Mark your calendars: Earth Day 2022 is just around the corner! Since 1970, this annual event has inspired and encouraged people around the globe to “invest in our planet.” How will you get involved on Friday, April 22? Read on for some ideas to make your lifestyle at home more environmentally friendly, on Earth Day and every day.
5 small activities that make a big difference
There is great power in the actions of people who come together for a single purpose. For example, in our individual homes, the simple act of turning off the faucet when brushing our teeth or washing our hands might not seem like much, but when we act collectively, these actions really add up!
Here are some activities you can do in your home to help the environment. If we all participate, our efforts can make a tremendous difference:
Plant a tree (or more!):
When you plant a tree, you are doing so much more than merely adding beauty to your landscape: You’re helping to increase the planet’s oxygen levels for the long term. You’re providing a perch for winged visitors and a habitat for beneficial soil dwellers. You’re shading your home and in turn lessening the need for air conditioning. It’s a win-win-win.
Have you heard of meatless Mondays? Why not make Earth Day a special meat-free occasion as well? The nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables should be reason enough to make these foods a significant portion of our diets, but the environmental impact of eating seasonal, locally sourced produce has farther reaching benefits. Eating a vegetarian diet, if only once a week, can have drastic effects on lowering one’s carbon footprint.
Rescue kitchen scraps from the trash and instead put them to good use as compost. It’s easy: Keep a collection bin on the counter or under the sink; add to it at each meal, and once it’s full, add the stash to a self-contained vessel such as a tumbler bin (or bag it up and connect with a composting service). Gardeners particularly benefit from this practice.
Curb your use of plastics:
Are there times in your daily life where you can swap plastic for a more Earth-friendly alternative? Instead of disposable Ziploc baggies, could you use a water-resistant cloth wrapper, beeswax wrap, or reusable silicone bag? Instead of a single-use, flimsy plastic water bottle, could you use a glass or double-walled metal bottle such as a Hydro Flask? Instead of plastic totes for toys and shoes, could you use baskets made of natural fibers? Make the switch where you can!
Mind the lights:
Once the sun sets, household lights are a must, but be cognizant to flip the switch only in rooms where needed. Kids and grown-ups alike often need reminding to turn off lights in vacant rooms, but this energy-friendly habit is easy to develop and will benefit your utility bills and the environment for years to come.
Here are some bonus activities for home or in your neighborhood:
- Put out bird feeders (purchased or homemade) to attract pollinators.
- Upcycle something (that is, give an item a new purpose).
- Take the day off from buying stuff.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs throughout the home.
How can you do your part to protect and preserve the planet this Earth Day? Make a plan to implement small changes at home that make a big difference over the long term.
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