Every Day Should Be Earth Day
It’s great that we set aside one day each year to honor our planet. But what we REALLY need to do is take action, every single day, to take better care of the earth. These things don’t require a lot of time or effort, and once you start doing them, they become second nature.
Reduce. This applies to many areas of our lives. Reduce the amount of energy you use, by turning off the light when you leave a room, or unplugging that charger when you’re done with it. Reduce the amount of water you use, by turning it off while you’re brushing your teeth, washing your face or shampooing your hair.
Buy products that have less packaging and you can reduce the amount of stuff that needs to be recycled. If you buy things like paper towels in bulk packages, make sure the rolls are NOT individually wrapped inside the larger package. Also reduce your use of toxic chemicals, by buying more basic cleaning products or making your own. Common household items like vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda make great cleaning products. And don’t get me started on anti-bacterial products – plain old soap is all you need!
Reuse. When you want to get rid of an item, first think about how it can be reused. Is there a way it can have another purpose in your home or office? Do you know someone else who could reuse the item? If not, consider donating to a charity thrift store. If you are doing a major clean-out, they will pick up items for you. As long as there is some use left in an item, someone can reuse it, and there is no need to send it to a landfill. Your trash may be someone else’s treasure.
Recycle. I read somewhere that each one of us in America produces 4.5 pounds of garbage PER DAY. That’s a lot of trash. And unfortunately, only about a third of that gets recycled! It’s so easy to recycle these days. If your community doesn’t offer curbside recycling, look for a center nearby – you can often find bins behind grocery stores. And think twice before putting anything in the regular garbage can. If it’s food waste, most of it can be composted. If it’s made of paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, aluminum or steel, it can be recycled. Most of the items you bring into your home have packaging that can be recycled, including plastic wrappers and bags.
And please, NEVER put electronics or appliances in the trash. There are nasty chemicals in them that can get into our water if they are put in a landfill. Look for e-waste or household hazardous waste drop offs in your area. Local electronics stores may also do the recyling for you.
Have a safe and happy Earth Day! After this year’s celebrations are over, please continue to put into practice these simple things you can do to help save our planet!