Earth Day has always been one of my favorite days to celebrate. I remember being young and spending Earth Day moments with my family. Planting seeds and excitedly waiting for them to sprout was my favorite activity! There were other years when we donned rubber gloves to pick up trash in the park or around our neighborhood, or when we decorated paper grocery store bags with drawings that encouraged people to, "Reduce, reuse, and recycle!"
As an adult, I try to make active choices in my daily life to reduce my ecological footprint (the impact I make on the environment by the demands I make on nature's resources). I recently chatting about this topic on Instagram - you can watch here. Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to revisit these choices and make some extra commitments! I thought I'd share with you some of the ideas today and encourage you to choose your own commitment to our planet.
Purchase items in bulk to limit plastic packaging.
Switch newspapers, magazine subscriptions, and bills to digital versions.
Reduce your energy consumption by lowering the temperature on your hot water tank and switching to energy efficient light bulbs.
Set shower timers to reduce water usage.
Reduce the journey your food has to go on to get to you, thereby reducing the energy it takes and pollution it causes from transportation. Shop as locally as possible, including from small businesses and farms. You can buy local food when it is in season and freeze or can for later in the year. You could even consider planting your own garden!
Reduce your consumption of animal products, especially those that do not come from local farms. Learn more about how animal agriculture is impacting climate change here. Consider starting with Meatless Mondays and seeing if you can expand to include more meatless, locally-sourced meals throughout the week.
Reduce waste by choosing reusable products over disposable, including water bottles, coffee cups, straws, plates, napkins, towels, silverware, shopping bags, etc.
Are there ways you can reuse jars, bottles, or containers from products you buy instead of discarding them?
Wait until clothing and personal items wear out or break before purchasing new ones. Consider swapping clothes with friends instead, or purchasing from thrift or consignment shops.
Get cozy with your recycling guidelines, and recycle everything you can!
Consider composting instead of throwing out plant matter.
Think about "upcycling," or finding new ways to use old items. Old clothes make rags that are alternatives to paper towels, empty pickle jars are great for storage, empty candle holders can get new candles... think outside the box!
Fun activities for Earth Day - or any day!
Go for a nature walk. Find a new park or trail to explore. I find that spending more time in nature gives me a stronger appreciation for it, leading mean to want to alter my behavior in ways that support it.
Start seeds in your house, plan your garden, or plant outside (weather permitting). You can also sprout seeds for cooking and eating: Here are some instructions.
Clean out your closet and arrange a clothing swap with friends, or take them to a local thrift store. Explore second-hand options in your area, because you might be surprised.
Learn to cook a new plant-based meal. These look delicious to me!
I hope you find some ideas or activities here that help you and your family improve your environmental choices and build sustainable practices. If you try something out, I'd love to hear what you think! You can comment here, or head over to Instagram (my fav place to hang out) to send me a DM or tag me in your activities. Looking forward to seeing!