Today, April 22 is Earth Day.
What is Earth Day and why should you care?
Earth Day began in 1970 with the purpose of raising awareness of the effect our everyday activities have on our environment, climate, and the health and well-being of every plant and animal on Earth. It’s a day when we can remember to appreciate nature, and learn ways to protect our environment and keep the planet clean.
Today, it seems like everyone is “going green,” from the types of cars we drive to the kinds of household cleaners we use. The word “Natural” is everywhere, and “Organic” or “Chemical-free.” Sometimes all the different options out there can make your head spin. Maybe “going green” feels overwhelming to you. It’s too much trouble to make all the necessary changes required. Or too expensive. Or time-consuming.
Perhaps you don’t want to go back to Little House on the Prairie times and use only candles to light the house, or you’re positive a compost pile on your New York City fire escape will attract rats, and wearing Birkenstocks violates your company’s dress code.
Guess what? You don’t have to do everything all at once. Even just making one small change can produce a huge, long-term difference. Here are 15 simple ways you can celebrate Earth Day this year:
- Keep the car in the garage and bike or walk to work.
- Replace standard light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs.
- Recycle bottles and cans.
- Purchase a filtered water pitcher or cooler, instead of plastic water bottles.
- Use paper products made from recycled material.
- Switch to non-toxic cleaning supplies.
- Power down your computer at the end of the day.
- Plant a tree in your yard, or an herb garden on your windowsill.
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Bring lunch to work in a reusable container and use your own coffee mug.
- Buy food from your local Farmer’s Market. It is almost always organic, and you’ll be supporting your local growers.
- Have an old computer or TV you want to get rid of? Find an electronic recycling center in your neighborhood to dispose of it properly.
- Bring a reusable shopping bag to stores.
- Wash laundry in cold water, instead of hot.
- Donate what you don’t need—clothes, toys, books—or swap with friends.
Do you have any ideas to add to the list?
“The earth is what we all have in common.”—Wendell Berry