With everything we hear in the news about pollution, global warming, and humanity’s effects on the environment, it’s only natural that we wonder how to do our part to solve these problems. Here are some basic ways to stop pollution that anyone can do, young or old, rich or poor:

  1. First, reduce your own energy footprint. There has been much written about this, but in general, use more energy efficient appliances, walk or bike more and drive less, take public transportation, take shorter showers, use less electricity, and in general buy only what you need. One of the surest ways to prevent pollution is to stop what drives it: manufacturing and consuming of goods, products, and services. Not everyone can have a Western standard of living and be able to sustain the earth, so we’ll have to get used to less.
  2. Only patronize companies that are environmentally sound. Obviously, being carbon neutral is admirable, but a company with this great record can still be environmentally damaging. Avoid the bad companies, push them to change, and reward the companies that take earth’s health seriously.
  3. Avoid particular products that are dangerous to the environment and thus, by extension, dangerous to you and your loved ones. One of the best ways to stop water pollution, for example is to use fewer pesticides, oils, and other things that can seep into the ground and taint our water supply.
  4. Recycle anything and everything you can. Too much junk gets thrown in landfills that scar the earth. Everything from electronics, batteries, oil, glasses, metal, plastic, and paper can be recycled and reused. As we saw in Way #1, reducing consumption of new goods by reusing old ones will put less stress on the environment.
  5. Report any illegal dumping or any other activities that people do that harm the environment. If you see a neighbor do something damaging, for instance, kindly tell him or her the options to do that action more safely and responsibly. If you see massive littering, report it to authorities immediately. And it goes without saying, but don’t litter yourself! Monitor local businesses and corporations to make sure they are acting environmentally responsible.
  6. A lot of ways to stop pollution need to happen on a political and legislative level – efforts to use more renewable energy sources and other similar initiatives will only succeed with enough grassroots pressure and input. So get involved! Let your voice be heard on these issues so that major changes can be made in energy and consumption infrastructures.
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