Everything you do carries some environmental cost. To deny your impact is a dangerous form of environmental isolationism. Some effects are unavoidable. You must eat, work and carry on everyday activities. With this New Year, you can make it a point to weigh your options and choose the one that carries the lower cost.
Reconsider your cardio workout
The best choice in terms of environmental impact is to take your run outside. You use no electricity or other resources that affect the environment. Consider the cost of using a treadmill instead. During a 30-minute workout, a treadmill generates about two pounds of carbon dioxide.
The average American has a carbon footprint of about 28 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. If you use a treadmill three times a week, 52 weeks a year, you are adding about 312 pounds of carbon dioxide to your carbon footprint. That is the equivalent of driving your car an equal amount of miles.
Recycled versus Recycled
Not all products labeled recycled are the same. When you see a product labeled recycled, it may mean that it is made from materials recovered on site at the factory. It is not unlike gathering up scraps from making biscuits and using the dough to make more. It is not true to the sense that you may consider what recycled means.
The products you can buy that will help the planet are those that are labeled post-consumer waste. This means that no new materials were used in its creation, whether it is felling trees or making new plastic. It is from materials that are recovered from the waste stream. Buying these products is the sound environmental choice.
It is important not to write off your contribution. The fact remains that residential waste accounts for 55 to 65 percent of the total municipal solid waste generation. Businesses are not the leaders in this dubious category.
The steps you take toward reducing your carbon footprint and the trash you generate have a profound effect on the environment, whether or not they are apparent straightway. Your green choices can make this planet a safer and cleaner place.