Most people today understand the importance of living sustainably and want to make a positive impact on the environment. However, when it comes to taking action, knowing what to do to have the most impact can feel overwhelming—especially as an individual. The small things we do as individuals can feel minimal and insignificant compared to the power bigger corporations and organizations have to reverse the effects of pollution and climate change.
Still, everyone needs to do their part, no matter how big or small the impact. And the small steps and actions that every individual takes do make a difference when you add it all up. The following three things are simple and effective ways that you can take action and have a positive impact on the environment.
If you were to do only one thing to live more sustainably for the rest of your life, it should be recycling. Waste that ends up in landfills and the natural environment is one of the biggest issues the planet is facing. We are literally burying material resources which results in having to create new, virgin materials. This contributes to our greenhouse gases problem. Plastic waste is especially dangerous as not all plastic is safe, and some plastic products are made from harmful and toxic ingredients.
Even the plastic that isn’t toxic can still cause harm to the environment when it is not properly recycled. Plastic never really goes away because it turns into micro-plastic as it degrades and travels in the wind and water around the globe. So it’s essential to make sure that you double-check the recycling symbol before throwing any items away and ensure that items are being recycled correctly and that they’re clean. Dirty plastic can contaminate the whole recycled batch and just because something has a recycling symbol does not mean you can simply toss it in any recycling bin.
Every plastic item has a specific number inside the recycling symbol that indicates what type of plastic resin it is made of. Recycling plants vary and may not accept everything with the recycling symbol. Depending on the type of resin, some items require more effort to recycle than others and may need to be recycled or disposed of differently. Plastic shopping bags are one example because they tangle in sorting machinery so are recycled in bins at retail locations instead.
If everyone started being more mindful of their recycling efforts, it would lead to more waste being diverted from landfills and actually being recycled and reduce waste that ends up in oceans and other natural environments. This would ensure that our planet has plenty of green and healthy environments for sustaining life in the future.
2. Buy Recycled Products
Recycling the items you already have is great, but another way to make a positive impact is to buy more products that are made of recycled materials in the first place. HDPE, for example, is a type of plastic that is safe and is often reused to make other products due to its durable and adaptable nature.
At Polly Products, we make all of our outdoor furniture products out of recycled HDPE plastic because it’s much safer and healthier for the environment. Items made out of recycled materials produce fewer carbon emissions because they require less energy compared to making new materials. We simply use materials that already exist and repurpose them into something new. Products made from recycled materials like HDPE can also be recycled and reused again at the end of their lifecycles.
There are many other benefits to buying products made of recycled materials, including:
- Energy savings
- Requires fewer resources
- Keeps more items out of landfills
- Reduces pollution
- Saves water
- Saves money
3. Donate to Eco-Friendly Causes
Supporting organizations that are eco-friendly and fighting against climate change is another excellent way for individuals to do their part. Often, these organizations have more power and resources to effect change, so supporting them with donations is an easy way to help further their efforts.
There are hundreds if not thousands of organizations that exist to help protect the environment, and it’s ultimately up to you to decide which ones you want to support. Here at Polly Products, we have partnered with one of our favorites—One Tree Planted.
Deforestation, wildfires, weather, and other disasters have severely diminished the number of trees on our planet, but we need trees to survive. Trees provide a home to many living organisms in addition to purifying the air and producing oxygen. So for every dollar donated, One Tree Planted plants a new tree to reforest our precious planet. Furthermore, Polly Products matches donations made when ordering on our website so your donation does twice as much good for the planet. Join us in saving the planet two trees at a time
Some cities and parks offer walking trails where people can get some exercise alone or with a furry friend. Another great idea is to donate a Dog Waste Bag Dispenser to make picking up after a pet convenient and keep the trail clean and pleasant for everyone. Does your town have a dog park or a dog run? Be a real hero or get a group of friends together to donate a complete Pet Waste Station that includes the bag dispenser and a no-touch receptacle. Or maybe the area could use a bench or two which you could donate as memorial benches by adding custom engraving or a plaque. Your local animal shelter might also appreciate some of these items, as they’re usually running on a pretty tight budget.
4. Give the Gift of Time
Not all contributions rely on money. Many organizations need volunteers to accomplish clean-up events or community recycling events. Check your local Keep America Beautiful affiliate to volunteer for specific area clean-ups. Sometimes they offer free equipment/materials to aid volunteers who are organizing their own trash clean-up projects. And don’t forget your own state’s Department of Transportation to Adopt-A-Highway. Hey, you can even be the person who picks up the cup that didn’t make it into the trash barrel when someone tossed it! It all counts and you can see how easy it is to be part of the solution.
The Polly Products Green Mission
At Polly Products, our green mission is to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible by providing 100% recycled products and by adopting sustainable business practices. Our team of compassionate environmental advocates in rural Michigan shares humble values and believes in delivering quality products. We proudly supply environmentally responsible outdoor furniture, 100% made and assembled in the USA. Check out our line of products to see how Polly Products is making a difference.