There is no question that countries and businesses have a responsibility to take drastic actions to avoid a future with irreversible damage to major ecosystems and planetary climate.
But what about individuals? What can we do to pitch in and help save the Earth?
Here are 6 simple but impactful things you can start doing today and commit to doing every day to make a big difference.
It's as simple as turning off the water while you’re brushing your teeth. But you can also make a big impact when you fix a leaky faucet or running toilet which could be wasting up to 200 gallons per day. That's water you're paying for too! Most fixes can be done relatively inexpensive and quickly by a plumber. Or, fix them yourself following the helpful instructional links below.
And STOP drinking bottled water. Switch to filtered tap water. There are so many stylish reusable water bottles out there AND you’ll save a ton of cash and help reduce a ton of plastic waste in the process. If you have to buy bottled water, reuse / refill the bottle over and over - and then recycle it!
2. Getting Around
If you can, stay off the road two days a week or more. You’ll reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,590 pounds (721 kilograms) per year. It’s easier than you think. You can combine your errands — hit the school, grocery store and dog daycare in one trip.
Consider walking and biking as a double win to reduce greenhouse gases. The added benefit- cardio and calorie burn. Mellow Monkey owner Howard bikes to and from work most days and burns about 125 calories each way. It adds a bit of outdoors to an otherwise mostly indoor day and saves money on gasoline! And you can bike to Mellow Monkey too. There are scenic routes you can take in Lordship and ride alongside four different waterfront beaches. And, we have a bike rack you can use right by our main entrance.
3. Recycle & Reuse
You can help reduce pollution just by putting that yogurt pot in the recycling bin. Yes, you may be tempted to just throw it in the trash because you don't want to rinse it. But, the decision to recycle it REALLY does make a difference.
Knowing what can and can't be recycled also makes a huge impact in what gets recycled. If you inadvertently place something that is not recyclable in your blue bin, you could contaminate an entire truck full of collections making them all NOT recyclable. Many items that might appear recyclable may not be accepted in your community - municipalities differ on what can and can't be recycled. Earth Day is an excellent time to learn your town's recycling guidelines and it's easy to do - just click the link below. And don't forget to remember your reusable bags at the grocery store!
Light-emitting diode, or LED bulbs emit light in a very narrow band wavelength so they’re super energy-efficient. Start replacing your old incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs now (if you haven’t already). Advances in the technology make it possible to select warm or daylight color temperatures to replicate standard incandescent bulbs and many are now dimmable. They even make LED bulbs in the vintage Edison style bulbs- plus they last a lot longer!
5. Clean Eating
Today, large-scale food production accounts for as much as 25 percent of the greenhouse emissions. So how do you eat sustainably? Choosing food from farmers that aim to conserve the natural resources and have as little impact on the land as possible. But even buying as much as you can from local farmers makes a different. Eating more whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and less red meats and processed foods does too. Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Earth Day is an excellent time to get started with a garden!
Link: Start A Garden
6. Plastics No More
The statistics are shocking: People around the world buy 1 million plastic drinking bottles every MINUTE, and use up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags every year. Humans are addicted to plastic, and hardly any of it — about 9 percent — gets recycled. A staggering 8 million tons (7.25 metric tons) ends up in the ocean every year. Stop buying bottled water. Say no to plastic shopping bags and use cloth bags instead. Don’t use plastic straws. Drink from a reuseable cup instead of a plastic one. Avoiding plastic can divert a ton of waste from the oceans and landfill.