10 Ways In Which You Can Make A Difference

It’s up to each of us

So often I hear people say that they continue doing the things they do because “it doesn’t make a difference anyway”. I have to say I disagree with this. Who would you say is responsible for making a difference to the way we live our lives? You when-you-make-a-6415got it – we are! Each and every one of us is responsible for the choices he/she makes and the consequences of those choices. And all of our individual choices impact each other in one way or another. Which therefore means that what we do or do not do certainly does make a difference.

How can I make a difference?

One of the reasons we feel we have no power to influence change might be because so many of us think we have to do great things in order to bring about any degree of change. I also disagree with this. Change can come about from the small steps we take in our everyday life as well, which  can in fact turn out to be very effective. By taking small steps and being an example to others we are able to effect great changes in the long run which definitely will make a difference to many of us.

So what are some of the things we could do in our daily lives to make our world a better place? Here are some examples. As always I would be very happy to hear from you if you have any other suggestions you might like to share.

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Making a difference

1. Number one on my list is to reduce the amount of “Styrofoam” we use.  Styrofoam, Dow Chemical’s brand name for the polystyrene foam it produces for thermal insulation uses, is actually usually incorrectly used. This material has some good uses like when it is used in the construction of roads to counteract effects of adverse weather conditions like freezing. On the hand polystyrene is made from styrene. And expanded polystyrene foam, which is used to make the disposable cups, plates etc is made  from polystyrene.

polystyrene

We mostly use the term styrofoam though to refer to expanded polystyrene foam and this is what I am referring to here. In my opinion the negative effects of this petroleum-based plastic ought to give us cause to rethink how and how much we use it. Styrene has long been suspected to be a carcinogen and  in fact in 2014  styrene was reportedly “officially linked to cancer”.

Toxins and Pollutants

Furthermore Benzene, one of the “ingredients” used to produce styrene is a known toxin. It can cause an a whole list of health issues. WE the consumers are cautioned against the use of styrene containers for hot foods and drinks because the chemical may leach into the foods and beverages. This must surely be taken as an indication of the inherent dangers of using these items.

But there are other reasons for not using polystyrene. It poses a grave danger to our waters and the fish in them; Styrene does not  disintegrate, it is light and floats easily. In recent years massive amounts of products made from styrene  have been found washed up on shores all over the world, but even worse in the bellies of fish and large sea mammals. Besides this, prolonged exposure to styrene, from which polystyrene is made, can cause depression, irritations  and other illnesses.

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2. shopping-874974__180What about getting into the habit of substituting plastic bags for reusable linen bags when you go shopping? It does not take much to develop a habit of having a small foldaway bag in your handbag or in your car, so that even when you shop spontaneously you can still avoid accepting or buying a plastic bag.  More and more countries are banning the use of plastic bags altogether but we don’t have to wait until this becomes a reality in our area – you can start tomorrow by reducing the amount of plastic bags you use.

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3. Reducing/readjusting the brightness of your pc or laptop screen can help to reduce the amount of energy you use and by so doing you reduce your carbon footprint. You can calculate your own personal “footprint” here. This link leads to some interesting and useful facts from University of Cambridge on saving energy.

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4.This one is likely to get  lot of shouts from those who say they need to eat meat everyday or at least very often. I water-dropam not here to convert, but cutting down on the amount of meat each person consumes would make a big difference to the health of our planet. I would not want to even attempt to convince you to stop eating meat. However, I do believe we can only make wise and informed decisions if we know both sides of the story.  What do you think about the fact that around 1,800 – 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce just one pound of beef? Imagine how much water could be saved by reducing your meat intake just by one day a week. This film is one I strongly recommend if want to know more.

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5. You could start composting.  First you get rid of the smelly bin in your kitchen as foods rot away. Plus you can use the compost to fertilise your garden or vegetable patch. You can then start growing your own veggies,  herbs or more depending on the space you have available.garden-1427541__180

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6. Similar to composting is recycling. Separate your glass, plastics and paper wherever possible.  Recycling also gives you an idea of what packaging materials you are using and how much of it you really need.

Also rather than putting waste in recycling bins, look at  ways to recycle products at home or in the office. This guide will provide you with many ideas.woman-recycling

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7. Turning off lights when you leave a room will save you more than money. Remember this especially if you are going to be away for a while. You will be adding  a positive contribution to making the world a better place and taking care of our planet. The same applies to turning off switches when not needed. lights-offLeaving lights on and devices plugged in (even when they are not charging or being used) consumes electricity unnecessarily. It also increases your bills and is a waste of energy.

 

 

 

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wave-1690483__1808. Turning off the tap while you are brushing your teeth could apparently save up to 5 gallons of water. Getting your car washed at the car wash can also save you water. That makes a difference of about 50% of what you would use at home on average.    And it does not take much effort to adopt this new habit either.

 

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9. When you are eating out or buying a snack the next time, see if you can only use one napkin;meals-1017732__180Annually around 34 million trees are destroyed to cater for our excessive use of napkins.

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10. Avoid using bleach and other chemical cleaning materials. Vinegar, baking soda and essential oils are great for cleaning  so many areas in and around the home.

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What ideas do you have which you would like to share? We can all do something, no matter how small. Don’t be deluded into thinking your contribution is not significant – it definitely is!

Looking forward to hearing from you

Vee.

