Each April 22, folks from all walks of life celebrate Earth Day and help raise the awareness of environmental issues & host festivities in their communities. Today, more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. In fact, Earth Day has evolved into a globally celebrated event, with festivities occurring in more than 200 countries.
For most people it goes under the radar, unnoticed and un-celebrated. This doesn't have to be the case in your community / household and it's important for each of us to raise environmental awareness not only on Earth Day, but all throughout the year. My challenge to you is to be the change you wish to see in the world!
Try implementing some of these easy and fun ways to celebrate Earth Day that can actually make a difference all year long.
- Keep The Car In The Garage
How about leaving the car at home and walking, cycling or using public transport even just for today? Perhaps it’s walking the kids to school instead of driving them, or you might opt to cycle to your favorite downstore store. It may take you a little more time but you’ll get to enjoy the fresh air, teach the kids about nature on the way to school, or read a book on the train or bus. Who knows, you might enjoy it so much it becomes a regular thing!
- Become a Better Grocery Shopper
First, get a reusable grocery bag to limit all the plastic produced in the world.
Then try to buy fresh foods that you can carry in reusable containers. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables don’t come prepackaged. Also, nuts, lentils, coffee beans and many other dry goods can generally be purchased from bulk containers. By using reusable containers, you’re further reducing the amount of plastic in the world
As Voltaire says, “no snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible,” yet where would the avalanche be without each snowflake? In the same way, our individual and seemingly small habits can combine to have a powerful effect — and recycling is a great example of this. Get the kids involved too and help create some positive habits for generations to come!
- Get A Reusable Water Bottle
The US alone consumes 50 billion plastic water bottles annually. Most of these bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills, in oceans and elsewhere, which harms organisms and the environment. Just creating these bottles uses 17 million barrels of gasoline, which would be enough to power 1.3 million cars for a year. Even more energy is then spent transporting water bottles and then recycling them.
- Stop Printing!
The average American uses seven trees worth of paper and paper products every year. That’s a lot of trees, and most of it ends up in the garbage. Whenever possible, avoid printing at work. A link or a PDF is often easier to keep up with and won’t clutter your coworkers’ desks.
- Use Essential Oils
Many candles, scented plugins, and room sprays contain toxic, synthetic fragrances. Instead of those, add pure or mixed essential oils to a diffuser or humidifier to spread a pleasant aroma throughout your home. Many essential oils boast health benefits or have calming effects on mood.
- Get Planting
Today’s the day to take the plunge and create a veggie patch or start planting some flowers. Native flowers look beautiful and they provide pollen and nectar for pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. Even better, locally-sourced flowers are typically low maintenance because they’re accustomed to your climate.
With a veggie patch, You’ll not only be eliminating the carbon emissions that are involved in getting produce to plate, you’ll also be able to enjoy fresh, organic produce whilst saving some money. If you find the idea of a veggie patch daunting or if you have limited outdoor space, you could start by planting some fresh herbs or a couple of lettuces in a bucket — or for a rustic look, an old wine barrel.
- Use Earth-Friendly Cleaning Products
It’s easy to just keep using chemical-laden cleaning products without giving it a thought, so try being really conscious about what you are using to clean with. Having to wear gloves and being advised to not breathe in the fumes should be a sign that what you’re using is not a healthy option.
We all want our homes to be clean and germ-free, but we don’t need to rely on chemicals to achieve that. There are many cost-effective, green-friendly options to choose from and today’s the day to give them a go. If you are really resistant to spending extra money on cleaning products, then why not do some research into cleaning with fresh lemon juice or vinegar water.
- Build a birdhouse of Start a Bee Farm
Building a birdhouse is definitely the easier option here. All you’ll need is a couple pieces of wood for birds to stand on and a place to put bird feed.
Starting a bee farm is more complex. But here’s a handy guide that will help you beat back the decline of bees around the world.
- Enjoy Nature
Today, too many people spend too much time indoors consuming media in some form or another—usually electronic. A climate-controlled environment requires energy to maintain, as do devices. Do yourself and the planet a favor by powering down, going outside, and enjoying nature with your friends and family. You don’t need to get on a plane to have an adventure. There might be some local undiscovered spot that will become your new retreat. National parks and nature preserves are resources many people don’t take advantage of and, unfortunately, parks that don’t receive a lot of visitors are at risk of being defunded, developed, or mined of their natural resources. Plan a visit to a less popular park to help protect its funding and maintenance.
Small changes add up quickly and can make a measurable difference on your carbon footprint and use of the Earth’s natural resources. Hopefully, these will provide a good start and encourage you to explore other areas such as using fewer disposable goods and recycling regularly. If everyone adopted just a few of these changes, we could significantly reduce our collective impact on the Earth. Start making the habits now... make everyday Earth Day!
For information on festivities to celebrate Earth Day in Dallas, don't miss #EDTx17 from April 21-23 at Fair Park - http://buff.ly/2pOwwqk
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