Most of us (orange Cheetos with weird haircuts excluded) care about our planet Earth and want to do a little bit better when it comes to environmentally-conscious decisions. However, to those who've just started their journey towards a greener future, all do's and don'ts can seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning. But as with everything in this life, great things are built by taking small steps. Some of these steps are so small, they seem insignificant - but scientific research proves that every little bit counts when it comes to building a more sustainable future. Therefore, Bored Panda has made a list of twenty small but impactful steps that you can take to be more environmentally-friendly than you were yesterday. Scroll down below to see the list and comment if you have any more tips that you'd like to share!

#1

Shop secondhand

Shop secondhand

Making merely one kilogram of fabric generates 23 kilograms of greenhouse gasses. Now consider that most fast-fashion pieces are being thrown away within a year of their production. The numbers add up and show a really ugly picture of the fashion scene. To be more environmentally friendly, consider shopping in secondhand or vintage stores and swapping clothes with your friends.

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Susan Reid Smith 2 months ago

I would rather by new clothes and then wear them to bits, mending as needed to make them last longer.

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#2

Buy loose leaf tea

Buy loose leaf tea

A recent study found that nylon tea bags leech billions of microplastics into every single cup of tea. Next time you shop for tea, consider buying a loose one instead of bagged.

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Belinda Matson 2 months ago

What about not using coffee pods?

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#3

Go for meatless meals once a week

Go for meatless meals once a week

Meat production (especially mass-produced beef) is extremely resource-intensive. Seven or even more pounds of grain are used to produce one pound of beef and it takes around 840 gallons of fresh water to produce a single serving. Choose pasture-fed and sustainably raised beef whenever you can and, if you're not vegetarian, consider one meatless day a week.

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A dose of reality... 2 months ago

Sorry but it should be the other way round: Meat once or twice a week is not only healthier but because you don't have to spend so much money on meat the other days you can get really good, organic / environmental-friendly meat. Which tastes better as well...

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#4

Switch to rechargeable batteries

Switch to rechargeable batteries

Switching to rechargeable batteries not only saves you money in the long-run - the corrosive acid inside the batteries causes a major problem at landfills where it can wind up infiltrating the soil.

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Hans 2 months ago

Frankly, anyone putting batteries in the trash is just dumb. Or living in a dumb community not providing recycling opportunities.

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#5

Wash clothes in colder water

Wash clothes in colder water

Standard washing machines tend to use around 40 gallons of water per load. Next time you're doing laundry, make sure you put in a full load and wash in cold water (which can add up in saving 3,400 gallons of water a year). In addition to this, air dry whenever you can, instead of using a dryer machine.

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Lucas 2 months ago

Just a small point - washing in cold water too often can cause the build up of the most disgusting mould in your washing machine and the subsequent service washes and chemicals used to clean it aren't good for the environment. So don't cold wash too often - it isn't the answer it seems. As for the dryer - yeah, hang clothes on hangers where possible and ironing, which requires power, becomes less of a requirement too.

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#6

Recycle wire hangers

Recycle wire hangers

If you have more wire hangers than you need and don't know where to put them (as the majority of local recycling programs won't accept them), you can take them to your nearest dry cleaners. They will gladly accept the hangers to be reused or will sell them to scrap metal collectors.

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Melanie Peapell 2 months ago

Also check with homeless shelter. I worked at a women and children's shelter and we never seemed to have enough hangers for our residents.

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#7

Turn down the brightness of your monitor

Turn down the brightness of your monitor

By simply turning down your monitor brightness from 100% to 70%, you can save up to 20% of its energy.

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bLaCk WiDoW 2 months ago

Brightness hurt my eyes! I always have mine on nightlight.

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#8

Unplug

Unplug

This one is really easy, it almost seems so easy that... we actually forget to do it. Unplug your electronics - phone, laptop chargers, electric kettle, etc. - when you don't need them. Even when they're turned off, they still use a little bit of electricity while plugged in.

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Randi Vaula Rasmussen 2 months ago

Unplug your CHARGERS. The reason they use extra electricity is because they keep changing the voltage from what comes out of the outlet into something your device cam be safely charged with. And the reason to unplug them is because of possible fire hazard - the amount of current modern chargers draw is insignificant. Other appliances will not use extra power when not in use. t's actually better to not unplug them all the time, to prevent the wall socket from becoming rickety - which actually would be a fire hazard.

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#9

Use biodegradable litter

Use biodegradable litter

Most cat litter is made from bentonite clay which never breaks down. Americans are filling up landfills with 2 million tons of it each year, so it's really worth reconsidering your shopping habits. Next time you shop for cat litter, opt for a biodegradable one.

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Gipsy Kings fan 2 months ago

That's not a litter box, it's a used paint tray with dried paint in it! >:-( Litter boxes have to be deeper to allow for a thicker layer of litter, so cats can cover up their deposits thoroughly, which they do instinctively. This kitty is displeased about the inadequate box and very thin layer of litter.

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#10

Use matches instead of lighters

Use matches instead of lighters

These days, the majority of lighters are disposable and around 1.5 billion of them end up in landfills every year. Given that they're made of plastic and are filled with butane, makes them even more environment-hazardous. To be more eco-friendly, choose matches over lighters. Ideally, buy paper matches as they are made from recycled paper.

