Being on Mother Nature’s team is as simple as eating pesticide-free organic produce, packing along a reusable shopping bag, choosing green cleaning products that don’t leave a toxic footprint and sleuthing out energy thieves at home. Did you know that many electronic devices left plugged into the wall are sapping power even if you aren’t using them?
Following these 10 helpful hints will ensure you’ll be making every day an Earth Day.
1. Nature Wants You to Eat Organically
Make an effort to purchase foods that are produced locally and organically grown. A well-balanced diet of vegetables and fruits can easily serve you over 20 different delicious pesticides each day! And before you even take your first bite, all those pesticides are affecting the soil, the water, farm workers, wildlife, and the planet. So each time you buy organic food, you help break that cycle.
2. Smart Shoppers Agree: Bring Your Own Bags
We’re all used to the convenience of free plastic shopping bags, but at current rates we’ll each add over 10,000 bags to the planet in our lifetimes. So put some reusable bags in your car, purse, pack, or briefcase, and consider the mountain of plastic you won’t be leaving behind! When you need plastic bags for your garbage, etc. purchase biodegradable bags instead. So next time you’re asked “Paper or plastic?” say “Neither!”
3. A Parked Car is a Zero-Emissions Vehicle
The next time you find yourself idling your car for any longer than 2 minutes, in a long traffic jam, construction site, border line up, or just waiting for someone, cut your engine. While you’re at it, try using your car one less day per week too. With a little planning, we can all use our cars less and save both money and carbon emissions. You will save costs not only in fuel, but also in fewer trips to the gas station. And as the price of fuel rises, you’ll benefit even more!
4. Bright People Don’t Waste Power
Don’t just turn off the lights when you don’t need them – switch to Compact Fluorescents (CFLs). These new bulbs last up to seven times longer than incandescents, and use much less energy. And to save even more, consider that most electronics silently steal energy as long as they’re plugged in. Power transformers for such things as battery chargers can use a lot of electricity even when they’re doing nothing. Rather than unplug them, why not put them all on a power strip you can easily switch off?
5. Only Drips Waste Water
North Americans use more water per person than anywhere else on earth, and consumption has risen by more than 20% in the last 25 years. Yet water use habits are easy to change: waiting to run full loads in our dishwashers and washing machines can save 1,000 gallons a month. And by upgrading to newer low-flow toilets, faucets and shower heads, they’ll do the water saving for you!
6. Use Green Cleaners
A lot of cleaning products can leave a real mess behind for Mother Nature. Petroleum-based cleaners with synthetic scents can also create indoor air pollution. Read the labels and try to choose cleaning products made from plant-based, non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients that won’t leave behind a toxic residue.
7. We Repeat: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Three R’s aren’t just an activity – they are a way of thinking. Garbage doesn’t “go” anywhere except the Earth, and who wants to live in a garbage dump? Before you buy something, consider whether you even need it. If you do, think about whether the packaging is excessive, and whether you have a way to reuse, or at least recycle it. Whenever possible, buy recycled products and not only save energy, but also create a greater demand for such things as the paper and plastics you recycle.
8. Compost: Nature’s Recycling
Throwing compostable material in the garbage just speeds up the need for new and costly landfills. Garbage disposals waste both electricity and water. Composting, on the other hand, is nature’s time-honoured way of returning valuable nutrients to the soil to be reused. Start a compost bin and do your plants – and your planet – a favour!
9. BYO Drinking Bottle
Some plastic bottles may be recyclable, and some disposable coffee cups may be biodegradable, but either way there’s a significant amount of material and energy that goes into the millions of cups and bottles we use each year. If we each have just one stainless water bottle and one high quality mug, it will keep us from using thousands of one-use wonders to quench our thirst.
10. Teach Your Children Well
With your help, children can develop a strong and healthy sense of what’s right and what’s wrong for the earth. Satisfy their natural curiosity about the world by teaching them about where food comes from, or how energy works, and why taking care of our home is important.