“the three poisons: greed, anger, and ignorance. Do not deny their existence but turn them around and you have generosity, compassion, and wisdom. ” ~Clifton Bradley

 

14 thoughts on “10 Ways In Which You Can Make A Difference

  1. Hi, Valina

    When I read this article, I felt some bad conscious because I know I don’t think about how to contribute all the way that I can for our Earth. We do recycle where I come from so I have gotten used to that. When I am at home, I use too much light. My fiance turns the light off I turn the light on. I don’t like it being too dark because I am a bit afraid of the dark, especially when I am home alone. Our grocery stores use plastic bags. I have bought a bag to use when I shop, but I always forget this bag at home. I do hope that plastic bags will be gone soon.

    Thanks for sharing this article and reminding me of the importance to think about our planet Earth.

    Tove

    • Hi Tove,
      I am glad you liked the blog, but did not intend anyone to have a bad conscience. I think we all need reminders every now and then and I do too. We are here to help each other and reminding each other is one way to do so.
      And forming habits take time, so we take one step at a time to make the changes we need to.

      Once we make a change we help someone else and so the cycle continues. Maybe you will find some fun or creative ways to have light in the home together with your fiancé while saving energy at the same time!

      Awareness is always the first step I think.
      All the best,
      Valina.

  2. I’m guilty of ignoring most of these besides recycling. I realize now that I have to step it up. My town has a bylaw banning plastic bags, so that’s another thing I do. But a lot of these are really easy, so I’ll have no trouble with them. Thanks for the cool list!

    • You are most welcome; I am glad that it prompted you to action. I think it is not about feeling bad or making others feel bad but rather about helping and supporting each other to take the necessary steps. All the best.

  3. Jacob says:

    Hi
    Interesting post there. I think most people would be quite guilty of wasting water. I think this is like a habit and it would be quite hard to change over night. However, we should be more aware of our habits and make some conscious effort.
    I can think of two more ways: Littering and consumption of food in general.
    Never underestimate a small piece of paper being thrown on the floor. One piece, two pieces, 10 pieces,1000 pieces.. and as the accumulation continues, it can be quite a lot.
    Most people in the world today live a luxury lives and tend to waste lots of food by purchasing more than what is needed. This would cause a lot of wastage eventually.
    Look foward to more posts from you.
    Best wishes
    Jacob

    • admin says:

      Hi Jacob,

      I really agree – I also think it is difficult to change overnight or even to expect it although I have known

      people to do so.

      And as to littering generally, yes those are two ways we can make a difference. Many, many of us buy without thinking and then throw away so much of it. This is also though in part the influence from the industry, over producing. But in the end we are each of us responsible and respons-ABLE for our choices and habits.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, some good thoughts.

  4. Sarah says:

    Great article, I do all but two of these things! The ones I need to work on are: Turning the tap off when brushing my teeth – living in a rural setting and being on tank water this really should be a must. And not turning off lights, I am always calling my daughters out for leaving lights on but I am just as bad!

    • admin says:

      HI Sarah,

      thanks for commenting. So glad that you found it useful/helpful.

      I believe we can all always learn from each other and are there to

      support and help. I am very grateful for being able to help.

      Sure your examples will also help someone else

      vee

  5. Great list Valina. I think I get top marks by doing all of these things but then I think that’s expected of me 🙂

    Love the idea that everyone can make a difference. In our actions and interactions with people, places and all other creatures we share this Earth with.

    I think it’s helpful to remember that we are not just doing these things for the Earth but indeed we are doing them all for ourselves – Earth Care is Self Care and we are all deserving of living as healthy beings on a healthy planet.

    There is so much more to be done and embraced to bring us back into harmony with the rest of the natural world but in a busy world these 10 actions are a perfect place to start!

    Onelove xx

    • Hi Terri,
      thanks much for dropping by. I have no doubt you do all these things and much more –
      you really are an example to people here on island, that is why you are so loved and respected.

      I think once people realise or understand that they can and do make a difference, that the responsibility
      lies with each and every one of us, more will begin to shift. But I am so happy and grateful for the
      changes and progress I have experienced even in the last five years. It can only get better:)

      I love that Earth Care is Self Care – great tagline!

      True too, we all have to start somewhere
      In love, light and oneness
      vee

  6. great article Valina.
    I personally love the way you presented these points which can make a difference in our lives and the one I personally love is the one on reducing the brightness of our PC. According to you, it could help cut down our energy consumption but besides that it prevents your eyes also from been damage by the light from the PC particular if you are some one who spent long hours in front of the TV
    Great work. thanks

    • admin says:

      Hi Godlove,

      thank you for commenting and also for adding something. Yes that is also true, i know it. I am one of those who
      spends long hours on the pc!
      Feel free to drop by again. All the best

  7. Vanessa says:

    Thank you for this post. I really enjoyed it. Ever since simplifying my life towards a minimalist lifestyle, I’ve been more conscious of what I consume and how to reduce waste.

    I also used to think that I can’t make a difference but it really adds up if you make the calculations. Yeah sure it would be even better if everyone did this, but as long as we spread the awareness there will be changes coming and they are!

    Also people are influenced by those around them so the more others see us practicing these habits, the more likely they are to pick them up too.

    That being said I need to work on shutting down the water when I brush my teeth. Thanks for the reminder.

    • admin says:

      Hi Vanesa,

      thank you for checking out my site and also for taking the time to leave a comment. I have been “off the grid” for a while but back again, so look forward to some new posts.

      Wishing you all the best in “making  a difference”. Every little bit counts so you are important and your contribution valuable.

      Greets

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