What You Can Do for Global Environmental Health

Three people, two adults and one child, recycling plastic

Almost every choice you make—what to eat, where to shop, what to buy, how to travel—affects the environment on some level.

Some choices you make have a direct, specific impact—for example, turning off the light to save electricity. Others have an indirect or distant effect, such as purchasing clothing produced in a factory that prioritizes safe working conditions for its employees.

Terry Gips, an ecologist and sustainability business consultant, offers specific tips designed around the four principles of sustainability.

To limit what is taken from the earth…

✓ Walk, bike, carpool, or use public transit instead of driving. If you need to drive, practice “eco-driving,” which involves staying at a steady speed, acting instead of reacting, and keeping tires fully inflated.man bicycling across a city bridge in the morning

✓ Turn off lights and computers when they’re not being used. Replace regular bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescents.

✓ Reduce your heating and cooling. Use Energy Star appliances and make sure your home is properly insulated.

✓ Decrease mined metals by recycling (cans, fluorescents, electronics) and using rechargeable batteries, mercury-free  thermometers, lead-free fishing weights, and sustainable building materials.