Because we are all connected to the environment, our decisions and lifestyles have a real impact. It’s important to protect and care for our ecosystem because it is essential to our quality of life and survival.

However, you do not need to be an activist to care for the environment. Simple changes can have a meaningful impact, and they can you save money too.

Here are a few easy tips for a better environment.

Food

Modern agricultural practices and food waste takes a big toll on our environment, but there are ways to reduce our negative impact.

  • Reduce your consumption of fast food and make more meals at home.
  • When you do eat out, use your own reusable containers for leftovers instead of using plastic or Styrofoam.
  • Eat less meat. Livestock produces methane gas and carbon dioxide. Feed production for livestock requires a large amount of agricultural lands and water, making meat consumption and ecologically expensive choice for food.
  • Eat local. Buy produce, meat, eggs, cheese and more at your local farmers market.
  • Compost old food. Composting keeps food waste from landfills and provides nutrient rich soil for your garden.

Water

Our ecosystem requires clean water to thrive. Because we take it for granted, we waste so much each day. It’s actually easy to conserve water. If you have a municipal water bill, these tips can help lower your bill.

  • Collect rainwater. You can use it to water your lawn and houseplants.
  • Wear clothing more than once. With the exception of underwear, not all clothes require a trip through the washing machine between uses.
  • Take shorter showers. Reducing your time in the shower saves about 10 gallons of water. That adds up to 70 gallons a week, 300 gallons a month, and 3600 gallons a year.

Energy

One of the best ways to save money while helping the environment is to conserve energy.

  • Upgrade to compact fluorescent bulbs to save up to 4 times the amount of energy. They also last 10 times longer than an average lightbulb.
  • Turn off the lights when they are not in use.
  • Unplug electronics when they are not in use. You can connect multiple devices to a surge protector and turn it off when it’s not needed.
  • Schedule regular car maintenance to ensure your car is as efficient as possible.
  • Walk, bike or use public transportation whenever possible.

Ashley Renee HoffmanAshley Hoffman is a photographer and collage artist who received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Shepherd University. Although she currently resides in Frederick, Maryland, she has spent much of her life in West Virginia. She finds herself in the state often, visiting family and friends Shepherdstown or even Elkins.

You can read more about her work here. Check out her website, blog and Facebook Page.

 

 

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