It can be a challenge to figuring out how to help the environment. The good news is, bettering the planet doesn’t have to be expensive or drastic. Rather, sustainable changes consist of small intentional actions that are easy to commit to while still leaving a lasting impact.

Here are some changes you can incorporate into your daily life that will make a big difference.

1. Reduce Food Waste

When food ends up in landfills, it generates methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.  According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), food waste is estimated between 30-40% of the food supply. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates greenhouse gas emissions of more than 42 coal-fired power plants.

Here are two easy ways to help combat food waste:

Donate or get creative. If you have excess nonperishable canned goods or household items, consider donating them to a community pantry, food bank, local church, or community center. Feeding America also has a nationwide network of food banks and programs that help millions of people find food. Or you can put your creative skills to the test by tackling the leftovers in your fridge. If you’re making a large pan of lasagna or a pot of green chili, extra portions can be frozen and thawed for future meals.

Compost food scraps. Compost is created by combining organic wastes, such as banana peels, leftover foods, and eggshells, to provide enrichment for the environment. By composting wasted food and other organics, methane emissions are significantly reduced. The EPA also has a handful of resources to help you get started.

2. Buy Second-Hand Items

While there are some social advantages to fast fashion, the environmental impact is far more severe. Investopedia reports that the industry uses 93 billion cubic meters of water per year and emits more than 10% of global carbon emissions. Purchasing items second-hand helps reduce the consumption of mass-produced goods and fast fashion clothing.

3. Donate to A Cause You Care About

Some organizations help their communities by letting customers and employees participate in giving back to causes they care about. For example, FirstBank announced a campaign that allowed customers to put “banking for good” into action by supporting nonprofits committed to saving critical parts of our environment.

To learn more, visit or (Spanish).  

4. Bike or Walk More Frequently

Now that summer is here, it is the perfect time to bike or walk. Cycling uses minimal fossil fuels and is a pollution-free transportation method. Bikes also reduce the need to build, service, and dispose of cars. Choosing a bike over a car just once a day can reduce the average person’s carbon emissions from transportation by about 67%. Not only is biking good for the environment, it’s good for you too.

5. Participate in a Cleanup

A community cleanup brings volunteers together to clean, repair, and improve public spaces or other areas that have been neglected, polluted, and misused. Cleanups help reduce pollution and support the health of animals in the area. Every piece of trash collected to be recycled or put into a landfill means there is one less unsafe item that could potentially harm wildlife. This also creates a safer environment for children when visiting parks in their communities.

6. Manage Money Purposefully 

Unnecessary spending can be bad for the environment and expensive for you. An increase in demand naturally drives the rate of production, which in turn, leads to land use, deforestation, and the emission of harmful pollutants. Before purchasing, learn more about the company’s sustainability goals. Being conscious of where you spend your money can also help you save and impact the planet. 

7. Adopt a Green Thumb

Whether you want to start your own backyard garden or volunteer at a local community garden, there are plenty of ways to help plant fruits, vegetables, flowers, and trees this summer. In fact, nonprofits like One Tree Planted make it easy for individuals and businesses to give back to the environment, create a healthier climate, protect biodiversity and help reforestation efforts worldwide by planting trees.

8. Help Out Pollinators

Did you know over 100,000 invertebrates and over 1,000 mammals, birds and reptiles act as pollinators? However, the most commonly known are bees, butterflies, moths and wasps. Unfortunately, they are in decline worldwide due to habitat loss, invasive species, parasites and pesticides. Luckily there are ways to help by supporting organizations like Project Apis m., dedicated to funding research and efforts supporting honey bee health and securing pollination of our favorite healthy foods.

9. Recycle Your Plastic

It may seem cliché, but recycling plastic that would otherwise land in the ocean or a landfill is one of the easiest ways to help save the planet. According to, in 2022, there was a recorded 8 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean. The amount of plastic trash that flows into the ocean each year is expected to triple by 2040.

FirstBank has partnered with Second Wave®, which upcycles recovered ocean-bound plastic into goods like shampoo bottles, outdoor furniture and debit cards. New FirstBank customers will receive a ROBP Visa® Debit Card.*

Nonprofits like Western Resource Advocates (WRA) focus on advocating to fight climate change and advance clean energy to help protect the region’s unique lands, waterways, and wildlife.

While these small changes can help benefit the planet, see how FirstBank is helping the environment and encouraging its customers to do the same.

*$10 per card, per year (For certain checking account accountholders, the Visa debit card fee will be waived for those who are 25 years of age and under at the time the annual fee is charged)

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