Climate change is on everyone’s mind, and as we speak, all it takes is one quick Google search of “Australia fires,” and you can see how important this issue is. People’s interest in the climate vary from country to country, but a study in the Spring of 2018 (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/18/a-look-at-how-people-around-the-world-view-climate-change/) had found that internationally, our concern has been on the rise year over year since 2013.
We are all citizens of the world, and we are at a crossroads in history. It is imperative that we do more than recognize there is a problem; we must take action. Every little effort and step will lead us on a journey to a healthier planet and a less fateful future.
Today, we are looking at ten things that you can do to take action at home.
10 Tips for Eco-friendly Living
1. Using Reusable Grocery Bags
There are no two ways about it; single-use plastic bags are one of the worst things for the environment. 99% of plastic bags are not recycled and end up in landfills, or worse, the ocean. Do your part, and have your family make the move to reusable grocery bags.
2. The Case for Composting
Roughly 40% of compost is made up of materials that would otherwise find their way into a landfill. Composting at home prevents creating more trash and the nutrient rich organic material it produces is great for your garden!
3. Eliminate Single-Use Straws
Single-use straws, plastic ones specifically, are another major contributor to ocean pollution. Restaurants around the globe are making a push to get rid of these wasteful products, and you should be doing the same at home. Straws aren’t a necessity in the first place, and plastic ones should not be a part of your life.
4. Contribute to Buying and Selling Used Products
Much like the rest of this list, we are trying to eliminate a culture of buying something, using it once (or a few times), and then sending it to the landfill. By joining in the reused economy, you can become part of the solution.
5. Become an Upcycler
Upcycling is the process of taking leftovers of products or by-products, as well as waste materials and turning them into new products of their own. This gives a new life to what was once discarded waste.
6. Recycle Batteries (Both Household & Car)
Batteries are full of chemicals that are very dangerous to the environment. As they age in the landfill, they fall apart, and these chemicals leak and contaminate the soil. Recycling and properly disposing of batteries at urbanmine is an important step we should all take.
7. Recycle Old Electronics (E-Waste)
Similar to batteries, these products (smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.) break down in landfills. They then leach harmful substances into the soil and pollute the ground, air, and water. They also contain valuable materials that could be reused; recycling at urbanmine prevents the industry from having to source new raw materials.
8. Donate Gently Used Items to Charity
There are many organizations that accept donations of gently used items for resale or to benefit the less fortunate. Consider donating unwanted clothing, kitchenware, furniture, appliances and other household items to organizations like Centre Flavie-Laurent, Hands of Hope, Habitat for Humanity, Diabetes Canada, and the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg.
(During the COVID-19 crisis, many organizations have temporarily suspended accepting donations; contact these organizations directly to find out about their current policies)
9. Upgrade Your Appliances & Reduce Your Energy Usage
Energy-efficient appliances are an up-front investment. However, the return on investment will be more than worth it as you see the drop in your energy bill. On top of that, less energy means less strain on the environment. It’s the right thing to do!
10. Recycling Household Items Made of Metal (i.e. steel, copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, high-temperature alloy, lead, zinc, etc.)
The process of mining and molding metals requires energy, and energy is a resource that the world continues to fight over. The mining and manufacturing processes also contribute to greenhouse gasses. Your home is full of metal products such as pots and pans, appliances, furniture, ornaments, lawnmowers and tools. Selling your old metal items helps the environment while putting cash in your pocket!
Urbanmine pays cash for scrap! This does not apply to all products – you are welcome to drop off household batteries and electronics for recycling, but there is no cash value. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the type of metal and household items that we recycle and what items we pay for. Recycling can help your planet and your wallet at the same time.