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Goli Soda 2 months ago

Refillable gas lighters are better than matchsticks.

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#11

Replace your old shower head

Replace your old shower head

Installing a faucet aerator and a shower-head of high efficiency will help you save somewhere between 1,000 and 8,000 gallons of water per year.

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CJ 2 months ago

how?

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#12

Choose to auto-power down

Choose to auto-power down

New game consoles like PS4 and Xbox One have a feature in which you can set your console to auto-power down when not in use. Go into the unit's system menu to make sure this feature is enabled and set it for one hour of inactivity or less. In addition to this, try to avoid instant-on and other connected standby modes as they are usually connected to the Internet and perform other various functions while on standby by default.

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Jeff Requier 2 months ago

Turn it off when you finished playing. That PS3 there had a power switch on the back and wont power down. Still drawing power

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#13

Opt out of spam emails

Opt out of spam emails

Researchers have shown that sorting and filtering of spam email alone accounts for 33bn units of electricity each year and that a single spam email can leave a 0.3g carbon footprint. Now consider the fact that somewhere around 62 trillion spam messages are sent each year. The results of this mathematical equation can seem really daunting, therefore, do your inbox and Earth a favor and unsubscribe from emails you don't want to receive. 

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Isle_of_stressed_pilots 2 months ago

If I knew how to unsubscribe, I gladly would lol

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#14

Keep your fireplace damper closed

Keep your fireplace damper closed

Whenever you're not using your fireplace, close its damper- hundreds of dollars can be saved in the long run on heating by doing so. To have the damper open equals to having a forty-eight-inch window open all the time!

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Bob Beltcher 2 months ago

Who doesn't know this already?

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#15

Get your car washed professionally

Get your car washed professionally

As professional car wash services want to reduce costs and maximize profits, they use the most optimal amount of water for a thorough clean of your car. It has been estimated that if everyone in the USA who wash their own cars would use a car wash even once, it would save approximately 8.7 billion gallons of water per year!

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Lucas 2 months ago

Bad for car paint. Plus if you get a small stone in those brushes you have to get a re-spray - I speak from experience. This is a terrible suggestion. How is a bucket and a sponge using more water? Just don't use a jet-spray.

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#16

Choose an eco-friendly search engine

Choose an eco-friendly search engine

An eco-friendly search engine is not something out of a sci-fi movie. For example, the search engine Ecosia advertises that it donates 80% of the search ad profit to plant trees. Next time you look for something online, try searching on an eco-friendly search engine instead.

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spirit wolf 2 months ago

I use Ecosia but lets be honest, it is a nightmare. And so slow!

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#17

Opt out of fast delivery

Opt out of fast delivery

According to Miguel Jaller, a professor from the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California Davis, “every individual is buying more and wanting those goods to be at their home really fast. That creates more vehicles, more traffic, and potentially more emissions.” Now while online shopping doesn't necessarily mean more emissions than shopping at the local store, opting out of fast two-day deliveries can help in cutting down emissions. Therefore, when shopping online, try to do a big order instead of several small ones and try to curb your enthusiasm by simply waiting for goods to arrive for a slightly longer time.

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Full Name 2 months ago

Or choose regular mail as the delivery because the postman goes along your street regardless so there is no waste involved.

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#18

Switch to a bamboo toothbrush

Switch to a bamboo toothbrush

As around 4 billion plastic toothbrushes end up in the trash each year, next time you're going toothbrush-shopping, consider buying a bamboo one that is biodegradable.

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Gemma Saleh 2 months ago

Dentists recommend electric toothbrushes. This is a very tricky conundrum for the environmentally friendly person that doesn't want to loose their teeth prematurely.

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#19

Listen to music offline

Listen to music offline

A recent study estimated that the amount of plastic used to make physical music records has fallen from 61 million kilograms (more than 134 million lbs) in the 2000s to about 8 million kilograms (more than 17 million lbs) in 2016. However, the energy that it takes to stream and download digital music has caused greenhouse gas emissions to rise from 157 million kilograms to somewhere between 200-350 million kilograms. Therefore, researchers pointed out that downloading music from streaming services to listen offline, can cut down on the energy use. They are also suggesting to consider switching to a streaming service that uses more clean energy (you can find information about it on clickclean.org).

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Electric Ed 2 months ago

Worst I guess is to listen to music on youtube, video takes several times the bandwidth (i.e. energy) of audio only.

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#20

Use cloth diapers

Use cloth diapers

Try to choose cloth diapers whenever possible, as they aid the environment and are kinder to baby's skin. It is estimated that the average infant uses somewhere between 5 to 8 thousand diapers, which equates to 3.5 million tonnes of landfill waste. If you really need disposable diapers, buy from an environmentally friendly brand.

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Hans 2 months ago

This one id disputed. Cleaning diapers can use so much water and detergent that the ecologic footprint is very similar to that of single-use diapers. Much more helpful is to not let children wear diapers until they are three or even four years old but starting to potty train them whenever they singnal they get control of their bodily functions. For many, this can be around the second birthday. (Of couse, some are earlier others later, which is just fine.)

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