Earth Day is an international holiday in celebration of the world we live in and dedicated to bringing awareness to current environmental issues.
Some of the environmental issues we face today include pollution of the land, water and air, depletion of the earth’s natural resources, deforestation, climate change, energy conservation and conservation of the earth’s ecosystems. In the face of all of these threats to our planet, there are a number of small things you can do to help:
- Recycling – The three Rs, reduce, reuse and recycle, are key to minimizing debris in landfills, oceans and litter. simple changes to start with include trying to avoid single use plastics when possible, bringing reusable bags to the grocery stores, collecting and recycling all make a difference.
- Composting – Composting is a great way to keep compostable food stuffs out of landfills and can be used nourish your garden!
- Conserving energy – At the moment most of our energy comes from fossil fuels and only a small percentage is made up of renewable energy such as hydro, wind and solar. Therefore, minimizing energy usage can help reduce your overall carbon footprint. Small steps to reduce energy consumption include turning off lights, setting the thermostat a couple of degrees cooler in winter and a couple of degrees higher in summer, walking, biking, carpooling or taking public transport when possible, switching from incandescent light bulbs to an energy saving bulb, buying energy efficient appliances. All of these options can help save energy and save you money. If you’re passionate about energy conservation consider switching to solar energy.
- Saving water – In the garden using drippers and watering either early in the morning or in the late afternoon reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation. Water saving ideas in the house include taking shorter showers, installing low flow toilets, shower heads, and appliances, or talking to your plumber about options to reuse greywater.
- Supporting environmental efforts – Donations to environmental programs help to make ideas a reality. There are tons of organizations to choose from that are researching renewable energy, working on conservation efforts or restoration projects. Take your pick!
- Get involved – Take a weekend to volunteer in a local creek or park clean up or tree planting. These projects help to beautify the neighborhood, improve the health of the local ecosystem and help to build a sense of community.
- Buying local and organic goods – Buying locally helps support local businesses, makes sure you know where your food comes from and how it was grown, develops community (knowing your farmer etc), and reduces the imbedded carbon of transporting goods from afar. Organic foods have been grown without harsh chemicals that can pollute nearby water sources, and can harm pollinators and other beneficial insects. Buying organic foods supports this type of farming.
- Spreading the word – Share how people can help the planet! The earth is our home and needs to be taken care of.
For more tips and information go to EarthDay.org