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These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Last updated on: June 6, 2011 09:55 IST

Image: Climate change is affecting people across the world.
Climate change is a problem that is affecting people across the world. Temperatures are rising, Arctic ice is melting, many species are facing extinction and food and water crises threaten the globe.

While governments and corporations are taking steps to reduce greenhouse gases, individuals, too, can pitch in to make this world a better place for present and future generations.

Here are some small steps individuals can take to make this Earth a greener and better place.

Click NEXT to read how you can make a contribution...

These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Image: There are several ways to cut electricity usage.
Electricity usage

Unplug your mobile-phone charger, TV and other electronic gadgets when not in use, because they use energy when plugged in and on standby.

Also, turn off lights and other energy-heavy devices when not using them.

Change older light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs are a little more expensive, but much more efficient - they use about a seventh of the power and last about 12 times longer.

Put computer on stand-by when not using it. It will restart quickly, and will use less energy than shutting it down and then restarting it.

Buy energy-efficient appliances. These will need less energy to do their job, meaning lower bills and less fossil fuels being burned.

Use existing appliances efficiently. Hang-dry laundry rather than putting it in the dryer and put the clothes outside on a clothesline on dry days. Hang-drying will also make clothes last much longer.

Charge batteries instead of throwing them away.


These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Image: Do not waste water.
Save water

Fix broken taps. The non-stop drip wastes water, energy and money, so repair the taps as soon as possible.

'Flow control' device, which is pretty inexpensive, can be installed in shower heads and faucets to better manage flow of water.


These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Image: Cut down on petrol consumption.
Conserve petrol

With petrol prices so high, try and use cycle as often as possible. By using a bicycle, an individual not only saves money, they also help reduce the nation's oil bill and, of course, it is a much healthier option.

Instead of car, use cycle for short distances, and encourage others to use them as well. Ride it to work, to run errands, or to have fun. Everyone benefits when you ride a bike.

If cycling is not possible, then walk. Cutting down on usage of car should be the main purpose.

For long distance travel, an individual can use public transportation or carpool. There are many benefits of using public transportation, such as less stress, more time to read or listen to music and it will be lighter on your wallet.


These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Image: Eat vegetarian food.
Eating habits

Prefer vegetarian food. On average, it takes nearly 10 times as much fossil fuel to produce animal protein (including commercially caught or farmed fish) compared to plant protein, like beans and grains.

According to a study, a vegan diet contributes 1.5 fewer tonnes of CO2 or CO2 equivalents to the atmosphere each year than the average meat and deep-fried diet.


These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Image: Prefer organic food.
Organic food

Buy sustainable or organically-produced food. Conventional farming uses massive quantities of petrochemicals in the manufacture of artificial pesticides and fertilizers and to run farm machinery.

Organic and other traditional or natural farmers use minimal fossil fuel inputs.


These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Image: Avoid using plastic bags.
Plastic bags

Avoid using plastic bags. Use reuseable bags, boxes, or just carry your items. If a plastic bag is really needed, then make sure to use it again and again.

Some shops now offer discount or cash if a customer uses reuseable bags, so it's a win-win situation for shoppers.


These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Image: Buy energy-efficient car.
Right vehicle

Research energy efficient, electric, hybrid and diesel engines when purchasing a car, motorcycle or scooter.

In some countries, motorists get a reduction in tax and congestion charges for using energy-efficient vehicles.


These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Image: Try home-grown food.

Individuals who can should grow their own food, like fruits and vegetables. Having home-grown food is not only much healthier; it also helps to reduce transportation and storage costs.


These 9 steps can make Earth a better place

Image: Learn about climate change.
Raise awareness

Learn everything, including what the critics of global warming are saying. That way you can use the knowledge to create awareness in your community.