When it comes to caring for the health of our planet, little actions by a lot of people can have big consequences. Here are a few simple things you can do to better your surroundings, from Dave Rapaport, Vice President, Earth and Community Care at Aveda.
1. Be a conscious consumer. Educate yourself about what you’re purchasing. “Try to buy from companies that you know are trying to make a positive difference in the world through their business practices.” says Dave.
2. Recycle everything you can. “Almost all of the packaging on the products you buy can be recycled right at curbside even if you live in an apartment building,” says Dave. It’s also smart to look for products made of recycled materials, since they produce less pollution than products made from virgin materials in the manufacturing process.
3. Get out and enjoy a natural space. Become its friend and its advocate. Even if it’s just a place where you sit down and have lunch outside or a local park with trees and natural features. Enjoying the benefits of the natural world get you invested in caring for it.
4. Conserve energy. Some of the biggest energy consumers in the home are clothes washing and drying machines, and heating and cooling systems, says Dave. He says that it’s better to do fewer big loads of laundry than it is to do multiple small ones (for both energy expenditure and water waste reasons). And if you’re living in a place where you need to heat your home for significant part of the year, invest in insulation and do your best to plug up drafts. Also, consider getting energy efficient appliances and replacing your lighting with high-efficiency LED lighting.
5. Cut down on pollutants. Take public transit, walk, or bike to work. And if you can swing it, get a fuel-efficient car. While you’re at it, ask your local water provider (the municipal water system) for its Consumer Confidence Drinking Water Report, which it’s required to release under the Safe Drinking Water Act. “The report tells you a significant amount about what’s in your water, including contaminants and what their source may be,” says Dave. If you don’t like what you read, get involved.