Apr 29, 2018
Earth Day may have come and gone, but you don’t need to wait until next April 22 to help out our planet! There are dozens of easy things you and your family can do every day to make a big impact on the environment.
We’ve gathered 10 of the easiest ways you can be good earth-stewards, and help protect our planet and the animals that call it home!
- Recycle! Contact your trash provider or city (many offer free recycling) to get started! Recycling a single aluminum soda can could save enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours.
- Tote reusable canvas bags for shopping. Keep a few in your car so you always have them handy. Extra points for using a reusable mesh bag when picking produce. Those plastic bags you do get? Recycle them! You can also find great ways to reuse them here!
- Carry a glass or aluminum water container instead of plastic bottles of water. One plastic bottle can float around the ocean for 450 years, gradually becoming smaller fragments that harm animal and plant life.
- Start a composting! By tossing kitchen scraps into your compost bin, you’re creating material that enriches soil, reducing the need for fertilizers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and cutting down on food waste. If all the perfectly good food that was thrown away was collected from landfills, it could provide 2,000 calories to 84% of the population! Learn how to start a small indoor compost bin here. Then, learn the truth about expiration dates here.
- Participate in a nature clean-up, or organize your own! Trash isn’t just unsightly, it can find its way into waterways, destroy natural habitats, and harm wildlife. Your neighborhood is a great place to start, but beaches, parks, trails, and roadsides are always in need of TLC.
- Decline plastic straws and carry your own biodegradable paper straws. Plastic straws are one of the most commonly found pollutants in water habitats. One snorkeler in Australia collected 319 in a single 20-minute dive—the next day she found almost 300 more in exactly the same spot!
- Take a walk! Getting outside to enjoy nature not only helps you and your kids appreciate how important caring for our earth is, but has a huge impact on your health. Studies have shown spending time outdoors improves short-term memory and concentration, boosts your mental health, and even benefits your immune system.
- Sign up for e-bills. By opting out of paper statements from your utilities and bank, you’re making a bigger difference than you might think—some banks and utility providers even offer incentives for opting out of paper statements. If every house in America did it, we would save 18.5 million trees and prevent 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste a year!
- Make your trash someone else’s treasure. Instead of throwing away the stuff you don’t use, donate them to a local charity, have a garage sale, or participate in a neighborhood swap. Broken appliances? Sell them for scrap metal or safely recycle them. Stained clothes? Find crafty ways to re-use items you can’t sell or donate.
- Take part in Meatless Mondays. Producing a single pound of ground beef requires 2,500 gallons of water, and the average steer will “consume” 284 gallons of fossil fuels during its life. By enjoying vegetarian meals one day a week, you help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions—and boost your own health!
What’s one way you can celebrate Earth Day everyday?