You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make one or more of these save-the-planet ideas part of your daily routine.
April 22 is Earth Day, a day dedicated to honoring and preserving our beautiful planet for generations to come. With that in mind, most of us end up doing some eco-friendly acts and shout-outs. Great stuff—but this blue-and-green wonderland deserves our love and respect every day. Make every day Earth Day by doing some good for our planet on the reg with these Earth Day tips. It all helps, no matter how big or small.
Stop using plastic, seriously.
It takes 500 years for plastic in landfills to decompose, and we Americans produce roughly 30 million tons of plastic waste annually. Ditch the disposable plastic bottle and carry a cute reusable water bottle instead, bring cloth totes to the supermarket (not plastic bags), use bar soap (rather than liquid), buy grocery items packaged in glass, and invest in a Sodastream if carbonated water is your jam. You get the idea. If you’ve got to use plastic, cardboard, or other recyclable materials, always be sure to recycle them.
Order the veggie burger.
Did you know that nearly one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions (which help drive climate change) are generated by the meat industry? Start by experimenting with vegetarian mains on Meatless Monday, and see if you can kick it up a notch from there.
Look for the Fair Trade label.
Buying Fair Trade products—from food to clothing and home goods—means supporting a global movement of sustainability with an emphasis on empowering local farmers and workers and their labor conditions, as well as fair pricing and distribution. So people get paid well to produce goods, and to do it in a way that doesn't deplete natural resources.
Use food scraps to grow more food.
Rather than toss your fruit and veggie scraps into the kitchen trash can, deposit them in a compost bin and turn your waste into nutrient-rich soil. Then plant some herbs and veggies and watch your garden flourish!
Leave the car keys on the hook.
Cars are responsible for nearly 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions, so before you peel out of the driveway, consider walking, biking, taking the bus or train, or finding someone to carpool with.
Become a water watcher.
We use about 80-100 gallons of water a day. Little lifestyle tweaks like choosing a short shower over a bath, turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, and only running the dishwasher or washing machine when they’re full can go a long way in reducing your water consumption—and making sure we've got enough for the future.
Buy new lightbulbs.
If every American household replaced just one incandescent bulb with an energy efficient CFL or LED bulb, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9 billion pounds. Spend money now, save in the long run: Energy efficient bulbs need to be changed less frequently, and reduce waste and pollution. (And gentle reminder: Always turn off the lights when you leave a room!)
Dress for the season.
Rather than turn up the thermostat in winter, be more energy efficient by grabbing a sweatshirt. Likewise, come summer, wear shorts and a t-shirt indoors, and don’t overburden your AC.
Clean out your mailbox.
We all get unwanted catalogs and mail, but all that paper adds up to 100 million trees destroyed per year by American households. Do your part by canceling any unnecessary subscriptions, or install the PaperKarma app, which takes care of it all via smartphone.