Monday, June 25, 2018

10 easy things you can do to help the environment

This effects us all, but if you work or play in the outdoors you are more effected than some others, for now. I am speaking about the state of our environment and how little our government in United States is doing. We used to be world leaders, and the current administration is reversing most (if not all) of what the last administration did. We, as enjoyers of the outdoors have to take up the slack. We need to be proactive about the way that we look after the planet. There is, after all no place else for us to go. If you think these aren't real issues, it is as simple as you aren't paying attention.

Here is a list of 10 things you can do to help the environment. They are easy, and may seem like they couldn't help, but as part of a vast movement they will be. Plus, at the end, I have a one month challenge for you.

#1 - Wash your clothes in cold water (you may need to use a cold water detergent). This is simple and will reduce your use of electricity. It has also been shown to actually clean your clothing better than in hot water. Simple to do, it will lower your electric bill, and decrease the amount of carbon being released (unless you are powered by renewables). For bonus points, ditch the drier. Hanging your clothes to dry outside will also use less (far less) electricity and actually extend the life of your clothes. It is the drier that shortens your clothings life, not the washer! You want proof? Check your lint trap.

#2 - Be mindful about getting around. Avoid single person car trips, use mass transit, or bike commute, walk or run. This can also be as simple as making sure you can do multiple errands at once instead of making multiple trips.

#3 - Avoid single use items. (This is one I struggle with!) Plastic spoons, forks and knives, and even containers from take out. They all get used for a few minutes and then end up in land fill. This can be as easy as packing your own multi-use utensils. If you are a backpacker you probably already have a spork you can use. Avoid the salad bar, and bring lunch. That way you aren't using take-out containers. Here is a very simple one. Just stop using straws. Just stop. There is nothing good about straws.

#4 - Buy used items, or sell old items. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Everyone knows this saying, but few give it much thought to realize that reduce and reuse comes first. Simply buying used things or even selling your old things reduces the amount of things being created and things going into landfill.

#5 - Eat less meat, particularly beef. Beef production is probably the single worst thing we do to our environment. They are responsible for more (far more) greenhouse gas emissions than cars or power plants. We cut down forests to have grazing land for more beef production which also removes trees which remove carbon dioxide. So it's a double whammy. This can be as simple as picking one day a week where you don't eat meat. This is how I started and it wasn't long before I was a vegetarian. This is the single biggest thing you can do to help the environment.

#6 - Switch to LED light bulbs. You will use 75% less electricity, and they last 25 times longer. Easy.

#7 - Buy local produce. This will help local farmers, and dramatically reduce the carbon impact of flying or trucking fruits and vegetables all over the planet.

#8 - Use less water. Don't let the sink run, take shorter showers, don't water your lawn. And while we are at it, no bottled water. Buy a reusable water bottle. We know the water isn't any better than what is probably coming out of your tap, but plastic single use water bottles are a nightmare. People use a million water bottles a minute. A minute! For more info check out this.

#9 and #10 go together.

Watch this video.

Let's do this challenge with Sailing LaVagabond. One month of no plastic bags, and no single use coffee cups. Use the #plasticfreewithslv or even #plasticfreewithPO. Post your pics to instagram. Lets see if we can turn one month into a lifetime.

Lets do this.

I really think that at some point we are going to see a global change int he way that we view the environment. I think there is going to be a seismic shift, and the world is going to come together and change dramatically the way we do things. There should be solar panels on every roof. Plastic bags and paper cups should be illegal. I hope that I live to see it, and it isn't too late to save our home.

Right now, as people active in the outdoors we have to take a leadership role in this fight. We need beautiful places to work and play. Let's make everyone else play catchup. Lead the way!

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