Things you can do to help the environment

The world is realizing that the only way to stop the global warming and other ways of environmental degradation is by gathering mankind in a single effort. Now it is time for you to place your two cents. Here you have a list of things you can (and should) do right away to stop polluting the environment. We thought that making a list is not that enough. Therefore, we have included some explanations.

+ The main pollutant we are throwing to the air is carbon dioxide. So, if you do not want to stop using your car, at least leave it at home twice a week, during weekends; change your filters every year and keep tuned the pressure of your tires. These simple measures will reduce your consumption of fuel and the emissions your car throws into the air.

+ Now, if you share rides with your co-workers and neighbours, avoid stepping on the pedal for hard accelerations and use the overdrive system as much as you can, your contribution will be even bigger.

+ Another thing you can do is to stop using machines for activities in which your human power is more than enough. Walk to the store or ride a bike to go shopping, forget your motored lawnmower and return to the one you pushed. At home, consider eating salads more frequently, so you can stop making so many meals with your cooker every day.

+ Talking about home, you must also remember that global warming is not only due to emissions of carbon dioxide. The more you waste the more you force companies to buy more raw materials to meet their demand, so buy things packed in light recyclable packages. Also, separate a day to have your house checked for water leaks and to tune up your radiator. Besides this, change all your light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps and promise yourself you will stop using devices without rechargeable batteries.

+ Plant a new tree in your garden. If making a fence, make it with bamboo as it absorbs some heat.

+ And do not forget to close the water tap while you wash your clothes, your face of your teeth. One thing to add, reduce your thermostat half a degree during winter. Now, why not washing your clothes by hand and using soap instead of detergent? Avoiding the use of washing machines and dryers save a lot of energy.

+ At the office, convince your boss to place a second waste-basket only for recyclable materials. Remember him that contributing with the environment is on fashion worldwide and that example is the best way to get results. He will be happy to inform his department of public relations about this brand new decision; and they will be happy to make it known on the media.

+ Besides that, decide to waste less paper by printing and photocopying documents on both sides. The document is too important to be printed in both sides? Add this line and you will see: "Our company is seriously committed to the effort of stopping environmental destruction." The others will get green with envy.

+ Cut the used paper in pieces instead of sending it straight to the shredder and use the reverse side to write some notes. You will save a lot of post-its and you can send it to the recyclable bin later. Also change your pencils for lead pencils.

+ Teachers! Do not ask to your students more materials than they will need! And ask them to send you their papers by e-mail. Take advantage of your position and raise awareness in schools by bringing sciences to life and soon you will see the difference.

+ At the store, choose glass over plastic recipients for your liquids, buy products packaged in recyclable materials and try to package your things in less bags. Clerks, do your part and reduce the number of plastic bags you give to your customers. There is no need to give five plastic bags if he's buying just twelve items.

+ You think governments and international organizations have the most important roles in this matter? Forget that. Haven't you heard about consumer power? Punish those companies that pollute their surrounding areas and press your government to review laws about pollution and to enforce them! Do they have mercy when selling their products of collecting taxes? It is our turn now.

+ Managers, install solar water-heater systems at your offices and invest in air filters and carbon dioxide extractors for your factories. Also consider the rate of emissions when purchasing your next fleet of cars.

+ Last but not least, find out which charity or non-profit organizations can take your old things as donations instead of throwing them away. Many organizations take these things, recycle and sell them to get some extra money for their activities.

Ten million people doing these small daily things will definitely help to reduce a lot world pollution. Spread the word, and we will stop worsening the environmental situation of the planet.

Knowledge + Society + Environment