European residents must do their part to protect the environment, just like all other global citizens. Climate change is real, and thousands of scientists continue sounding the alarm that we need to change our ways. Future generations may have to deal with all kinds of shortages if we can’t figure out methods to reduce our wasteful tendencies.
We’ll talk about a few things the average European citizen can do to help the environment right now. Most of these actions won’t require that much behavior modification, and you can feel good when you do them.
Dispose of Cleaning Products the Right Way
Studies have shown the hazards of many cleaning products. Half a century ago, many chemicals people used around their homes harmed both those using them and the environment when a homeowner disposed of them.
When you buy household cleaning products, check the labels to ensure they don’t contain anything that harms the planet. You can find household cleaners that specifically say they won’t cause damage when you use or dispose of them.
Rather than dumping potentially harmful chemicals down the drain or somewhere outside, you can often contact your town or city’s government and locate waste disposal centers that will take them and deal with them. You might collect all the leftover chemicals and receptacles you have and take them there once a month or so.
Bike to Work or Take Public Transportation
If you can, take public transportation to work, when you need to go to the grocery store, or if you have another errand to run. If you don’t live somewhere with buses or trains nearby, then you can ride a bike to reach the places where you need to go.
You might have to take your car somewhere occasionally, such as if you’re picking up something that’s too large to carry with you on a bike or to take on a train or bus. If you can reduce the number of times you drive, though, every time you save yourself a trip, you are helping the planet.
If you bike or walk somewhere, you’re also getting in some much-needed exercise. Many of us live much more sedentary lives these days, so walking or biking helps you get your steps in and burns some calories. That can save you money you’d spend by joining a gym.
Purchase an Electric or Hybrid Vehicle
Every year, more hybrid and electric vehicles come out as well. If you can get one of those instead of one that runs exclusively on gas, that’s very helpful to the environment.
If you have a gas-running car, you can trade it in, which will lower an electric or hybrid vehicle’s cost.
You can also buy a used or certified pre-owned electric or hybrid car. That should save you some money if you can’t afford a brand-new one.
Every year, European nations continue building more electric charging stations to help with this transition. The switch can’t happen instantaneously, but if you can join this gradual movement, you’ll know you’re taking a concrete step toward reducing your carbon footprint. That will reduce foreign oil dependency as well.
Use Long-Lasting Lightbulbs
When you go shopping, you can look for long-lasting lightbulbs instead of the old-fashioned models. It might not seem like that will make much of a difference, but an energy-efficient lightbulb can last far longer than the traditional kind.
Buying the energy-efficient kind with the coils will save you money since you will not have to replace them as often. You can usually count on these bulbs to last you for several years rather than a few months like you would get with the old-fashioned, solid version. Also, since you have to throw fewer of them away, they make less trash in landfills.
You can get in the habit of bringing cloth bags with you when you go grocery shopping or shopping for small items. You can reuse those bags again and again.
You can keep those bags in the car with you if you go run some errands. If you happen to forget the bags, you can also ask for paper bags in stores instead of plastic ones. Many stores no longer carry plastic bags anyway, but you can insist on paper ones when you buy things in the stores that do.
These small actions can help conserve our resources, and you can set a good example for your friends, neighbors, and kids as well.