START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

My Top Tips for Protecting Our Planet on Earth Day – and Beyond

My Top Tips for Protecting Our Planet on Earth Day – and Beyond

The environmental issues we face globally are immense, but the good news is that there are positive, creative solutions to deal with these problems. Through a combination of scientific research and personal action, each of us can change our living and consumer habits to live more sustainable lives. Sometimes it feels like, “Can I really make a difference?” The answer is yes. And when you do, your decision can impact someone else to live a more environmental and sustainable lifestyle. And when millions of like-minded people work together, wonderful things are possible.

Here are my top tips for helping the planet:

1. Make your bike your go-to transportation.

It is no secret that motor vehicles are among the biggest contributors to climate change. Choosing to bike more is one of the most important things we can do to have an immediate, positive impact on the environment. In addition to the environmental benefits, cycling saves money and makes you healthier. Three hours of biking per week can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by 50%. It’s also much more fun than spending time stuck in traffic! Learn more here.

See: 7 Best Bike Cities

2. Support relevant scientific research.

Protecting the planet involves participation. In addition to the hundreds of things that we can do personally, it’s essential that we support critical scientific research. For example, I support the Weizmann Institute because they’re working on projects such as using algae to create environmentally friendly biofuel and developing a sustainable hydrogen fuel technology without any harmful byproducts. Find a group you like and support them.

You can also take action by signing some of these environmental petitions on Care2.

3. If you do have to drive, drive smarter.

If you’re seeking a new car, look for the most fuel-efficient vehicle possible. Turn off your engine if you plan on idling for more than 10 seconds. Plan the best routes before you travel. Choose destinations closer to your home. Make a list of things you need and try to combine trips. Carpool whenever possible.

4. Wash clothes in cold water and line-dry.

According to the Department of Energy, 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is used to heat the water. Line-dry your clothes whenever possible. Consider vacuuming your dryer every six months or so. Lint can build up in your dryer’s hose, which creates a fire hazard and increases your dryer’s energy output by up to 30 percent.

5. Guard your groundwater.

There is absolutely no substitute for clean, drinkable water. There are easy things we can do to ensure that this precious resource is better protected. Limit showers to 5 minutes or less. Try to never use toxic chemicals around your home. Pull weeds! Don’t use chemicals to kill them. Remember, what we do to the earth we also do to ourselves! Properly dispose toxic substances like unused chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and paint. Don’t EVER dump them down the toilet or sink! Support relevant scientific research done by people like scientist Brian Berkowitz of the Weizmann Institute. Berkowitz uses MRI techniques, like those used to study the body, to measure how fluids flow underground and is working on a new technology to stop pesticides and other toxins from entering into groundwater.

6. Know where your trash goes.

Take a tour of your local water treatment plant or public landfill. What you’ll discover is that garbage does not simply disappear once it leaves our homes. All garbage goes somewhere. Human wastes have a tremendous impact on the environment. Visiting these facilities will open your eyes and remain an important reminder to be more conscious of what you throw in the trash and put down the drain. Composting is a terrific way to dramatically reduce the amount of household trash that ends up in a landfill. Properly disposing of batteries and electronics is also critical. Many progressive electronics stores offer receptacles for this toxic/recyclable waste. The best solution for reducing waste is to make less. Buying bulk reduces wasteful packaging (and you save money!). Using a cloth grocery/carrier bag is one less plastic bag in a landfill!

Matthew Modine is an actor, environmental advocate, filmmaker and humanist.

20 Clever & Simple Ways to Save Water in the Home
6 Energy-Saving Dishwasher Tips

Read more: Celebrities, Eco-friendly tips, Green, Home, Life, Make a Difference, News & Issues, Transportation, , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Matthew Modine

Matthew Modine was recently seen in in the theatrical bio-pic, jOBS portraying John Sculley, the man who fired Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) from the company he founded. Earlier this year Modine starred in the fact-based science fiction/action/adventure film, Cat 8. Modine portrayed Deputy Police Commissioner Peter Foley in the final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises – one of the top grossing films of all time.

also by Matthew Modine


+ add your own
2:14AM PDT on Oct 14, 2014

Thank you!

4:36AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

It's all about daily life habits

11:01AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

I am only one person, but I am one person.

5:10AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

Thanks , trying to do my share .

8:06AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

Thanks for sharing, Matthew!!

10:29AM PDT on Apr 24, 2014

Yes, we must support scientific research.

10:28AM PDT on Apr 24, 2014

Good article.

5:40AM PDT on Apr 24, 2014

Thanks for sharing

5:03AM PDT on Apr 23, 2014


4:05AM PDT on Apr 23, 2014

Doing my best! Thanks

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I like winter, but my husband mourns the loss of summer. I guess one of us is better suited to the …

THANKS TO GREAT DR unity FOR SOLVING MY PROBLEMS i was married to my husband for 5 years we were li…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!