We’ve all heard the terms, reduce, reuse, recycle… But how can we consistently put those terms into action in our daily lives? Every year, Earth Day gives us the inspiration to start fresh with a new sustainable practice. Use these green tips to show your appreciation for the planet that gives us life every day.
- Keep the Car at Home
It’s no surprise that driving less will reduce your carbon footprint. Walking, biking, carpooling or using public transit even just one day a week or less can make a huge difference in protecting the environment from harmful pollutants that create greenhouse gasses. However, taking this action is commonly overlooked because most people do not understand the severity of carbon dioxide emissions from fuel use, and changing your routine may come as an inconvenience. Celebrate Earth Day this year by making a carpooling schedule with a coworker that lives nearby. If you don’t live close to coworkers, consider taking the bus or train every once in a while. Or think of all the close distance places that you normally travel by car and plan ahead to walk or bike instead. Not only will it help clean the air and save the environment, but it will also improve your mood to be outside more as the weather gets warmer. If driving is the only option for you, follow the links below to learn how to drive smarter to reduce fuel emissions!
Reducing Your Transportation Footprint | Center For Climate and Energy Solutions
Go On a Low Carbon Diet by Driving Less | Metromile
- Exercise Outside
Do you have a daily exercise routine, practice or sport that you love? If you practice or work out on your own time, take it outdoors for Earth Day! There’s nothing like a good run, an intense workout or a replenishing yoga flow in the fresh spring air. If you are part of an organized sports league or an exercise studio talk to the organizer ahead of time to coordinate an outdoor practice for Earth Day. You never know, everyone may love it and it might even become a routine! Feeling the spring breeze and the sun on your skin will really help you to fully enjoy your loved hobby even more. So take advantage of nature’s gifts and get outside!
- Reduce and Recycle Waste
This one might be the most obvious solution, and maybe you are already reducing waste and recycling in your home. But are you recycling in the most efficient way possible? And do you know the proper ways to recycle different materials? The US Environmental Protection Agency requires that each type of recyclable item be disposed of properly, so make sure you do your research and recycle each item correctly. If you are new to recycling or having trouble keeping up with it, consider putting a plan in place to help you stick to your guns and make a positive difference for the environment. A recycling plan is not difficult to make or keep up with. It’s just like any other task… if you can stick with it for over 21 days it becomes a habit. And in this case, a great one!
Recycling Basics for the Home | Eartheasy
- Buy Reusable Products
The days of paying for plastic water bottles and disposable coffee cups every day are over. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your daily coffee run. For Earth Day, treat yourself to a new reusable coffee cup and water bottle. You can shop for reusable products online or even better, at a local market! This will help you to stop buying bottled water for good. Use reusable canvas shopping/grocery bags
- Conduct a Home Energy Audit
You would be surprised at how much of an energy guzzler your home can be! With Earth Day coming up there is no better time than now to conduct your own home energy audit and learn all of the different ways you can save energy at home. Turning off lights and appliances and unplugging electronic devices when they are not in use can save you a ton of money on your electric bills and conserve energy usage as well. It’s a win/win! You can make your home even more environmentally friendly by updating to more sustainable LED light bulbs and fixing any leaky faucets or other water fixtures.
- Plant Something
Put more oxygen into the environment by planting a tree or starting a garden. Planting your own food and learning how to harvest your own produce will help you save money on grocery expenses as well. There are many delicious foods that you can grow at home. Or get involved with a community garden. Become a plant parent. Plant moms are cool. Plants not only provide increased oxygen levels but they also cleanse the air which it turn combats pollution and helps us breathe easy and clean.
- Use Earth Friendly Cleaning Products
If you are still buying heavy chemical cleaning products for your home now may be a good time to stop and rethink. Intense chemicals in most conventional cleaning products not only harm our skin and our bodies, but they are also toxic for the environment. It is in your best interest to begin cultivating some earth friendly cleaning products or DIY your own from scratch!
12 Natural & Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products for the Conscious Home | The Good Trade
- Go Vegetarian or Vegan For a Day
The meat and dairy industries are a huge threat to sustainability and environmental practices and these industries are among the biggest money guzzler in the US which has proven to be harmful to our economy and our future economic position. Consuming large amounts of meat and animal products daily poses huge health risks as well. To help the environment, the economy and your gut, try to eat just one vegetarian or vegan meal a day. Even going meatless once a week can make a huge impact! There are so many delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes out there that are simple to whip up at home. If you don’t want to cook, look around town for vegetarian and vegan restaurants in your community. Try out a delicious vegetarian or vegan meal. Or start contributing to Meatless Monday! The earth will thank you and so will your taste buds and your bellies.
