Simple Ways to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment

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Ramona Meszaros , Staff Reporter

The Earth is a beautiful place, and in order to keep it that way, it is important to make sure that our habits are not wasteful. Everyone’s heard the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” many times before, but how much do you actually do those three things? Everyday activities such as packing a lunch for school, drinking water, and throwing away your trash, can be modified so that their impact on the environment is not as long lasting. When it comes to lunches, those plastic baggies that you’re using, or those disposable snack packages, will be around for years after you use them for a quick snack. Plastic bags take on average 500 years to decompose, but even then, they become micro-plastics that harm wildlife and pollute water. Instead, try using a reusable container for your lunches and snacks that is either metal or a more durable type of plastic. This way you can wash the container when you are done and cut down on the amount of plastic you are throwing away daily. Next, let’s review disposable water bottles. A typical disposable water bottle holds about 16 ounces of water. It is recommended that teenagers drink around 88 ounces a day (Healthline), or roughly 6 water bottles. A plastic water bottle takes around 450 years to decompose, and at the rate of 6 thrown away daily per person, has a very bad impact. It is the same case as with disposable baggies, they never truly decompose, but instead become micro-plastics. If you do have to use a plastic water bottle, make sure to recycle it if possible. Of course, the better option would be to get a reusable bottle. In comparison, they can hold more water, come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, and can keep your water cold for longer. You can order them off of many common online websites, or even find them at a grocery store. Lastly, when it comes to trash, make sure that you have gotten all the use out of something before you throw it away, and recycle correctly by checking the label of packaging. If you are curious about more ways to reduce your impact on the environment, there are many resources online, as well as companies that specialize in making sustainable products for the environment, so be sure to check those out!