Happy Earth Day! Earth Day is a day to celebrate Mother Earth with gratitude and appreciation for all that this beautiful planet provides. From cleaning up our neighborhoods, to promoting environmental awareness, to engaging in green practices, we join together today to protect our world, our environment, and our natural resources. Together we will create a more sustainable future for all of us.
In honor of Earth Day, this month we are offering 10% off Green & Eco-Friendly Products with coupon code: SaveTheEarth. Our selection of eco-friendly products includes:
• Reusable water bottles: As a country, we used 50 billion plastic water bottles in 2014 alone, and less than a quarter of those were recycled. Even if you take care to recycle your bottles, the production process and the recycling process both waste tons of energy. On top of that, plastic water bottles — even the BPA-free varieties — leech toxic chemicals into your water, particularly if left in extreme temperatures such as a hot car or the freezer. To gain all the convenience and purity of disposable water bottles without all the waste and chemical contaminants, we recommend using filtered water in a glass or stainless steel water bottle.
• Beautifully designed cloth shopping bags: Between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed each year. While paper may seem like a better choice, 15 million trees are cut down annually to produce those paper grocery sacks. Reusable shopping bags will last for years!
• Lunch bags and stainless steel containers: Switching to reusable bags and containers when you pack your children’s school lunches can save 67 pounds of waste a year per child, on average. Similar numbers apply to the lunches you take to the office each day. Waste-free lunches can also save you the $50-100 yearly that would have been spent on disposable paper bags, sandwich bags, and paper napkins.
Top 12 Ways to Make a Difference This Earth Day
In last year’s Earth Day blog post we brought you some of the history and stats for this day set aside to honor and protect our planet. This year, we’ve compiled a list of the top Earth Day activities that make a difference for you and the planet.
Earth Day Activities: #1 – Plant trees and flowers.
Approximately 4 billion trees are cut down every year, so planting trees is one of the best things you can do to help the planet. Don’t limit yourself just to trees though! The bee population is hugely at risk, so planting flowers and plants that attract bees can make a difference. Without bees, we will lose the majority of the crops we rely on for food, and the effects will be felt up the food chain as animals, too, die out.
Earth Day Activities: #2 – Pick up litter.
This can involve carting the kids and the family dog down to your favorite hiking trail or gathering your entire community together to clean up the neighborhood. If you’re short on time, take a walk around the block with a trash bag and a pair of gloves.
Earth Day Activities: #3 – Make your home earth friendly.
The average person produces more than 1500 pounds of waste a year. Find reusable alternatives for the disposable products in your home. Reusable shopping bags are a great place to start. Stock up on washcloths to replace paper towels, a stack of cloth napkins to use at the dinner table, and a good travel coffee mug to replace the paper coffee shop cups.
Earth Day Activities: #4 – Host a community swap.
Giving unwanted items a new home is a fun way to celebrate Earth Day and conserve valuable resources. A friend and I have organized several clothing swaps that have been very successful and a lot of fun — and it took a lot less work than you’d expect! All we had to do was reserve a meeting room at our local library, arrive a little early to set up tables for the different clothing sizes, come up with a few guidelines and rules for the swap, and pack up any leftovers to donate. In addition to clothes, toys, books, and household goods are other fun items to swap.
Earth Day Activities: #5 – Take care of the birds.
If you have kids, making gifts for the birds is a fun and meaningful way to celebrate Earth Day. Little kids can make easy bird feeders such as pine cones covered with peanut butter and rolled in seeds or pipe cleaners strung with cereal O’s. They will also enjoy stuffing toilet paper tubes with bits of string, fabric scraps, or dryer lint to make nesting rolls. Older kids can practice their carpentry skills by building a birdhouse.
Earth Day Activities: #6 – Learn how to make eco-friendly cleaners.
Gather all your supplies and spend the day mixing up concoctions for your various cleaning needs. You’ll be amazed at how many different natural cleaners you can make with primarily baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils! Eco-friendly cleaning solution recipes can be found here.
Earth Day Activities: #7 – Enjoy a local meal for dinner.
See if you can challenge yourself and your family to create a meal using only foods that are produced close to home. Michael Pollan did just that and wrote about the experience in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Take this opportunity to visit local farms and learn about how your meat and vegetables are produced before buying them. During the meal you create, brainstorm ways your family can rely more on local foods.
Earth Day Activities: #8 – Save wildlife.
Go through your bathroom and get rid of personal care products that contain plastic microbeads. These can end up in the water supply, harming fish and wildlife. Microbeads can end up in your body wash, cosmetics, and even your toothpaste. Instead, opt for natural personal care products, which aren’t only better for wildlife but also better for you!
Earth Day Activities: #9 – Conserve water.
You can easily replace faucets and shower heads with flow regulators so that your family automatically uses less water. These upgrades don’t usually require any plumbing or specialized skills. You can also set a timer for the shower. And unless you have a really old, outdated dishwasher, there’s no need to prewash your dishes! Don’t forget to have any leaky plumbing fixed — just one drip per second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water over the course of a year.
Earth Day Activities: #10 – Think small.
It’s easy to overlook the obvious in lieu of more exciting, expensive, or sensationalized ways to go green. But everyday actions such as turning off unneeded lights, switching to LED or CFL light bulbs, not letting the water run while you’re brushing your teeth, opting for paperless bills, and walking instead of driving still go a long way to help the planet.
Earth Day Activities: #11 – Think big.
Consider installing solar panels, rain barrels, a grey water system, or a wind turbine. Upgrade to Energy Star appliances. Trade in your gas-guzzler for a hybrid vehicle, or start taking public transportation instead.
Earth Day Activities: #12 – Be an activist.
Talk to others about the environment. Hand out reusable shopping bags at the grocery store. Make a video or take pictures of your Earth-friendly practices and share it via social media. Who knows, perhaps your family could inspire others to make some big changes!
We want to know:
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day this year?
Share your ideas in the comments section below!