Pathways to Reduce
“Reduce” simply means to use less. Many of the actions you take to reduce also offer healthier lifestyle alternatives, providing solutions that lead to more solutions. Here are some suggestions to begin with.
Reduce Your Car Usage
Walk or bike for trips of a few miles or less. Many studies have shown that there are social, physical and psychological benefits of walking to school with your children, walking to visit friends and walking to local stores. You benefit from exercise and social interaction, while reducing unhealthy emissions.
Reduce Your Meat Consumption
Did you know that the average American eats more than five pounds of meat each week (Raven, Berg, & Hassensahl, 2008)? Try cutting down your meat consumption to one pound per week. Because most Western diets are too high in protein for our physical activity levels, eating less meat will help most of us feel better. And, of course, decreasing our demand for meat will decrease the demand to destroy more habitats. One of the causes of habitat destruction around the world is the increased demand for grazing land required to meet increased meat demands.
Reduce Your Bottled Water Consumption
Use tap water or filtered tap water with a reusable bottle. This reduces both the amount of plastic used and the energy it takes to bottle and transport bottled water. Also, tap water is more regulated than bottled water, and some bottled water is just filtered tap water.
Do you use bottled water? How do you reduce your water consumption? Join UMUC student Jeremy to discuss your Thoughts on Water.
Reduce Your Reliance on Electronics
- Turn off that thermostat! During spring and fall your thermostat probably doesn't need to be on. Just adjust your temperature with your windows and shades. Getting extra fresh air is not only good for you, it can also save you money by decreasing your monthly heating and cooling bills.
- Plant a tree. Plant deciduous trees to provide shade in the summer and light in the winter and evergreens to block cold winter winds. In addition to making your yard appear more lush, trees can reduce your energy bill and provide a carbon dioxide sink and habitat for animals.
- Look around and determine which electronic appliances you actually use. To save energy, unplug any items that are not currently in use. Consider donating items that you do not use to charity or to someone who can use them.
What are your thoughts on technology and the environment? Join Richard to discuss Technology's Impact on the Environment
Reduce Your Shower Time
Military students know about the two-minute shower. Wet. Turn off shower. Lather. Rinse. Let’s all learn how to conserve water in the shower from our military colleagues!
Reduce Your Driving
Carpool with people in your neighborhood. If you have children, this is a great way for them to spend more time with others in the neighborhood. It is also a great way for you to get to know your neighbors.
Reduce Your Use of Disposable Items
Reduce the use of disposable items such as paper bags, napkins, plates, plastic bags and utensils. Having reusable cloth bags and napkins and using durable kitchenware reduces clutter around your home while minimizing the use of our resources.
Reduce Your Yard Work
Reduce your yard work by using native perennials instead of annuals and leaving mulched grass clippings on your lawn.
Do you garden? How do you handle your yard waste? Join Alissa to discuss Gardening.
Raven, P., Berg, L., and Hassenzahl. (2008). Environment (6th edition). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., p. 431.