Happy Earth Day! Although April 22 is the official date to help save our planet, the reality is that everyday should be Earth Day. Are you doing your part? Have you ever thought about what you could be doing to help support environmental protection?
Here are 8 simple changes you could make today to create a better tomorrow.
#1 – Say NO to large volume plastic containers
Many companies work on a simple supply-and-demand model so if we stop buying certain products, big business will be forced to rethink their packaging. For instance, many of us (including myself) have purchased those huge jugs of detergent from Costco. But what if we didn’t? Companies like Dizolve have created laundry strips, which are an effective alternative to large-volume liquid in plastic containers. Other companies, such as Tide, are developing eco-friendly packaging, which is also a great start!
#2 – Leave the Condiments and Cutlery Behind
Take out is a pretty common occurrence in my house, especially on busy nights when we’re pressed for time. But lately, I’ve made sure that we leave condiments, plastic cutlery and napkins out of the take-out bags. These are items generally have at home. Every little bit helps!
#3 – Go Paper-Free
This is a hard one. We’ve become so accustomed to printing paper and having a physical item to hold in our hands that we often times don’t consider the alternatives. But going paperless not only helps reduce our carbon footprint but also has a number of business values so really, this is a win-win. Baby steps is the way to start. Read e-books or take out books from the library. Get your bills sent to you electronically. Use e-tickets for concerts and other events instead of having the them mailed to you or printed. Refuse direct mail. Once you start going paperless, you just might find that you appreciate the lack of clutter!
#4 – Reusable Water Bottles
By now, we should all know this tip that will definitely help save the planet! Stop using plastic bottles and start using reusable water containers. Personally, this was a hard one with my kids because they hated the school water fountains where people put their lips on the nozzle (gross!). Fortunately, most schools are converting fountains to those that have specific water bottle filling stations built in. Smart!
#5 – Eliminate Plastic Straws
Not only are plastic straws dangerous to animal life in our lakes, rivers and oceans (inevitable, they make there way into these bodies of water) but the process of making them releases harmful toxins thereby polluting our air, water and land. Do you really need to use a plastic straw that badly? Many restaurants or bars have either removed them all together or offer paper alternatives. I like stainless steel straws myself because they’re easier to clean, portable and look nice too!
#6 – Reusable Bags
Do you live in an area where plastic bags have either been banned or you’re charged for each one you use? Good! Disposable bags are everywhere but did you know they can take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years to degrade, leaving them in landfills almost indefinitely? Using reusable bags can be cost effective but more importantly, you’re helping keep these nasty plastics from filling the ground and releasing potentially harmful chemicals.
BONUS for the Fashionistas
Did you know that when clothing goes into our landfills – even organic materials – that the degrading process emits dangerous greenhouse gases into our atmosphere? Thrifting – either selling your clothing or buying second-hand – is all the rage and truly is an environmental saver. But for those of you who prefer new, another great way to help the environment is simply to find new ways to wear your clothing. Check out this article on how to wear one dress three ways to see what I mean.
These are just a few ways to make a difference and help save our planet. There are so many more simple changes you can make that will result in a huge impact.
Do you have an environment-saving tip to share? Please leave a comment below and let’s all do our part of save our gorgeous planet!