Each year, for the past 46 years, Earth Day has inspired, challenged, and motivated people to action. But Earth Day is meant to be more than just a single day of action. It inspires us to keep environmental issues at the forefront of our daily living. To take action each day to help and protect the earth and those living on it.
Each year, Earth Day acts as a reminder for us to become more conscientious about our environment and hopefully inspires us to put those reminders into action. Below are six ways that we use to make a positive impact on the earth 365 days out of the year.
It’s absolutely amazing the amount of trash that floats around city streets. And that trash can sometimes end up in the wrong places. Our furry (and feathered) friends can mistake it for food or become intertwined in it. It can even end up in our oceans, which are becoming more and more polluted every day. We may adopt the mindset that “It isn’t my trash” or “I didn’t put it there, so why should I pick it up?” Or, maybe it’s that we don’t want to touch something that may be “dirty.” But rather than just walking by, take an extra second to bend over, pick it up and properly dispose of it. After all, it only takes a second to do and doing so can help to clean up our environment and prevent injuries to wildlife.
Composting helps to recycling nutrients back into the ecosystem, saves space in landfills, saves money on trash disposal, and actually helps slow climate change.
According to Penn State University:
- The average US. household generates 650 lbs. of compostable materials each year.
- Over 60 percent of what we put in our landfills is organic waste, such as food scraps, yard trimmings and paper, much of which could be recycled by composting.
- Composting saves money. Families reduce their garbage collection bills and municipalities save money on transporting and disposing of waste when organic materials are eliminated from the collection system.
- Compost improves soil, adds important nutrients for plants, and reduces the need for expensive commercial fertilizers.
For practical tips on composting, check out this Complete Composting Guide from Gaiam!
Reduce Water Use
Did you know that on average, 2.5 gallons of water comes out of the standard faucet each minute? When you think about it, that’s a lot of wasted water! Why not try to reduce water use or use that excess water for something else? Below are a few tips on how to reduce or reuse extra water.
- Don’t want to hop under a cold shower or waste water? Rather than letting water pour down the drain, stick a bucket under the faucet while you wait for your shower water to heat up. You can then use the water for watering your plants.
- Don’t let all that water go down the drain while you brush! Turn off the faucet after you wet your brush, and leave it off until it’s time to rinse.
- Cut your showers short. Older shower heads can use as much as 5 gallons of water per minute! So rub-a-dub-dub a little quicker for some major water savings.
- Install a rain barrel. This is definitely one of our favorites! Rainwater harvesting is a great way to keep your plants hydrated without turning on the hose or sprinkler.
- Do you hand-wash a lot of dishes? Fill up your sink with water, rather than letting the water run the whole time that you’re scrubbing.
Reduce, Recycle, Reuse
When we think about recycling we really need to think about the whole picture: reduce, reuse and recycle. Up to this point, we’ve been lackadaisical with the way we’ve treated the earth and it’s definitely time to change. And not just the way we do things but the way we think too.
Before we purchase something, think about it. If you don’t need it, don’t get it. If you have to get it, make sure your are purchasing higher quality items that won’t break after a few uses. And if you do purchase something, makes sure that it can eventually be recycled.
So why not get started in reducing, recycling and reusing today? If you don’t have a recycling bin, stop by or call your local waste management authority. If a recycling program is not available in your area, look for recycling centers where you can drop off your recyclables.
When we follow these steps, we produce less garbage and help in reducing landfill space. Because we are saving resources and are sending less trash to the landfills, it helps in reducing air and water pollution too.
Try to avoid the use of plastic bags as much as possible. They not only pollute the environment but they are also a major part of landfill waste. If you haven’t already, give reusable bags a try. Our favorite brand of reusable bags is Envirosax. They come in a variety of sizes and fun prints and easily roll up into a tiny little sac that fits in a purse or pocket. We don’t go anywhere without these little gems!
Also, when you shop, look for products that have the least amount of packaging. Why purchase a product that has so much packaging that will ultimately end up in the trash? Less is best after all!
Reduce Energy Consumption
This seems like a no-brainer but how many times do you walk into a room where the lights are on and no one is in there? Every year, we use more energy than we did the year before. In fact, the amount of energy Americans use has doubled about every 20 years. All of that energy adds up, and much of it is wasted by using too much or not using it wisely. So turn off those lights and conserve energy!
Helping to save the earth take conscientious effort but the effort will be worth now and in the future. All of these little things can add up to make a big difference. And don’t forget, do small things with great love and you’ll make a big difference!
What steps do you take to improve the environment? We want to hear from you below!