Global warming, air and water pollution and deforestation are just a few of the problems our environment is facing. When you think about all of those challenges, it can be a little overwhelming and even discouraging. After all, you’re just one person. Can you really make a difference? The answer is YES! It may not feel like it, but making small adjustments to your daily life can have a huge impact. So if you’re not ready to start composting, or biking to work isn’t feasible, don’t worry. There are still plenty of ways to do your part. Read below for Eangee Home Design’s simple tips on how to treat every day like it’s Earth Day.
1. One More Time for Those in the Back–RECYCLE!
We’ve all heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average person generates around 4.9 pounds of waste per day. That’s nearly 1,800 pounds per person every year! If you’re a recycling newbie, be sure to educate yourself on what can and cannot be recycled. Mixing non-recyclable items slows the process and increases costs.
2. Reduce Electricity Use
There are many benefits to switching to LED light bulbs, but helping Earth is at the top of that list. Energy efficient bulbs, like LEDs, reduce greenhouse gases and emissions. LED bulbs are now very affordable, produce great light, and some are even wet-rated for outdoor use. And remember to turn off lights and other appliances when you’re not using them!
3. Conserve Water
The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater end up in the ocean. Be sure to fix that leaky faucet that you’ve been ignoring, turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth and stop drinking bottled water!
4. Invest in a Cute Water Bottle and Travel Coffee Mug
Speaking of bottled water, EarthDay.org estimates that humans purchase around 50 billion plastic water bottles a year. You read that correctly—billion! Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Around 500 billion disposable cups are used every year. We would never ask you to give up your daily cup of joe, but next time ask your barista to pour your morning coffee in a reusable travel mug. And instead of the harmful plastic variety, treat yourself to a fun, reusable water bottle.
5. Make the Switch to Reusable Grocery Bags
Around 4,200,000 tons of plastic bags and cling wrap were generated in 2018, and only 10% of those products were recycled according to the EPA. If you haven’t already, now is the time to make the switch to fabric grocery bags. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll also avoid the judgmental stares in the Whole Foods checkout line. If you forget your reusable bags at home, don’t stress. It happens. In that case, opt for paper over plastic and be sure to recycle.
6. Discover Your Green Thumb
Large-scale food production accounts for almost 25% of the Earth’s greenhouse emissions. So, if you’re looking for a new hobby, consider starting a garden. Gardens are multitasking powerhouses. They help protect birds, bees and other insects that are essential to the environment all while helping clean the air of pollutants. Plus, a homegrown tomato is always going to taste better than the ones you’ll find at the supermarket! If gardening isn’t your thing, hit up your local farmer’s market and support those who prioritize sustainability and other environmentally friendly practices.
7. Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies
Conventional cleaning products often contain toxic, non-biodegradable ingredients that negatively affect our eco-systems. Choose natural, eco-friendly products, and don’t forget that everyday household items like baking soda and lemons can do the trick in some cases.
8. Don’t Forget the Three Rs at School and the Office
When doing your part to protect Earth, a good rule of thumb is to follow the three Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle. Since we spend a good portion of our days at school or the office, it’s just as important to follow eco-friendly practices there. At the office, ask your employer to buy recycled paper and make sure to print on both sides. Better yet—email and use digital documents when you can. When picking out school supplies, choose options made out of recycled materials. (Did you know there are pens made of old blue jeans?) Another tip is to pack your lunch when you can. Cutting down on takeout reduces the amount of harmful Styrofoam containers and plastic silverware.
9. Gift Green
Use the next birthday or holiday as another chance to do your part. Instead of buying new, overpriced gift bags, do your best to reuse old bags and wrapping paper. If that’s not an option, look for gift bags and wrapping paper that are made of recycled materials.