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Go Green for Earth Day and Every Day!

What began as a grassroots movement in 1970 has now become a worldwide environmental movement, now observed by 192 countries. Celebrated on April 22, Earth Day is the day we focus on our environment and how to make humanities values coincide with environmental protection, doing what we can for a greener tomorrow. Here are 20 ways you can recognize Earth Day every day. 

  1. Leave something better than you found it. How many times have you been in a public place such as a beach, park or even public transportation and noticed miscellaneous trash? Be the change you want to see – take a few minutes to throw away, or whenever possible recycle things you find.
  2. Think about our air. It’s no surprise that every car trip adds to air pollution. If you can, walk, ride a bike or use public transportation. If a car trip is necessary, try to use an electric car or save gas money and carpool. Now, there are different apps and options you can use such as UberPool, Rideshare, Bird or Zipcar to help reduce cars on the road and improve our atmosphere.
  3. Reuse. Instead of using one-time-only paper/plastic goods, go for a reusable option. Rather than buying bottled water, use a water purifier and refill an old one or one that you can wash and take wherever you go. Other things that have reusable options include: bags, coffee cups, plates, utensils, dishtowels, straws etc. If it’s not reusable, choose paper over plastic.
  4. Always recycle. Paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum (cans & clean foil), glass and textiles are the most common recyclable materials. Some organizations even recycle batteries, pens, markers, plastic film, ink cartridges even electronics which, create unique problems for landfills. Get great recycling tips at http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm. Being knowledgeable about what is recyclable can help save energy/natural resources, reduce waste in landfills and our carbon footprint overall!
  5. Update lightbulbs. Using bulbs that are environmentally friendly such as compact fluorescent (CFLs) or LED bulbs can save up to 75% of that used by incandescent bulbs, lowering energy consumption and cost. According to www.earthday.gov if every American household replaced one light bulb with a CFL, it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road. But be sure to also recycle CFLs properly. Visit www.earth911.com to find a center near you.
  6. Repair leaks. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day so, make sure your faucets, showers and toilets are as efficient as possible.
  7. Save water. Wash only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving. Shower instead of filling a tub. Use your bath towels more than once before washing. If you can, wash your laundry in cold water instead of warm. Set up a rain barrel to collect water from your gutters and use its contents to water your plants.
  8. Go paperless. If you haven’t already, switch to online banking and go paperless with boarding passes, event tickets, invoices and any subscriptions you receive via mail.
  9. Support local markets. Farmers markets tend to use less, or no, plastic packaging compared to grocery stores and supermarkets.
  10. Insulate your home, windows and water pipes.
  11. Change your cleaning products. Instead of harsh cleaning chemicals, opt for natural sources like vinegar and baking soda. If you love fragrance, add a few drops of a citrusy essential oil like lemon, orange or grapefruit to your water. <Jen, you can link to our essential oils here> For other ways to make your own cleaning products avoiding chemicals and plastic altogether, check out https://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/make-your-own-housecleaning-products
  12. DIY. Plant your own garden – fruits, vegetables, herbs etc. Not only will you have fresh options and save money on your grocery trips, but you also skip the plastic packaging that comes with these purchases.
  13. Ditch the microbeads. Even though we have the Microbead-Free Waters Act, there are still products out there that may contain microbeads or microplastics that are not biodegradable. If these aren’t filtered out, they can end up in our oceans creating severe consequences for not only marine ecosystems but also ourselves.
  14. Give up chewing gum or switch your brand. Gum is made of synthetic plastic polymers that are not biodegradable which means it can be toxic to the environment or occupy valuable space in landfills. Look for an all-natural, biodegradable gum.
  15. Reforestation. One tree can consume 48 pounds of carbon dioxide (plus other greenhouse gasses) and provide enough oxygen for one person to breathe for two years. Trees help: clean the air, limit global warming, save energy, reduce temperature and absorb water that would otherwise require filtration. Give back to your environment by planting a tree. If planting isn’t for you, there are organizations where $1 plants 1 tree.
  16. Educate others on the importance of practicing an environmentally friendly lifestyle. The more people are aware, the more we can do to protect and better our Earth.

Other Ways You Can Go Green

  1. Use your microwave to cook meals and reheat leftovers. It uses less power than your oven.
  2. Sweep, not hose, your deck, sidewalks and porch.
  3. Start a compost pile in your back yard. Composting provides the perfect environment for seeds to grow.
  4. Opt for natural, herbal products, like those found at www.BotanicChoice.com. Since 1910 – long before Earth Day – their eco-friendly remedies and clean beauty products have helped millions of people feel and look better, naturally.

For more ways to recognize Earth Day every day in your community, go to www.earthday.gov.