All around the world, as attention shifts to global warming, people are looking for ways to go green. It’s not just individuals. Companies like UPS and Amazon have realized the need to change and become more environmentally responsible. For UPS, that involved analyzing how their planes landed at airports. By changing their landing method, they were able to save over a million gallons of fuel per year, reducing nitrous oxide emissions by 34 percent.
Other companies have found other innovative ways to reduce waste. For manufacturers with large industrial processes, there are areas where steel structures undergo impact and abrasion. This can include dump bins and conveyor areas. Rather than let the structures become damaged and force a replacement, the installation of chromium carbide overlay plate allows the parent structure to function with only the lining needing replaced.
For individuals, the quest to go green starts simply enough. There are numerous sites with tips on how you can reduce your carbon footprint and start becoming more eco-friendly. As you become more involved in your quest to go green, you’ll start to wonder what else you can do.
One example is if you are one of the millions of people who have shifted over to an e-reader to indulge your daily reading habit, recycle your books. This will ensure that they don’t end up in a landfill or just take up space in your garage. Here are three more ways that you can go green that you might not have thought about.
- Composting – If you’re already separating your recyclables from your non-recyclables, you’ve probably noticed a huge reduction in the amount of trash that you’re sending to landfills. You can make that amount even smaller by composting your organic waste.
Compost is essentially natural fertilizer that you make yourself. Spreading it over your lawn or mixing it in with the soil of your garden will replenish the soil and give your plants a huge nutrient boost. And making it is ridiculously easy. You can make it in something as simple as a 40 gallon Rubbermaid container with a couple of bungie cords and a few holes drilled into its sides, or create a permanent composting station out of brick and concrete.
The basic rule of thumb when creating compost is to add one part green ingredient to two parts brown. The green ingredients come fresh from your kitchen and are rich in nitrogen. Vegetable and fruit scraps and coffee grounds (filter and all) are a great green ingredient. Brown ingredients have more carbon and include crushed egg shells, brown leaves from the fall, wood ash, shredded cardboard, or non-pressure treated sawdust. For more do’s and don’ts when it comes to compost, check out the tips here.
- Reusable Is the Name of the Game – Essentially, when it comes to reusability, you want to avoid disposable plastic things. That means one-use water bottles, single-serving plastic takeout containers, and those plastic rings on six-packs of soda. There are also hidden sources of microplastics. These are small bits of plastic that are less than 5mm in diameter. They used to be used as exfoliants in beauty products, but are also caused by the eventual breakdown of larger plastic items.
While some of these things are unavoidable, depending on your consumer habits, making an effort to minimize them can make a huge impact on your carbon footprint. Not only that, you’re also going to help prevent the Great Pacific Garbage Patch from getting larger and keep microplastics out of the food chain.
- Energy Savings You Didn’t Think About – The final tip is a way to not only help you be a little greener but also save you money. And that’s to install one-touch power strips wherever you can. The reason behind this is so that you can stop idle power from going to your electronics when you leave or go to bed.
Think of everything that you have plugged into the walls. All of the electronics that are sitting idle, from your computer to cell phone chargers to your PS4 or Xbox One. And even though you turn them off for the night, they are still pulling power. Everything from your printer to your microwave oven is still eating a trickle. For example, your computer’s LCD screen may be in sleep or even turned off, but it’s still pulling an average of 1.13 to 1.38 watts. Your desktop computer can draw up to 21.13 watts if it’s in sleep mode.
Plugging your gear into a surge protector/power strip then, allows you to cut the juice to those hidden drains on your electric bill. Just flick the switch, and you know that nothing is pulling power and sneaking dollars and cents out of your wallet.