This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!
While most people are stuck at home during this global health crisis, it is still possible to celebrate Earth Day! It’s a good time to be able to slow down and appreciate this giant hunk of rock that we all call home.
Here are some practical ideas to inspire you to make every day Earth Day.
- Eat Organic
- Organic food helps to preserve the richness of the topsoil and helps protect biodiversity.
- Eat Local
- Local foods help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions involved in transporting food. Food is also fresher and it helps the local economy.
- Eat in Season
- Food that is in season is fresher, travels less, and tends to come from local farmers.
- Reduce Food Waste
- If food waste was a country, it would be in the top three countries for greenhouse gas emissions.
- Eat leftovers, make soup, freeze food for later. Compost.
- Reduce Meat
- Try a meatless Monday!
- Livestock is responsible for a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. Cropland is used primarily to grow crops for livestock.
- The treatment of animals leads to animal suffering in mass commercial settings. Try to source meat locally. Local farmers usually provide better care for the animals and the meat tends to be of a higher quality.
- Switch to Greener Options
- In some areas, there are green energy alternatives available. Take advantage of wind, solar or hydroelectric alternatives.
- Replace Light Bulbs
- Energy-efficient light bulbs consume 80% less electricity than conventional bulbs. I have noticed that they last much longer and in some jurisdictions are recyclable.
- Lower the Thermostat
- The average thermoneutrality of a healthy adult is about 19°C. This means that a person can maintain their body temperature without needing to use any extra body energy. This means that there technically isn’t a reason to need to heat your house above that.
- If you’re chilly, you can always add layers. I’m always the coldest one in our house so I have some wool socks and a hoodie that I wear indoors.
- Lowering the thermostat can also save your wallet!
- Turn off the Lights!
- With the energy efficient bulbs we have today, I get laughed at over this one. We should still turn off lights when we aren’t going to be in the room for a while. It can help prolong the life of your bulbs, save on every costs and even if it’s a tiny amount — reduce your energy usage.
- Move towards Zero Waste
- Reduce the amount of single use products in your life.
- Buy products with the least amount of packaging.
- Classic “3 R’s”
- Shop Second Hand
- Thrift stores, re-sale stores, consignment stores, yard sales. You can also organise swaps at school or work. Facebook has “Buy Nothing” groups tailored to you neighbourhoods.
- Stop Buying Stuff!
- Do you really need it? Think about the whole life cycle of what you’re about to buy. How long will it still be around after you don’t
- Grow a Garden
- Whether its a smaller container garden in the city, a community plot, or a garden in a rural area it’s rewarding to grow your own veggies. I use it as a tool to show my kids where food in the store comes from.
- Natural Fertilisers
- Chemical fertilisers can lead to soil depletion and lead to loss of biodiversity.
- Plant Pollinator Friendly Plants
- Planting nectar giving colourful plants will attract pollinating insects.
- Plant a tree
- Don’t Pick All the Dandelions
- Dandelions are usually one of the first flowers in the spring and are an important food source for bees.
- Collect Litter
- Even if it’s just one piece on a neighbourhood or nature trail walk, that’s one less piece of litter.
- Good for your health.
- Cost effective.
- Zero emission.
- Quicker than walking.
- Some cities offer bike rentals.
- Public Transit
- By using public transportation, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
- Vehicle Choices
- Hybrids and electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and are becoming more affordable. Some areas offer discounts, incentives, and rebates to encourage you to make the switch.
- If hybrids or electric vehicles are not a viable option, then try to get a vehicle with the best fuel economy. Generally, a smaller engine is more fuel efficient.