April 22 is National Earth Day! According to EPA.gov, on the first Earth Day in 1970 over 22 million Americans celebrated clean air, land, and water. So, how can YOU be a part of it?
Here are 10 ways you can celebrate Earth Day and join the movement to preserve our environment:
1. Plant a Tree and/or Wildflowers
Probably the most obvious. Research what types of trees will survive in your environment and plant one in your yard. If you don't have a yard, donate a tree to your city or a local park. Planting wildflowers that are native to your area can help attract native animals and insects. For example, Monarch butterflies love milkweed and pansies, Hummingbirds are attracted to foxglove and lilies.
2. Conserve Water in Your Home
It's been said that fixing one leaky faucet can save over 1300 gallons per year! Take the time to fix it. You can also save water by turning it off when brushing your teeth or scrubbing your hands, taking shorter showers, and investing in efficient appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, toilet, etc).
3. Switch from Paper Bills and Bank Statements to Online
We all get lots of bills and often several statements. Think about how many you receive each month and figure several sheets of paper each (plus envelopes) - it adds up! Make sure to not only switch your checking accounts, but also saving accounts, retirement accounts, loan accounts, etc. Another twist to this idea is checking if your favorite magazine or newspaper subscriptions offer online access instead.
4. Use Scrap Paper - and we mean both sides!
Your to-do lists, grocery lists, phone notes, project planning, reminders, etc. Do you need a new sheet of notepad paper or could you use that used piece from the printer with just a link across the top?
5. Eat Locally Grown Food
Visit a farmer's market, see if your grocery store has local options, talk to a local farmer, or even grow your own! Buying locally grown food is a great way to live conservatively. It not only supports increased plant growth in your area, but also means your food didn't have to be shipped thousands of miles, packaged in plastic and shipped in cardboard boxes that will be thrown away, or manufactured in a factory. It's also great for the local economy and your health!
6. Quit Buying Bottled Water
The more bottled water you use, the more plastic is going into landfills. Get a quality water bottle that you can refill and take with you over and over again. The same concept could be applied to coffee - use a thermos or mug rather than styrofoam that will be thrown.
7. Bike or Walk to Your Destination Whenever Possible
Your vehicle releases damaging emissions. If you are close enough to your destination to walk or bike, choose that option! It's also great for your health.
8. Begin Recycling
Find the nearest recycling center and learn their requirements. Then, begin separate bins for the different types of trash! Plastics, glass, paper, metal, etc.
Give your time. Either become involved in an environmental group, participate in a charity, or volunteer to be on a committee. Projects like picking up litter along the road, cleaning trash in your neighborhood, or cleaning-up a park can be very helpful!
10. Sell/Donate, not Throw
When you are ready to get rid of your used clothing, toys, household items, etc., don't just throw them out. See if someone else could use them! Either hold a garage sale, try selling online, or donate them to a local charity or thrift shop.
There is our list of 10 ideas for celebrating Earth Day. Which will you choose? We'd encourage to try at least one or two and commit the them for the year.