This Earth Day, go beyond recycling to show your love and appreciation for this planet! For those who are unfamiliar with the annual holiday, Earth Day is held every year to raise awareness of environmental issues and show collective support for actively working towards a healthier world for all.
Going green can seem overwhelming, especially with the misconception that you can’t really make an impact by living more sustainably looming over you. There are plenty of ways- both big and small- to start being more eco-friendly. What better time than on Earth Day, this April 22! Still feeling a little lost? Lean on these tips for celebrating Earth Day right from the comfort of your home.
Plant a Garden
Adding a garden to your yard not only provides a unique opportunity to bond with your family, but also serves as a great opportunity to help the environment. Firstly, the addition of a home garden can improve your home’s general soil quality as well as increase the quality of oxygen due to the addition of life- suddenly those heads of broccoli and beet greens you avoided as a kid don’t seem so bad.
Although it will take some time to get your garden producing goods to harvest, opting for easy growing options like leafy greens, summer squash, cucumbers or tomatoes will have you chowing down on fresh produce in no time! Once your garden is bountiful, relying on it as a source of food will minimize food miles- the miles spent sourcing food from farm to store (and then to your plate!), which adds a lot to your carbon footprint.
Be more conservative with water usage
Being more conscious of your utilities can save money while saving the environment. This Earth Day, consider making some long-term changes in the home. With spring right around the corner, you may be itching to make some home upgrades. If major renovations aren’t in your budget- such as calling in a local plumbing professional to replace PVC piping with eco-friendly and recyclable materials like iron- start small with smart-gadgets to help conserve water. Flush monitoring gadgets for your toilet can create a dual flushing system, allowing you to use small flushes (and less water) unless disposing of solid waste. Installing a water tracker while you shower will keep you mindful of how much water you’re wasting rather than using to maintain hygiene! Utilizing eco-friendly gadgets like touchless faucets can cut up to 50 percent of water usage.
If you’re one to rely on plastic food storage containers, baggies, or water bottles, now is the perfect time to consider switching over to more sustainable materials. If you love to meal prep lunches for your busy week, consider buying glass containers with spill-proof lids in addition to one or two larger glass containers. Prep your food ahead of time, and portion them in each container. Put the leftovers into the larger dishes and re-portion new meals as you clean each container.
To eliminate plastic water bottles, switch over to an eco-friendly bottle in a sustainable material like BPA free steel or glass. If you’re not looking to spend a ton on a trendy water bottle, consider reusing a glass bottle from a small milk jug or Snapple bottle, or opt for a mason jar. If you buy plastic bottles for the filtered water, consider purchasing a filter for your water spout or a filter pitcher for your fridge.
Similar to the argument for growing your own garden, supporting local farmers or eating at restaurants that source their ingredients locally is a great way to minimize carbon footprint. Educating yourself on how the food you eat gets to your plate will help you be more conscious of the next time you grocery shop or go out. Food miles contribute to air pollution and increases the CO2 emitted, contributing to global warming.
Go for a hike
Probably the easiest on this list- get out and start enjoying all that the Earth gives you! Whether it be going for a walk around your neighborhood, tackling a true nature hike, or simply going to the local park for a picnic (with locally sourced ingredients and fresh veggies from your garden, of course!), you’ll give you and your family the opportunity to appreciate everything around you this Earth Day.