Happy Earth Day! This year marks the 50th anniversary of the observance specifically created to bring environmental awareness into mainstream conversation. What started in the United States as a call to protect and celebrate our environment, Earth Day is now celebrated across the globe. Though the coronavirus pandemic has canceled most of this year’s events, we can still celebrate! Here are a few ways to be more Earth-friendly right at home.
Swap out Everyday Items for Eco-Friendly Alternatives
Modern society has grown to favor short-term convenience over long-term sustainability. In fact, the widespread use of disposable and single-use items means Americans now create, on average, over four pounds of trash everyday.
Watch this video for five easy, budget-friendly, and environmentally sustainable items you can incorporate into your daily life:
Unplug What You Can
You may not be using most of your electronics right now, but they may still be consuming power. Known as “vampire electronics,” these common items are designed for constant connectivity and instant access, meaning that, even while “sleeping,” they are still actively drawing on power to maintain readiness for use. In fact, it’s estimated that Americans spend over $19 billion each year on this wasted electricity. Here are some of the main culprits:
- Smart TV’s
- Gaming consoles
- Smart appliances like washers, dryers and refrigerators
Save energy (and money!) by unplugging these items when not in use or by purchasing a smart strip. These special strips are designed to monitor and control the flow of power to each device plugged into it, helping to improve energy efficiency.
Support Local Businesses Mindfully
As the pandemic continues spreading, many people are wanting to support local restaurants (and we highly encourage it!). However, this means more trash generated from takeout containers. Here’s a few tips to help minimize it:
- Ask the restaurant if they have recyclable containers instead of non-recyclable styrofoam
- See if they can use the minimum amount of packaging when assembling your order
- Ask them not to include plastic-wrapped utensils or straws made for single use. Simply use ones you already have from home!
- If none of these options are available, see if you can find restaurants that support local environmental organizations.
Support an Environmental Charity
Speaking of local environmental organizations, now is the perfect time to get connected with one! Most municipalities have an environmental program, but if you’re not sure what your options are, you can always search for one using Charity Navigator. Here are a few ways you can support these groups:
- Donate money
- Share their content on your social media channels
- Sign up for their newsletters
- Sign up to volunteer once social distancing measures are lifted
Earth Day Can be Everyday!
We hope you enjoyed these few tips, and encourage you to utilize them everyday for a healthier planet. Do you have other ideas for this year’s Earth Day? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!