Question of the Day: If you could switch lives with one living creature (animal, plant, single prokaryote, etc.) for one day, what would you choose to be?
Everyday, humans do not realize how influential they are on the environment. I am not just talking about plants, but everything--from animals to small critters and insects to bodies of water to cherry blossom trees to simply the atmosphere.
Nature gives us so many gifts and have been for centuries: oxygen, medicinal cures, food, shelter, land to live on, and overall simply peace. Without nature and our environment, life and survival would not exist.
I have compiled a short list of my favorite simple ways to help recycle, prevent pollution, and save the environment. They go below using and buying your average recycling bins and biodegradable products...and when I say "below" I mean they take even less time and are almost effortless. When you first read, these things seem so obvious that it's silly to put them up here, but you would be surprised by how few take these actions.
If each person did a little good to help reduce our ecological footprint on Earth, then we can all give back to the nature that has helped us for so long.
Four Great Ways to Go Green
1) Reuse paper for printing. I admit that I use a lot paper. A lot. As a high schooler, there are days in which I am assigned research papers and other homework that involve typing and printing. As a writer, I constantly print and reprint rough drafts and page drafts that must be edited. Where do they go after they have been proofread and all errors have been corrected? The trashcan, of course. Unfortunately, half of all sheets of paper are unused; it is only too common for people to use one side of a sheet of paper and then toss it out. Whenever possible, I take these half-used pieces of paper and pile them up beside my printer at home. There is a lot of stuff that I DO NOT need to turn in, such as monthly to-do lists, that I end up printing on the other sides of these papers. Why use so much paper, throw them away and then use new sheets of paper when the other sides of the first batch of papers are still perfectly good? I hope that wasn't confusing. :3 So yeah, keep your one-sided papers by the printer and remember to USE THEM for unofficial, personal documents that must be printed.
2) Reuse your mail. Good old snail mail uses up a lot of paper. It really does. With catalogs, magazines, envelopes, newspapers, god-awful bills, and other incoming mail entering people's mailboxes everyday, there is a tremendous build-up of paper...and at least half of it ends up going into the trash. There is SO much that can be done with mail, though! I save my unwanted mail and torn envelopes and do scratch work/homework on them. It's surprising how well unwanted mail serves as scratch paper. You'll feel really good about yourself when you do that instead of using perfectly good notebook paper to do quick calculations for grading papers or for filling out monthly bills on. Another way to reuse mail is for mealtimes. You know those takeout Pizza Hut chicken wings that you always get but never find a place to throw the bones? That's when your unused mail can come in handy. You can save a lot of napkins by simply using the used paper as a surface to pile up the bones, and then simply throw the paper and bones away when you're done.
3) Reuse your fish water. It is imperative that you change the water of your fish tank (if you have one, that is) at least once a week. Even if you have a filter that pumps water and constantly traps food and dirty particles, the best way to keep your fish living in a clean environment if you wash the tank out often. BUT...instead of throwing out the dirty water, you can easily use it for another chore--watering plants! Sounds ridiculous, but it's true: because fish water contains feces and other bits of, erm, fish stuff in there, the water is actually very healthy and nutritious for plants. I've been using fish water for my orchid and it has bloomed twice in a very short amount of time. I also used fish water to revive my mother's Jasmine plant. This is a great way to prevent from wasting water and to feed your plant with a fertilizing water!
4) Plant plants. One of the best ways to thank nature is to simply make more of it! There are loads of different types of flower seeds and vegetable seeds that you can buy for cheap prices. You can either buy them at the local grocery stores or online. If you have a busy schedule, buy some plant seeds that don't require too much attention (must be watered daily, etc.), or are very independent if left outside in the natural environment. Another neat way to "plant plants" is to buy exotic species if you ever go out of the country; I went to Hawai'i a few years back and bought some packages of the following plants: Birds of Paradise, Coconut Tree, Kona Coffee, and Macadamia Nut! There is one more but I can't quite remember what it is called. =/ Anywho, planting plants yourselves will help nature's cycle of life flourish and add just a little more beauty to the world. Plus, it's a really peaceful hobby and helps relieve stress. More power to plants!
Thank you for reading!
*These photos were taken by me, Wendy, and therefore belong to me.
P.S. I apologize for any corniness or cheesiness in this blog post. :P I promise my next post will not be about nature, haha.