It’s All About the Little Things

Whenever there is talk about taking care of the planet, phrases such as “Saving the World” are often used – which can be pretty daunting.

Oakland Nature Preserve

There is no doubt that we as humans, require a global fundamental shift in our actions, beliefs, and perceptions (Reddy et al. 2016), if we are to even attempt to mitigate and possibly reverse the effects we have had on the environment. However, doing this does not need to be as scary as everyone (and my previous sentence) makes it out to be.

Tackling conservation issues can seem overwhelming, almost impossible to combat, and very doom-and-gloomy. But as the title of this post implies, there are lots of little behavior changes all of us can make daily, that can make a difference surrounding large issues such as climate change, ocean pollution, and deforestation. There is a catch though, a few people making these small behavior changes won’t make a big enough difference, we need everyone – we collectively got ourselves into this mess, and it will take us all to get us out of it.

My Challenge to You

Water usage, energy consumption, and the generation of waste are just a few of the issues humans could be more conscious about in terms of their actions and daily behaviors.

Pick one of these issues that speaks to you the most (go ahead, I wont peek), and take some time to learn more about the issue and some simple ways you can make a difference, from the info-graphics below.

If (or should I say, when) you find yourself making one of these changes in your life, share it on your favorite social media site using one of the provided hashtags (#WaterCon411, #VampEnergySlayer411, #Zero411) – that way YOU will now be inspiring others to follow suit!

Ever wonder how much water you use in a day? Check out this fun little video that illustrates just how much water a person could use a day.

Crazy huh.

Need to know more about vampire energy/power? Here’s another video!

Also, check out this resource from Duke Energy – they help you identify common energy vampires, how to defeat them, the opportunity to receive a Personalized Energy Report (if you live in an area that Duke Energy services: FL, IN, KY, NC, OH, SC), and access to an energy vampire calculator to help you estimate just how much you could save by slaying the vampires in your home.

Do you like TEDTalks? Me too! If you have about 14 minutes to spare, check out this video of Environmental Studies graduate, Lauren, from NYU who talks about her zero waste journey, shares tips, and provides shocking statistics.

Also, check out this site that lists out eco-friendly tips and suggestions for all aspects of life from clothing, to liquid/drink storage, to items commonly used around the house!

This is Just the Beginning!

If you find yourself wanting more – checkout the links and references below (and the ones scattered throughout the post)! They will provide you with more in-depth information about each issue covered and they are also the sources used to create each info-graphic.

It’s easy to feel like “Saving the World” just can’t be done – but with a lot of people, consciously making an effort to change their behaviors, we might just be able to do it. Share your progress. Share your challenges. Ask for help. We’re all in this together, for better or for worse, so let’s strive to be better, and just know that the little things CAN make a difference.

References

  1. Reddy, S. M. W., J. Montambault., Y. J. Masuda., E. Keenan., W. Butler.,
    J. R. B. Fisher., S. T. Asah., and A. Gneezy. (2016). Advancing Conservation by Understanding and Influencing Human Behavior. Conservation Letters 10(2), 248–256.

Conservation Resources

Water Conservation
  1. Crotta, C. (2015). 11 Ways To Save Water At Home. Forbes. Retrieved From: https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/03/31/11-ways-to-save-water-at-home/#8e3b77166c20
  2. How Much Water is There on Earth?. (n.d.). USGS Science for a Changing World. Retrieved from: https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/how-much-water-there-earth?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
  3. Lovely, L. (2017). Water Demand Management Using technology to forecast water usage and improve efficiency. WATER EFFICIENCY 18-23.
  4. Where is all of the Earth’s water?. (n.d.). National Ocean Service. Retrieved from: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/wherewater.html
Energy Conservation
  1. Bertolucci, J. (2011). Slay Your Home’s Energy Vampires. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, 77.
  2. Raphael, J. R. (2009). Stop Your Eleotronics’ ‘Vampire Power’ Waste. Consumer Watch, 27-28.
  3. Spector, L. (2010). Vampire Hunters: Devices Reduce Energy Waste. Forward, 14-16.
Zero Waste
  1. Iglesias, Lucia. (2014). Zero Waste, Abundant Rewards. Sierra, 99 (4), 1-5.
  2. Leahy, S. (2018). How People Make Only a Jar of Trash a Year. National Geographic. Retrieved from: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/zero-waste-families-plastic-culture/
  3. Pietzsch, N., J. L. D. Ribeiro., & J. F. de Medeiros. (2017). Benefits, challenges and critical factors of success for Zero Waste: A systematic literature review. Waste Management, 67 324-353.
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