Earth Day is right around the corner on April 22! It’s easy to overlook this important holiday as there’s not as much fanfare or tradition associated with it like there is with other special days. I encourage you to start your own Earth Day tradition this year! Use this post to get thinking about the ways you can make our planet a better place to live.
Plant a Tree
One of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day (especially since Arbor Day is just a few days later) is to plant a tree. You can plant your own or organize a group to plant several. Trees absorb excess CO2 from the atmosphere and help provide us with clean air to breathe by absorbing pollutants! They also provide homes for many animals. And of course they are lovely. For extensive information on choosing and planting a tree, take a look at the Arbor Day Foundation’s guide to planting a tree.
Help Clean Up
Donating a few hours of your time to help clean up a local park or neighborhood area is a wonderful way to get involved on Earth Day. Cleaning up your own block is one idea. Simply grab a garbage bag and some gloves and pick up trash in your area. Otherwise, EarthDay.org has this tool to locate Earth Day events in your area where you can find organized cleanups.
Instead of picking up garbage outside, lead a recycling drive to encourage people to properly dispose of items like glass, metal and plastic. Many of us don’t know how to dispose of old electronic items, or “e-waste,” such as computers, printers, TVs and cell phones. Many of the chemicals inside these products can be harmful if not disposed of properly. Type your zip code into this tool from E-Stewards to find an e-waste recycling location near you!
Organize an event and invite an expert on environmental issues to come speak and answer questions. Alternatively, show a video concerning the same issues and facilitate a discussion afterward. Hand out information on the importance of trees and caring for our Earth.
It’s great to recognize Earth Day once a year, but take this chance to make some changes that will help our Earth all year long.
Reduce Plastic Use
Plastic is not biodegradable like paper products, so all the plastic that’s been created is still around in some form. Switch to reusable water bottles rather than buying disposable ones. Cut down on single-use plastic products as much as possible in your life and make sure you are recycling what you do use.
Attempt to drive less this year. Many times we need a car to get around, but there are plenty of times we can use other transportation instead. Join a carpool group at work or school. Use public transportation to get where you need to go. Instead of going for a Sunday drive, go for a bike ride or take a walk around your neighborhood. Particularly when the weather is nice, walking can be a wonderful alternative to driving short distances. It’s also a great way to sneak in a little exercise!
It may not be a problem in your area, but with clean water shortages all over the world, conserving water helps ensure there’s enough to go around! Many of us use much more water than we need to simply because it’s available. Instead, turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth. Shave a few minutes off of your shower time. Make an effort to use less water during your dish washing routine. Wait to run the dishwasher until you have a full load. Repair broken or leaking faucets. Find little ways to reduce your water usage each day and it’ll add up!
Use Paperless Billing
If you pay the majority of your bills online, why continue to receive paper statements? Go online and change your preferences to paperless billing for your utilities and other bills. You’ll have less unnecessary clutter in your mailbox and less paper to recycle. And you can still keep track of your statements electronically. Some companies will even give you a small credit to your account for switching!
What better way to gain some appreciation for our planet than getting out and seeing it? Spend more time exploring the world, whether than means walking around your own neighborhood or biking to a new place.
Happy Earth Day!
How will you be celebrating Earth Day this year?