10 Ways You Can Celebrate Earth Day (and the Earth) All Year Long

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It’s exciting and encouraging that people around the world take a moment to celebrate the earth and take care of it. Unfortunately, it’s just one day and we can do so much damage in the other 364. Being ecofriendly should be a way of life, not just a hobby. Here are some amazing (and easy) ways to live every day like it’s Earth Day!
View of earth from space

 

Compost Food Scraps

Whether you’re cooking or eating an apple, we tend to produce a variety of kitchen scraps that can be composted. You can buy a composter or make your own, but stop throwing away all of those great nutrients that could end up in your garden or back in nature. Think about the environment when you’re in the kitchen, and put your scraps to good use.
 

Stop Using Disposable Plastics

Another vital way to protect the earth is to lose the throwaway attitude. Did you know that in 2016 six million tons of single use plastic was thrown away? Skip the plastic whenever you can and take reusable containers and silverware with you. If you can’t, use that plastic as long as you can (not just once) or recycle it if you can.
 
 

Ditch that Straw

Plastic on beach

Susan White/USFWS
You’ve probably seen the headlines. Straws are bad. They end up in the ocean, and they’re choking our sea life – literally. Some estimates say the US uses 500 million straws a day but no matter the number, we know that divers find hundreds of them every time they jump into the ocean. They’re found littering our shores, and in turtle’s noses, in the stomachs of many marine animals.
 

Use natural cleaning products

Natural cleaning products aren’t just better for the environment, they’re better for you too. They don’t produce noxious fumes or harm your skin. It can also reduce the risk of accidental poisoning in the home. If you use organic products, harmful chemicals aren’t being poured down your drain and ending up in water sources. Sure, the water is treated but some chemicals like phosphates can still end up making their way to lakes and rivers. So, why not just use something more environmentally friendly?
 

Replace Wood paper products

Be ecofriendly, use wood alternatives

Paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, and other paper products can be replaced with reusable, compostable, and/or sustainable products. Try bamboo paper towels or bamboo and sugarcane toilet paper. You can also make your own “paper towels” with old clothing or purchased cloth. No matter what you choose, you’re taking a step in the right direction.

 

Bring your own bag

All you have to do is take one look around you to see that plastic bags end up stuck in the trees or floating in rivers. Rather than using plastic bags, bring your own reusable bag. You can make or purchase one quite easily for small cost. Then you can rest assured plastic bags won’t be filling up land fills or floating around choking the environment.
 
 
 

Don’t Obsess about a Green Lawn

Watering lawns uses more than 40 million gallons of water a year according to Mark Richardson, New England Wildflower Society’s Botanic Garden Director. Growing grass and not allowing “weeds,” which are a combination of wildflowers and other plants to grow creates a lack of biodiversity and hurts insects and animals. Plus, all that fertilizer and pesticide you’re using washes off into bodies of water where animals drink. Not to mention bees are sensitive to smell and some of those products you’re using may be chasing them away.
 

Plant a Pollinator Garden

Wild flowers are ecofriendly

 
I’m sure you’ve seen this suggestion before. Flowers smell wonderful, look superb, and bees need them. If you grow a vegetable garden, you’ll benefit from giving bees a nice habitat and even if you don’t, bees are a vital part of our ecosystem.
 

Do Meatless Mondays

Alright, it doesn’t have to be Monday but the alliteration is great! Most of us tend to more meat than we actually need to survive, thus driving up our carbon footprint. Going without meat will help lessen the greenhouse gases that are put into the air, cut down on water pollution, and lead to less deforestation for livestock grazing. Besides, many medical studies have found that too much meat leads to obesity and raises cancer risk factors.
 

Don’t Throw Away Old Clothes

If you’re spring cleaning like I am, you may be tempted to throw out clothes that don’t fit or are in poor condition. Sometimes there’s no way to avoid it but when you can, give clothes a new home by donating them. If they’re not in wearable condition, you can make rags, turn them into shopping bags, or even baskets.

Donating or reusing clothes will promote less plastic use (since many items contain plastics) and cut down on the greenhouse gases It will also keep your old clothes from ending up in a landfill somewhere taking up space.

Be ecofriendly, give old clothes new life.

 
 

Don’t stop trying!

The biggest takeaway should be that no matter what you do, you should do something. Don’t just do it once and say you made a difference. Find things in your everyday life you can change so you can be more ecofriendly. Then teach your children to do it. Convince your friends to get involved. We only have one planet, so every day should be Earth Day.
 
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Celebrate Earth Day
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