Earth Day comes once a year, but you can make every day Earth Day when you make going green part of your daily routine.
Community Service: Get involved in the community! Clean up a local stream or park to help keep your community and the environment clean and beautiful. You can also get involved with parks in your area through Volunteers-In-Parks with the National Park Service. If you can’t find a park near you, try VolunteerMatch.org. They can match you with volunteer opportunities in your area based on cause areas including environment.
Recycle: When you recycle you’re helping in a number of ways. You can save energy and other resources, reduce the amount of landfill waste, prevent pollution, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions1. Did you know that it takes 95% less energy to make cans from recycled materials compared to using raw materials2 or that making a ton of paper from recycled materials saves up to 17 trees and uses 50% less water3?
If you’re interested in learning more about recycling, visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website. They provide details on recycling specific items and offer a tool to calculate how much energy you can save by recycling.
Renewable Energy: Renewable energy promotes investments in cleaner energy and a cleaner environment. Programs like ECO-AdvantageSM match 100% of your electricity usage with wind-generated Renewable Energy Certificates. Click here to learn more about renewable energy and to see if it’s right for you and your family.
Harvest Rain with Rain Barrels: You can purchase rain barrels or make them yourself. While you should not use this water to bathe or drink, you can re-purpose this water when it’s time to water your plants or yard. GreenerGood.com explains some important facts in this Rain Barrels 101 post that could help you decide if harvesting rain water is something you’d like to practice.
Limit Water Use: When you limit your water use you decrease water and energy bills and you lessen your impact on the environment. When you wash your clothes, only run the machine when you have a full load. If this isn’t an option, remember to adjust the water level accordingly. Limit water use by taking shorter showers and turning the water off after you wet or rinse your toothbrush or razor. Turning off the water while you brush your teeth allows you to save up to 4 gallons of water per minute which means a family of four can save up to 200 gallons a week4. When you shorten your shower time by 1 to 2 minutes you’ll save up to 150 gallons of water per month4. Only run your dishwasher when it’s full to save an average of 1,000 gallons of water a month5.
If you’re interested in a simpler way to reuse water than installing rain barrels, start rinsing your fruit and vegetables over a bowl. You can use the collected water to water your plants and gardens.
Composting: Garbage disposals required water and electricity to function properly. Limit your garbage disposal usage and start a compost pile instead. Recycle your kitchen and yard waste to help your garden and the environment. When you compost you reduce the need for environmentally damaging pesticides and fertilizers and you reduce the amount of landfill garbage which lowers greenhouse gases and the amount of methane produced by landfills6.
Click here to learn how to compost. It is an easy way to incorporate green living into your everyday life.
Other Ways to Go Green: Use a reusable water bottle and a water filter to limit your plastic bottle consumption.
Purchase energy efficient appliances to cut down on energy usage and costs.
If you live close enough to work or school, consider walking or riding a bike instead of driving.
Purchase or make your own green-friendly cleaners that are free of chemicals.
Reuse items you’re considering pitching out. Here are a few ideas to spark some creativity: Use small glass food jars to hold items like nails, bobby pins, and more. Roll up magazines and place them in your boots to help them keep their shape.
Remember, you can easily make every day Earth Day by incorporating some of these activities into your everyday life. If you have more ways to go green, share them with us on Facebook! Happy Earth Day!
1. United States Environmental Protection Agency
2. The Aluminum Association
3. The City of Columbus
4. Water Use it Wisely
5. The City of Columbus – Green Spot
6. Planet Natural
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