Happy Earth Week, everyone! In honor of Earth Day coming up on Thursday, we have gathered some of our favorite ways to celebrate Mother Earth to share with you. These are just a few ways our team has tried to reduce our carbon footprint - feel free to comment your suggestions on how we can continue to help our planet thrive!
It can take months and even years for clothing to fully break down in landfills. The US reportedly throws away around 60-80 pounds of clothing a year so imagine how long that will take to completely go away.
How should you try to combat this issue? Try thrifting! You can find some great, unexpected, vintage items and can create a unique wardrobe for yourself... Thrifting also includes furniture and other decorative items; you can find some forgotten pieces that you can reupholster or turn into a special DIY project of your own. Some thrift stores (such as Goodwill or smaller stores) give back to the people in their areas whether through providing job training for veterans or those with disabilities and providing clothing for those who need it the most (especially during the winter) so you could be doing your community good!
If you want to be extra kind to Earth today, then consider composting. What exactly is compost? It’s an organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow.
You can follow these instructions and then find your nearest drop off location! Composting does take up more time to actually accomplish since you have to distinguish what can and cannot go through this process and you have to be wary of intruders (think rodents, raccoons, or pesky bugs), but it is rewarding! It reduces methane emissions from landfills, enriches the soil, and even provides a healthier and cleaner home for your plants.
Using a reusable bag
Let’s be real - we all have a lot of bags that we don’t actually need. Instead of just letting them sit in a pile in the “forgotten corner” of your house, bring one or two whenever you go shopping. This is out of convenience and consideration for the amount of plastic and paper bags that may end up in landfills. Also, this way you don’t have to have an armful of flimsy plastic bags that threaten to break at any moment! These bags are also handy if something spills because you can throw them in the wash so they are fresh and ready for the next time you may need them.
Use a reusable water bottle or invest in a Brita filter/water filtration system
Instead of routinely buying single-use water bottles, try using a reusable one! They are great for keeping your water cool and are an eco-friendly alternative to single-use bottles. There are so many affordable and adorable options out there, so why not give it a try?
If you want to take this a step further, then invest in a water filtration system like a Brita filter. You will only need to replace the filter every two months or so and this is a much more budget-friendly option to constantly buying new water bottles.
Reducing energy and water use
Don’t forget to turn the lights off whenever you leave a room that you won’t be using for a while. This may seem like such a simple task, but we are all guilty of leaving lights on that we don’t actually need. If you’re feeling particularly lazy then it might be worthwhile to buy lights that can be controlled from your phone.
Washing dishes can feel like such a hassle. Sometimes there are just way too many to wash and not enough energy to actually do it. It’s actually better to wash dishes immediately rather than letting them sit in the sink - it takes more time and water to get the hardened food off your dishes and utensils when they’ve been sitting there for a while. If you have access to a dishwasher then definitely use that instead of washing your dishes by hand!
If you have plans for the day then there are several alternatives to taking a car. You can rent a bike from your local shop or you can try Citibike, Uber, or Lyft depending on where you live. The same goes for using a scooter to go about your day. Some more budget-friendly options include taking public transportation like the bus or subway. If you are wary about using these modes of transportation during the pandemic and your trip is short, consider walking! This way you are able to get out of the house and you can fit some exercise into your day. If you do need to drive and will be in the car for a long period of time then consider using cruise control to reduce the amount of gas you use.
Let’s all challenge ourselves to commit to these simple tasks everyday, but ESPECIALLY this week, in celebration of Earth Day!