5 Easy Ways You Can Help Reduce Pollution

Updated on March 9, 2019
Eco-friendly habits
Eco-friendly habits | Source

Taking Care of the Environment

The environmental impacts of pollution have become almost impossible to ignore. More and more organizations, governments and businesses have been making changes for the better, but what about the average person? What can they do? More specifically what are some easy things people can do that have a positive impact on the environment? There is a lot more that you can do than you would think. Here are 5 simple ways an average person can help the environment and reduce pollution.

1. Join a Cleanup

One of the simplest ways to help reduce pollution is to join a local cleanup in a nearby area. Beach cleanups are pretty common in coastal towns. They are often held on a regular schedule and hosted by local parks and rec or environmental organizations. The Ocean Conservancy. It's free to participate and supplies are usually provided. For those who live further inland, there are other cleanups you can join like the Adopt a Street Program. This is when a group of people decides to take on the responsibility of cleaning up a particular street for a given amount of time. The

Picking up trash on the beach.
Picking up trash on the beach. | Source

2. Plant a Rain Garden

Planting a rain garden is a simple beautiful way you can help the environment. Some of the benefits of rain gardens are:

  • Filter stormwater (catches garbage and filters out things like oil or pesticides)
  • Removes standing water from your yard
  • Creates a habitat for birds and butterflies
  • They are pretty and have curb appeal

Dirt and plants are natures way of filtering water. Because of impermeable surfaces like roads and concrete less water gets filtered the natural way. Rain gardens are a great way to help reduce pollution from water.

Rain gardens allow dirty rain water to be filtered through plants and soil.
Rain gardens allow dirty rain water to be filtered through plants and soil. | Source

How to Make a Rain Garden

3. Participate in a Tree Planting

Many cities and organizations host things called work parties or tree plantings. This is when a group of people gets together to maintain or restore a park or piece of land. They remove invasive plants and often plant native ones like trees that naturally grow in that specific habitat. It's not too labor intensive because you go at your own pace and the trees are usually still fairly small. Usually, the work party goes pretty quickly because lots of people are working together which also makes it more fun. Planting trees is a great way to fight pollution and deforestation. Trees help clean the air of pollution and provide homes and food for wildlife. If you don't want to join a group you could always plant native plants or trees in your own yard.

People gather to plant trees.
People gather to plant trees. | Source

4. Stop Using Single-use Plastic Products

The truth is in most cases single-use plastics are more of a convenience item than they are necessary. Sometimes they are necessary for medical reasons, but that is not generally the case as far as single-use plastic lids, caps, bottles, wrappers, straws and bags. These items can easily be replaced by re-usable alternatives. Reducing your use of single-use plastics helps fight pollution, by keeping them out of landfills and the water. These plastics are usually lightweight and thin making it easy for them to blow out of landfills and unsealed garbage cans. These plastics also look a lot like food to marine life, sea birds and other wildlife. If they do ingest plastic it could cause them serious harm and even death. Reducing the amount of these products you use can help reduce plastic pollution.

Source

5. Research Your Recyclables

Recycling is not just for glass and plastic anymore. Almost anything can and should be recycled it's just a matter of finding out where. This varies depending on your location, but some places even allow you to mail recyclables to them. Here is a list of things you can recycle that you might now know about:

  • Toothbrushes
  • Mattresses
  • Medication
  • Batteries
  • Electronics
  • Craft supplies
  • Paint
  • Light bulbs

There may be even more depending on your location and what resources are available to you, but the idea is to reuse and recycle as much as we can. This eliminates the amount of trash found in landfills.

Recycling needs to be sorted appropriately.
Recycling needs to be sorted appropriately. | Source

Conclusion

It can be overwhelming to look at the big environmental picture. It may seem like changing a few small things couldn't possibly make a difference, but the truth is every little bit helps. You can help by picking up trash, planting trees, planting rain gardens, recycling more than just plastic products and reducing the amount of single-use plastics you use can all make a big difference.

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