Simple ways to make a huge impact for a more sustainable planetPosted on April 22, 2020 Written by: 100% PURE ®
Although Earth Day 2020 has passed, we believe that each day holds new opportunities to change our planet for the better. With 2020 already being an historic year, it also marks the 50 year anniversary of Earth Day!
Earth Day is certainly a day to show appreciation and consider new habits for a better tomorrow, but why stop there? By taking some small steps towards reducing your environmental footprint, your efforts can be as instrumental as a moonwalk – or giant leaps – for mankind.
Grab your walking shoes, because we’re embarking on a path to simple changes you can make at home and outdoors each and every day. Trust us: a little effort will make a big difference to our dear Mother Earth.
1) Become an authority on plastic
We can’t police others to end plastic pollution, but we can become an authority on our own plastic use. Start with bringing your own reusable bags when you shop; invest in a few sturdy ones, or repurpose any totes you may have around the house.
If you forget your reusable tote and must use a single-use bag, opt for paper bags; these break down much easier than plastic. Depending on where you shop, you may also be able to ask clerks for empty wine, produce, or shipping boxes.
Ditch products made with or packaged in plastic whenever possible. A great example is pre-packaged deli, produce, and bulk foods. Opt instead for unwrapped produce and bulk foods, or bring a container with a pre-weighted tare. Write the weight of the empty container on a piece of masking tape and stick it on the bottom of your container. If it’s food purchased by the pound, the cashier can subtract that tare weight from your total.
2) Get planting
Plant a garden and discover your inner green thumb! Reject any premeditated ideas that you can’t grow a dandelion, let alone keep an air plant alive; herbs and small vegetables are easy garden starters.
Starting your home garden is as simple as picking up ready-made seedling starter kits packaged in recyclable cardboard. You just water it and before you know it – a side dish is served!
GREEN TIP: Collect rainwater, and boil it before using. You can use this non-potable water to clean, water lawns, and compost.
3) Forego water bottles and single-use plastics
Fact: the amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. If that doesn’t convince you, try imagining an ocean with more plastic in it than fish – at the rate we’re going, by 2050 this could be our reality.
Start with ways you can reduce your plastic footprint, like replacing your single-use water bottles with glass and stainless steel reusable water bottles. Forego other single-use items such as plastic straws, disposable cups, plates, cutlery, and napkins. Life isn’t always a picnic, but when it is, make it an eco-friendly, biodegradable one.
GREEN TIP: Ready to invest in a water filtration service? If you used three plastic water bottles a day, that’s a yearly consumption of 1,095 bottles! Check out this nifty plastic calculator to help dial it back.
4) Share more
Sharing is caring – and sharing ideas like eco-idealizing is the kind of caring our planet needs! While we’re making good strides in doing our own part in making changes to help Mother Earth, we don’t often collaborate with others like from our community.
Start with sharing your eco-techniques and ideas with others. Get momentum going, and before you know it your whole community will master green living. Forget borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbor – how about some fresh, homegrown herbs? Can anyone finish an entire plastic container of store-bought basil?!
5) Ride your bike or walk
Just think how much better the great outdoors would look without a windshield in your way. Aside from feeling the wind on your face – and knowing you just reduced some emissions – there are immense health and environmental benefits using your good ol’ two feet.
Exercise keeps our bodies, heads, and feet happy while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint. Fewer cars on the road means less gases in the air (like carbon dioxide) that contribute to global warming. If you want to get carbon footloose, organize a carpool with a coworker, use a rideshare app, or take public transportation. Don’t have far to go? Get your E.T. on and hop on a bike!
GREEN TIP: If you absolutely must drive Miss Daisy around, don’t idle between errands. By turning off your engine, you prevent your car from releasing more emissions than necessary.
6) Incorporate sustainable personal care products
Choose natural, biodegradable skin care and beauty products. Many conventional products contain chemicals and microplastics that do not break down or get filtered out before they go straight into our oceans. These “eco toxins” are a threat not only to our health, but to delicate ecosystems and marine life that are contaminated with chemicals from discarded products.
Try swapping out your beauty items one product at a time for clean, toxin-free options. Also, important: choose recycled and biodegradable packaging when you can. We’re also big on DIY options: using ingredients you already have to make small batches of lotions, oils, scrubs, and more.
7) Unsubscribe from junk mail
This one will feel really, really good. Fact: 100 million trees are destroyed to produce junk mail each year. Multiply that by the annoyance of having to sort and shred said junk mail. That’s time away from saving the planet!
There are multiple online sources such as USJunkMail.com to help get you started in unsubscribing from the junk. Opt for online statements, bills, and subscriptions whenever you can instead of using paper mail. Speaking of paper, only purchase 100% post-consumer recycled paper for your printer to reduce your own paper waste!
8) Green your home
This doesn’t necessarily mean decorating your home with enough plants to make the rainforest jealous – but some greenery scattered here and there is a great start! Indoor plants can help regulate temperature through the moisture they release into the air, and can even help promote a healthy mental state.
To save money and ‘green’ your home, start by buying energy-efficient light bulbs. Unplug appliances when they’re not in use, and turn off lights around your home when you’re not in the room. Shop eco-friendly household products, fix leaky faucets, and seal drafty windows.
Many states now offer incentives to help you green your home or rental at low or no cost. Call your energy provider to see if they offer free energy audits, or have them refer you to a company that does.
9) Shop local markets and businesses
If you can't grow it yourself, take the next logical step by shopping locally. Buying produce farmed near your home usually gives you access to better quality food than you’d find at a grocery store. You can speak to the farmers directly to learn more about the food as you're supporting small business!
While supporting the local economy, you’ll also be helping the planet by buying fruits and veggies grown close to home. When you buy locally, those foods are transported over much shorter distances.
Foods in grocery stores travel an average of 1,500 miles to get to you. That lengthy shipping time only contributes to air pollution and carbon emissions, while increasing demand for unsustainable fossil fuels.
There are SO many ways you can celebrate the planet just by donating your time! For example, organizations like The Wilderness Society work year round to protect the environment for future generations. Find a group near you and see what you can do to help! You can also organize cleaning parties in your community, use the weekends to join up with pre-organized local river, beach, or park cleanups.
Earth Day all starts with being kind to the planet, but the true service to our global wellbeing is by continuing your dedication and appreciation for our blue planet. As William Shakespeare would say, “The earth has music for those who listen.”