasing, ceiling fans can also help to keep a room cooler in the summer, and when reversed, keep a room warmer in the winter; helping to reduce energy bills year round.
- Mulch. Mulch. Mulch. Adding bark or other coverings to plants and trees helps to slow water evaporation rates, while also working to reduce weeds. An additional bonus; as the mulch decays, it adds nutrients to the soil.
- Eat grass-fed beef. We all know that grass-fed beef contains high levels of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but grass-fed cattle have a significantly reduced impact on the environment as well.
- Check your windows and doors for leaks and seal them. A leaky door can contribute to higher energy bills, by letting warm air escape in the winter and cool air escape in the summer.
- Let your lawn grow out. A manicured lawn may look nice, but it does no favors for the condition of your grass. Allowing grass to grow strengthens roots, allowing the grass to better withstand adverse conditions such as drought, while also reducing the amount of weeds and crabgrass.
- Buy your food locally when possible. Purchasing local can reduce emissions from food traveling thousands of miles to your supermarket.
- Grow your own tomatoes. Almost anyone can grow a tomato plant, even if you’re in an apartment with little green space. I challenge you to grow your own tomatoes and do a taste test with a tomato purchased at the supermarket. The difference is astounding.
- If you graze cattle, implement Holistic planned grazing, which sequesters more carbon than continuously grazed land.
Many of these changes cost little to implement, and can bring tremendous dividends to the environment. Don’t wait for someone else to solve our environmental issues. Working together, we can help to bring about change that will be good for all of us.
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