As Earth Day fast approaches (April 22), you may be thinking, what is earth day and why should I care? Ok, well, let's hope you're NOT thinking that. Earth day is a nationally celebrated day to inspire and raise awareness of the Earth and it's environment. With all the pollution and negative effects that are results of every machinery such as cars, powerplants, huge factories, etc, the Earth is slowly deteriorating. It's our job to help save the Earth. Now, I don't mean that you have to go out and separate all of the recycling in every trash bin, or clean up the streets on your hands and knees, but I'm talking about little way that YOU can make a difference. And just think, if everyone did something small, how much better of a place our Earth would be?
If you need some inspiration on ways that YOU can help, here are a few ideas.
10. Carpool or re-think you commute:
- If you live close enough, ditch you car and walk or bike to work.
- Car pollution alone kills about 30,000 people per year
- Most ozone pollution is caused by motor vehicles
- Wouldn't it be nicer to have the streets and freeways less congested?
- Look into starting a carpool group in your area. Poll your office to see who's interested. Who knows, you may live on the same street as one of your coworker!
9. Make your own cleaning supplies
- It's simple, really! If you didn't already see the episode of Decor It Yourself where Meg showed how to make all-natural cleaning products, watch it now!
- It is reported that cleaning products are the cause of 8% of non vehicular emmisons of volitile organic compounds
- The chemicals frequently reported in poison cases are found in cleaning products
8. Use energy efficient light bulbs
- According to Energy Star, "If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than 0 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars."
- Enough said.
7. Use reusable shopping bags and lunch boxes
- Consider this: the average American family accumulates about 60 plastic bags for only 4 visits to the supermarket.
- If you watched the earlier Thread Heads episode, you'll know that tote bags are easy to make!
- Tote bags are more stylish and fun to use, and some supermarkets will give you discounts or enter you in a raffle just for bringing your own bag!
6. Reduce your carbon footprint
- What is a Carbon Footprint? It's a measure of the impact that our activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases we produced. It's measured in units of carbon dioxide.
- You can calculate your carbon footprint and once you know the harm that simple everyday things contribute to the environment, work to REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT!
5. Buy locally and support your local farmers market
- When we choose not to buy locally, we pay for it. This means that the products have to be picked, packed and shipped from faraway places which contribute to pollution from car/truck emmisons. It also means that the produce have to be grown in a special way and given much more preservatives the survive the long haul they must travel to get to your grocery store.
- If we support local farmers, not only does the produce contain more nutrients, but it also allows local farmers to keep their businesses alive and well. The produce is also more affordable than buying from mainstream markets.
- Need help? Find your local farmers market here.
4. Use rechargeable batteries
- Think about how many batteries you go through a month. From portable electronic devices, remote controls, clocks to stereos, some cell phones and toys, we are contributing to the toxicity of the Earth.
- Batteries contain toxic elements such as cadmium, mercury, zinc and lead. Once these batteries and disposed and reach the landfill, the contents eventually released into the ground, soil, air and water.
- Though rechargable batteries may be a little mor expensive, they last much longer and by using these, you can eliminate toxic waste that gets back into the air we breathe, water we use and the soil that we grow stuff in.
- If you do have batteries that are non-rechargable, they should be recycled. Click here to find you local recycling center.
3. Conserve on the heater and air conditioning
- In the winter time, use less heat to keep warm. Layer on the sweaters and bust of the extra thick comforters at night. (This is also better for your skin and overall health - heat is very drying)
- In the summer, make sure you have thick curtains to keep the cold air in, turn off the lights when you're not using them.
- Get an energy audit, so you can evaluate how much energy your home is using, how to reduce it and where the energy is leaking from.
- Clean your filters on air conditioners monthly
- Last year, Americans saved enough energy to power 10 million homes (this year, you can be one of those people that help!)
2. Don't use paper / plastic plates, utensils
- By using disposable utensils and plates, we are contributing to the landfills with extra trash. Sure, it's way easier to throw away your dishes and utensils after a meal then to wash it, but let's face it, it's not only cheaper to use reusable dishware but it's also more eco-friendly.
- What's the point of throwing away stuff when you're just going to have to buy it every week?
- However, if you're at an outdoor gathering like a pic-nic and it just makes sense to buy disposable products, make sure they're biodegradable and eco friendly.
- Bamboo is another great renewable resource for housewares, check out Totally Bamboo for great bamboo products that are good for the environment.
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
- It may be the oldest saying in the book, but there's a reason why. If we recycle, reuse and reduce, we can help make our Earth a better, cleaner and longer lasting place for future generations.
- Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60W lightbulb for up to 6 hours
- Reduce – Reducing waste means avoiding unnecessary waste production
- Reuse – Reusing waste means the multiple use of a product in its form
- Recycle – Recycling waste means using waste materials to manufacture other products of a similar nature