Originally started as a way to promote environmental protection, Earth Day has grown over the years to include healthy practices such as recycling and power conservation.
This year's Earth Day features the theme of sustainability, and we've included some suggestions on how to participate.
Mostly simple, recycling has always been the go-to sustainability plan that everyone recognizes. If you live in an area that has a recycling program, participate in it. If you don’t, learn what materials can be recycled and get into the habit of separating them from the rest of the garbage.
- Think Before You Buy
Sustainability can also include taking into consideration the food you buy, so don’t purchase food if you don’t have a plan for eating it. This can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to eat healthier; it may be tempting to grab fresh green beans as a healthy side item for dinner, but if you’ve already planned on serving potatoes, the green beans may get ignored and be lost in the bottom of the fridge. Food waste doesn’t help anyone.
For example, don’t buy foods with short retention periods if you don’t plan on cooking and/or eating them within a week. For example, don’t buy bananas if you don’t intend to eat them within a week; bananas won’t last longer than a few days before they start to blacken.
- Make your own garden
Like fruits and vegetables but don’t like the prices at the supermarket? Why not cut out the middle man?
If you’ve got the space, consider building and maintaining your own garden. Growing your own fruits and vegetables doesn’t mean having to turn your entire backyard space into a farm; instead, set aside a patch of land and use it to grow whatever you like, from tomatoes to corn. You can also grow your own herbs and spices, too.
Backyard gardens allow people the ability to grown their own food without fear of chemical contamination while ensuring you’ll eat what you grow; nobody that hates brussels sprouts will bother growing them, so whatever gets planted will get eaten. Also, you won’t have to worry about dealing with food packaging; just grow it, harvest it, cook it, and repeat.
- Go Green in Your Home
Another basic but effective way to practice sustainability? Don’t waste resources in your home. That is, don’t do a job unless it’s worth doing. Got a shirt that needs to be washed? Wash it with other clothes so you don’t waste water and electricity on a small laundry load. Same thinking applies to running the dishwasher; don’t run it until you stuff it. Leaving a room? Turn the light off, or open the blinds and let some sunlight in; it’s Mother Nature’s lamp.
You might be tempted to start unplugging certain electrical devices when not at home, such as the television, since appliances still use power even when not active. If so, exercise caution and common sense; yes, the fridge does use a lot of power, but unplugging that while you’re at work isn’t smart. A better option? Purchase more energy efficient appliances.
And if you’re trying to economize space in your home, consider removing old furniture. If you find yourself among those with old unwanted furniture and looking for ways to proceed honoring Earth Day in the process, check out our Ultimate Furniture Removal Guide. And if you want to avoid the heavy lifting, contact us directly.
- Go plant a tree