How Going Meatless for One Meal a Week Can Really Help the Planet | Huffington Post
- Join an Earth Friendly Organization or Volunteer for One
Join an earth friendly group or volunteer your time to organizations that make the world a better place. These organizations can be found locally in your community, nationally or internationally. If you find a national or international organization that you love but you are too far to join or volunteer, consider donating to the cause. Most sustainable community organizations both local and national are nonprofits that rely on donations, so your donation will go a long way no matter what the value. Another way you can show your love is by buying a carbon offset! Carbon offsets can be used in many fields including air travel, blank, etc. You can learn about how carbon offsets work at NativeEnergy.com. Another way to show your support for the environment is to eat and shop local. Local markets, boutiques, and shops are good for the economy and in turn good for the earth. So next time you need to stock up on groceries for the week, consider buying your produce from a small farmers market instead of a large chain.
- Go paperless
Reducing the amount of paper being made and produced not only conserves energy but it helps cleanse the environment and helps minimize the stress and anxiety of keeping track of paperwork! Start by switching all of your bills and invoices to online only. Another way to reduce paper is to add yourself to the National Do Not Mail List. Get rid of junk mail for good by unsubscribing yourself from online retailers and store email lists as well.
How to Stop Junk Mail in 6 Easy Steps | Eco Cycle
- Share Your Knowledge
Are you already an environmentalist or a global earth friendly guru? Why not take advantage of Earth Day to share what you know with others? Start by informing some close friends who might want to know more about environmental conservation. You could even start a blog about it! If you find that you love sharing what you know about the environment and green practices why not start your own business, group or organization focused around sustainability and green living?
- Go to a Local Earth Day Event
Attend Earth Day events in your community or put together your own activity if there isn’t one already. Gathering people together for a good cause is worthwhile no matter what. Not only will you meet other likeminded individuals like yourself, but you will also have the opportunity to but your best foot forward in the community.
- Create an Animal Friendly Oasis
If you are an animal lover making animals feel welcome in their home is your go to Earth Day activity. You can make an animal friendly oasis in your own back yard or a local park (if you have permission). Fill your yard or the designated area with bird feeders and birdbaths as well as plants and trees for animals to graze on and/or use for shelter.
- Help Make Your Office More Sustainable
If you spend a lot of time at the office then you might as well take sustainable practices to work with you. Being energy efficient and environmentally friendly at work and at home will double your personal impact on the environment. Taking your green thumb to the office is simple if you have already developed green practices at home. Just follow those same steps to make your office more sustainable and in turn double your impact. You coworkers will thank you and they may even follow your lead.
Green Tips for the Office | The Balance
- Participate in Collaborative Consumption
Share things with people. We have all heard the phrase, ‘sharing is caring.’ There are a wide range of tangible objects and products that are easily sharable. Cars, bikes, food, clothing, electronics, etc are all sharable items. Get together with your community, neighborhood, office or family and friends to make a collaborative consumption plan.
- Use Solar Devices
Start using more solar products. When most people hear the word solar they might think about solar panels, but this is not the only item that uses energy from the sun to work. Phone chargers, laptop chargers, car batteries, light bulbs and an increasing number of electronic products are all now being made to be solar powered!
- Clean Out Your Closet and Donate to Goodwill
We all have closets overflowing with things we haven’t worn in years. Don’t let your clothing collect dust and go to waste. Donate your used clothing to your local Goodwill store and provide someone with a brand new treasured outfit! Many local thrift shops in your area will also accept used clothing donations. So do your research and find a store to donate to. Donations are not limited to just clothing. If you have other items at home that you know could be reused, consider donating them as well!
- Educate Yourself
Don’t know much about the earth, climate change or the environment? You can educate yourself on environmental issues and trends by reading books and watching films and documentaries. Koyaanisqatsi, the Hopi word meaning ‘life out of balance’ is an emotional and intense 1982 film about the relationship between nature and humanity. This movie is a great eye opener if you are looking to begin an educational journey into environmentalism. The study of the earth and its environment is an exciting field to get into. You never know what this new knowledge could do for you. You may just create a new passion for sustainability!
100 Best Environmental Films of All Time | The Environment Show
- Skip the Shower
Each human uses about 80 – 100 gallons of water every day, and about 70 of those gallons are used indoors for personal hygiene purposes. Just showering alone accounts for about 3 to 5 gallons per minute! So to celebrate mother Earth why not skip the shower or the tub for a day. Make this a habit by showering every other day or even every few days if you can.
How We Use Water | US Environmental Protection Agency
- Find Your Voice in Your Community
Curate your confidence and take a step forward towards a better environment. Write an email or a letter to a representative to share your thoughts on environmental legislation and the current practices. You may be just one person but you can make a world of difference. Stand up for what you believe and voice your opinion. Someone will always listen and take note. So talk to the people who are in power, vote for the ones who stand for making a positive difference or be that person yourself. This earth after all is your home. It is our home. This is how we will protect it; together.
10 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day | Do You Yoga
25 Different Ways to Celebrate Earth Day | Conserve Energy Future
6 Fun, Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Earth Day | Inhabitat
10 Awesome Eco-Activities to do this Earth Day | Inhabitat
10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day | How Stuff Works
6 Fun and Free Things to Do to Celebrate Earth Day | Awesomeness TV
11 Eco-Friendly Things to Do for Earth Day and Every Day | Freelancers Union