Earth Day is April 22 and it’s your chance to educate yourself on ways you can help the earth and our environment. So what exactly can you do to help the environment? The short answer is plenty. There are large and small ways to make a positive impact on the earth. Below are some easy and practical ways for you to be more environmentally friendly on Earth Day and all year round.
- Check your thermostat. That means looking at the temperature for your heat, air conditioning, and water heater. A good rule of thumb is keeping the thermostat at 68 in the winter and 78 in the summer. The water heater should be at 120.
- Take the bus. You can also walk, ride a bike, or carpool — whatever it takes for you to use your car (and gasoline) less.
- Unplug electronic devices. Electricity is used even when your electronics are “off” but still plugged in. So unplug your microwave, television, and alarm clock when you’re not using them. And turn off the lights even if you are only leaving the room for a short period of time.
- Plant a tree. This one has a lot of environmental benefits and is one of the most popular Earth Day activities. Trees help to filter pollution out of the air and absorb carbon dioxide. They make shade for you and your home. They create homes and food for animals and insects.
- Compost. When you compost, you’re helping to keep organic waste out of landfills and returning fertilizer to the earth. It can also save you money on trash removal and fertilizer purchases.
- Shop with a canvas bag. Plastic bags are terrible for the environment and for wildlife. They’re even banned in some municipalities and some stores refuse to use them. Help reduce their usage by using cloth bags when you do your shopping.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. These use less energy, making them good for the environment and they last longer, making them good for your bank account.
- Stop paper statements. You can access your bank and credit card information online. There’s no point in receiving paper statements through the mail anymore. It only wastes paper and causes clutter. Some businesses even provide customers with financial incentives to get their information electronically.
- Try vegetarian. Going meatless, even just one day a week, can have a tremendous environmental impact. It saves water, trees, and energy. And it’s good for you, too.
- Buy more local food. You can help reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions when you choose to buy food locally grown and produced — food that doesn’t have to travel far to get to your plate.
Author: Megan Donley