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Ways to Help the Environment: Part 1

Apr 23
Category | General

Ways to Help the Environment: Part 1

Sustainable living has come a long way. Pretty much everything we do seems to influence the planet and the next generation’s future. Every little piece helps. Doing your part for the environment used to look like separating your plastic and paper in a blue recycling bin on a weekly basis. These days, there is so much more you can do to create a long-lasting green home and healthy environment.

Want to know how you can help?

There are simple and understandable ways you can contribute to a healthier Earth. In this two-part series you can read up about lots of less obvious, but no less important, earth-friendly habits.

Reduce, reuse, recycle: As obvious as this seems, it can be more than just putting your bin out every week. There are a few ways you can up your recycle game and lessen your waste.

  • Check out your plastics
    • Fun Facts: five plastic bottles (PET) recycled provide enough fiber to create one square foot of carpet. Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every HOUR. Recycling one ton of plastic bottles is the equivalent energy usage of a two-person household for one year.
  • Bags, bottles, and cups, oh my
    • Start by bringing reusable bags to the grocery store. If you don’t have any, they have plenty of options to choose from. If you ALWAYS forget yours, try keeping them in the car once you’re done unloading the groceries. If that still doesn’t work, most grocery stores have an area that you can recycle the plastic bags that you use.
    • Don’t just throw them away! Next, get rid of those one-use plastic bottles! Find a fun water bottle and show your style, BPA-free if possible.
  • Clothes, toys, and unwanted items
    • There are so many donation options. Check out your local listings to find one close to you. Or, if there is a charity near and dear to your heart, consider reaching out to friends and family to have one big load to donate.
    • There are non-profit companies in cities that help struggling adults and homeless prepare, and dress, for interviews and other important life markers. Your dress, or nice pair of pants could be just what that person needs to make the right impression and get their life going in the direction they want.
    • For oversized items, make a few calls to local churches. Sometimes they will pick up for free for a family that needs a slightly worn couch or bed.
  • Composting
    • Keep your scraps of food for a natural nutrient enhancer for your garden. You can also mix it with your yard clippings for a soil-boosting combo. If that seems too complicated, or if you live in an apartment and don't have space, check to see if your area has a curbside composting service. These Garbage to Garden services have a weekly pick up. Then, when the weather is right, they deliver a bag of compost to put in your garden. It supports your local economy and makes composting accessible for everyone.
  • Technology
    • It's easy for our various electronics to end up in landfills. Our tech gets obsolete so fast these days; who can keep up! Electronic waste totals approximately 2% of the waste in the U.S. These toxic metals and plastics that are making up our waste can also be recycled. Best Buy, Staples, Apple, and even Amazon have recycling programs. There can be fees associated, so check with your local retailer.

Save your energy: Take a look inside your home and make a plan. When you consume less power, you reduce toxic fumes released into the air. Do you know what your carbon footprint is? Try EPA's Household Carbon Footprint Calculator to estimate your annual greenhouse gas emissions. By taking steps to reduce your energy intake, you’ll contribute to a healthier and happier world.

  • Turn off your lights
    • It may seem obvious, but make sure the family is turning off lights when not in the room. You can install a timer for outside lights that automatically turns them on and off at designated times. Or you could install motion detector lights, so the lights are only on when needed.
    • You can also start replacing your lightbulbs with LED bulbs. LED typically use 25%-80% less energy than traditional. LED lights are also of better quality and have a longer lifespan. It’s a win-win!
  • Appliances
    • When it comes time to upgrade your stove or refrigerator, look into one that is energy efficient. You may save on your utility bills, and if used correctly, it will extend the working life of the appliance. Look for the Energy Star label. It is the symbol for energy efficiency created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. This means the appliance is significantly more energy-efficient than the minimum government standard. Learn more at
    • Even small things like waiting for a full load before doing laundry or running the dishwasher will help over time. Don’t forget to clean the air filter in the dryer and think about airdrying clothes in the upcoming months. Yay Spring!
  • Phantom power
    • Plug your TV, DVD player, and/or VCR into a power strip, then when you turn off your TV at night, turn off the power strip.  This way, they won’t be drawing “phantom power” when not in use.

Upping your food game – wasting food also squanders resources (like water and energy) that went into the production of that food. Here are some easy ways to shop and eat more efficiently to waste less food.

  • Make a plan
    • We all have our favorite foods that we consistently get at the store, but how often do you grab this or that as you’re going down the aisle because inspiration strikes or you’re hungry? Taking on the task of food shopping with a list and a meal plan for the week will reduce the amount you buy (save money) and hopefully reduce the amount of food that goes bad after making too much. If you still buy more than you can eat, consider donating it to your local food kitchen or food bank, especially around the holidays.
  • Leftovers
    • Breathe new life into what seems like the same old meal day after day. Meal planning can, after all, be boring on the tastebuds. Simple proteins can be turned into fun sandwiches, stews, or casserole. Once you start finding inventive ways to reinvent your extras, everyone will come to the tables for leftovers!
  • Plant a garden 
    • Plant an edible garden. Not only will your yard look beautiful, you will save money on groceries. If you don’t have a lot of space, there are quite a few options for patio pickers and container gardening for a few of your favorite veggies and herbs.
  • Protein sources
    • Cows release more greenhouse gas than any other protein source. For a change, switch out one of your hamburgers for a veggie burger or a nice piece of fish. Try having a meatless Monday for a month and see how you feel. You might like the change!

The RMS Difference

  • RMS has recycling habits for paper, plastic, glass, and cans. Our corporate office has flatware, cutlery, and a dishwasher to reduce single-use plastic and paper.
  • One update RMS has made, is introducing our RMS Ready mobile app (a convenient and secure application for uploading documents). We are continuing to find ways to make your home financing experience as paperless as possible.
  • RMS also uses cloud-based software for better industry updates and team processes. In addition, our IT team recycles hardware when applicable.

There’s endless possibilities, we hope this gives you some ideas to start a “green” to-do list today! Earth Day 2021 is on Thursday, April 22. We hope you join us in celebrating the environment and making small changes every day to improve the impact we have, to restore our Earth. Stay tuned next week as we continue the Earth-friendly education series!