5 Tips To Improve Green Living

Omar Lopez, PhD
3 min readJan 21, 2022

It’s time to start thinking more about preserving our planet’s health. We all know how global warming effects our environment, our life and our health. Every year, global temperatures rises, caused by the buildup of carbon dioxide and the emission of other pollutants that trap the sun’s heat.

These chemicals are responsible for rising sea levels (from melting glaciers), catastrophic storms and hurricanes, changes in the distribution of plants and animals, and the lengthening of seasons. They can also increase the risk of certain infectious diseases. Poor air quality can worsen existing respiratory conditions like asthma and other chronic lung diseases.

The future rate of increase of these factors will depend on economic, sociological, technological, and natural developments, and it will depend on us. We can help our planet stay clean and healthy by following simple steps in our daily activities.

You personal impact is extremely important. Recycle old items into new ones and reduce pollution and energy consumption that results from making goods from scratch.

We can make a difference, by following these five simple steps:

1. Eliminate junk mail. Visit www.41pounds.org to learn how this site can help you to stop receiving junk mail for up to five years.

2. Recycle your household waste: paper, plastic, and glass, as well as hazardous waste such as paint, cleaners, household batteries, and light bulbs. These types of waste pile up in the landfill and do not compost. Visit www.Earth911.com for the nearest hazardous waste recycling facilities. Check with your local recycling program to find out how you can recycle.

3. Go paperless. Sign up for online bills and try to use as less paper as possible. Recycle used paper, old magazines and newspapers. Saving trees is extremely important. Tree foliage works as a natural air filter of particulate matter such as dust, micro-sized metals and pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, and sulfur dioxides. Trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Combined with their natural cooling effect, these processes can have a significant impact on reducing smog and overall air pollution.

4. Avoid clothing that requires dry cleaning. Choose cotton and wool. Natural fibers are easier to care for at home. They can often be washed in cool water and hung to dry, reducing chemical use as well as energy. Recycle your old clothes, shoes and leather accessories, by donating them to local charity organizations (like the Salvation Army and Goodwill), or take them to a consignment store. Some stores like Plato’s Closet (www.platoscloset.com) accept gently used clothing for cash.

5. Recycle your electronics. Look for state-approved, reliable collectors and recyclers in your area. These companies can take care of all necessary services, such as secure hard drive data erasing, and safe electronic waste dismantling. Moreover, they do not charge anything for their services and make e waste recycling easy and convenient for you. Dumping unwanted electronics into the regular trash is illegal and environmentally irresponsible.

Electronic waste is highly toxic when dumped into landfill. It contains lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, and polyvinyl chlorides. All of these substances have known toxicological effects that range from brain damage to kidney disease, to mutations and cancers. It’s wise to reuse and recycle old electronics instead of manufacturing new items. A desktop computer and monitor weigh an average of 53 pounds and require 530 pounds of fossil fuels, 50 pounds of chemicals and 3,330 pounds of water to make.

Electronics often contain useful materials such as precious metals, glass, and plastics that should be recovered rather than buried in a landfill. For example, precious metals are used in computer circuit boards and other electronic components and, of course, glass and plastics are used to manufacture TV and computer monitors. Recycling these products reduces the need to mine the earth for raw materials. Let’s think about it and start recycling!

Environmental change is in our hands. Everyone can make a difference by thinking green and being environmentally responsible!

©Omar Lopez, PhD