Your Earth Day
April 22 is Earth Day, the day we show our support for the environment. Here’s how you can do your bit!
Parking the car
If at all possible, avoid driving*. Talk to coworkers; see if you can hook up a quick car pool. Pull out the bicycle, tune it, and ride it. Or coordinate a bike ride with public transportation. Your 10-mile drive to work may seem like a very small pollutant but let’s show you some figures:
- Every gallon of gasoline your car burns adds 19.59 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the environment (22.44 lbs. if you drive a diesel).
- In metric units a liter of gasoline releases 8,887 grams of CO2 -10,180 if diesel.
- Every 6 lbs. of gasoline (that’s what a gallon weighs) becomes triple its weight in air pollution.
Source: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Find a way to not drive to work for one day. And who knows? Maybe you’ll like the change and find a way to making it a permanent one!
* If you work Mon-Fri, you can opt to not drive another day to make up for Earth Day being on Saturday.
Turn things off, and unplug others:
- Computers, appliances that you aren’t using, turn them off and do not leave them on standby mode.
- Unplug chargers when not using them: they keep consuming at the same rate as when you charge your phones and tablets.
- Turn off heating and AC when going out. You can also moderate their use at night.
These measures not only save you money in energy costs. By reducing your energy consumption you help the environment, too.
Planting a tree
It sounds silly but yes: plant a tree. Did you know that for every tree that is cut down, we must plant four to replace it?
Buy a common tree, and plant it: in your yard, on your street, someplace where it will not be cut down any time soon. Get others involved! Share word that you plan on planting a tree and ask if any others want to help or get one of their own and you do it together. You will find that people are very willing to follow others’ leadership on doing something good.
Planting your food
Have you noticed those tasty lettuces and herbs that you can buy nowadays at the grocery store with their little pots? Or maybe they don’t have a pot but come with their existing root balls still on? Guess what! You can plant them in pots, and stick them on a sunny spot to continue growing them:
- Get several heads of lettuce; every time you want to make a salad, take off the outer leaves of all of them. There you have it, a salad that keeps growing for you!
- And about those herbs: Thyme, oregano, mint, rosemary and basil are low-maintenance plants that will grow and provide all summer long. When fall comes, cut them down, dry them or freeze them into ice cubes. No waste!
Both these ideas save you money and also help save on resources and waste.
If you have a yard or balcony: slowly, surely homeowners are warming up to the importance of providing for our tiny pollinator friends. By keeping bees, bumble bees, hummingbirds and hoverfly populations thriving, we’re helping our local ecosystems thrive. You can help! Consider having a flower bed or some pots dedicated to pollinator-friendly flowers. Your local nursery or online retailer will have many nice choices to your taste native to your area.
Re-examining your recycling efforts
Most of us recycle these days. However, maybe Earth Day is the perfect day to examine how you could be more ecofriendly on your purchases and how you dispose of their waste. Do you have a place in a closet to recycle paper, metals, small electronics?
Recycling non-standard items responsibly
We just mentioned a couple of items that will not have a place in the standard recycling bins. Items like small electronics, used lightbulbs or batteries, by nature of their unique components, have specific recycling spots where we need to take them. Have been throwing them out with the trash? We hope not! This would be the ideal day to do the responsible thing and find out how and where you can recycle them. And, if you have some at home, why not take care of them on Earth Day?
If you are the hands-on type, use your hands. You can get a couple of family members or friends and go clean up trash from a local park, neighborhood or roadside. Or maybe Earth Day is the day you join a local non-profit dedicated to clean-ups or other environmentally-friendly initiatives. Every bit is an investment in our planet.
And saying it out loud
There’s no better incentive than to motivate others than by showing them a good example. And for them it doesn’t get easier than following and help others in their good deeds.
By wishing people a Happy Earth Day, telling ahead of time what your plans are for that day, you will be making a difference for the planet on many different levels. Something to be proud of!