While today might be the one day that really drives the point home, big changes will come when Earth Day is celebrated every day by changing old habits into more ecologically-minded ones.
Here are some small and easy ways to conserve resources and create a better world. The best part? Most of these result in financial benefits for you as well. Everybody wins!
CARRY A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
Currently about 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about ten percent of this plastic is properly recycled and reused. The rest ends up as waste in landfills or as litter in our natural environment, where it leaches dangerous chemicals into the nearby soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike.
SKIP THE STRAW
Americans use 500 million straws daily...just to be thrown away.
USE REUSABLE CLOTH BAGS
Keep reusable bags somewhere handy and don’t forget to use them when you go to the market, grocery store or mall.
Our personal vehicles are a major source of carbon emissions. You can help by taking public transportation, car-pooling and riding your bike to reduce your carbon footprint and help curb climate change.
EAT LESS MEAT
The meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Help make a difference by limiting your meat consumption.
TURN OFF THE WATER
Turning off the faucet instead of letting it run while you are brushing your teeth can reduce the water usage associated with tooth brushing by 84%, which is 2340 gallons per year. If every American did that, it would save 740 billion gallons of water each year, just by changing the way we brush our teeth.
Food is one of the leading drivers of climate change. Eating more local food reduces CO2 emissions by reducing food miles — the distance food travels from farm to consumer. Shopping locally helps cut down on processing, packaging and transportation waste, leading to less pollution.
GET INVOLVED & VOLUNTEER AT A BEACH CLEANUP
Plastics are forever. Help pick up plastic litter before it enters the ocean. Plastic litter is mistaken for food by birds and marine life. Check out Surfrider Foundation and sign up to volunteer at your next local beach sweep.
HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTT
If you smoke...don’t litter your cigarette butts. Cigarettes are the most common piece of litter found at the beach. They aren’t biodegradable, they leak chemicals that kill fish, and pollute our beaches and ocean.
PLANT A TREE OR DONATE TO PLANT A TREE
Deforestation contributes to species extinction, poverty, and is responsible for up to 15% of the global greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. Planting trees is one of the easiest and most important ways to fight climate change.