I find Earth Day to be kind of an odd holiday... especially as someone who talks about eco-friendly living pretty much 24/7.
Every day of my life is dedicated to researching, writing, and trying to make eco-friendly choices to try and narrow all of that down into one day is hard!
Plus, I mean, shouldn't we be celebrating our Earth every day? I mean she only gives us clean air and water.... nothing too important, right? ;)
So, instead of just focusing on one day a year, I wanted to give you a few tips so you can celebrate every day!
1. Swap your snacks!
Instead of opting for an overly packaged or processed snack, go for local, in-season fruits and vegetables. Fruit often comes in its own compostable wrapper.
Make use of local veggies with a yummy dip platter. Make your own hummus by blending chickpeas, lemon juice, and tahini. Add some local veg and - voilá - the perfect plastic-free snack.
2. Pick it up:
When you're out walking around, whether it's your neighborhood, downtown, or in a parking lot, if you see litter - pick it up!
All storm drains lead to the sea. So, any trash or plastic you see out is going to make it's way out to the ocean. You can stop it by taking the time to pick it up.
You might not know this, but a significant amount of greenhouse gasses come from landfills. Almost 16% of all methane emissions in the US come from landfills and methane is around 30x more powerful than CO2.
One of the best things you can do is stop binning your organics and get a compost bin. You can learn more in the post I wrote for International Compost Week.
4. Commit to buying less:
Did you know, one of the best things you can do for the environment is to simply buy less?
Yep. We tend to buy a lot of stuff that we don't necessarily use or need. Grab my tips for shopping like a minimalist to make sure that you only buy what you truly love.
5. Use real stuff:
We live in a disposable culture where many of our products are meant to be used for a few moments and then thrown away. You can help combat this by choosing reusables!
Instead of opting for a disposable coffee cup, choose a reusable mug or thermos to carry your coffee to go.
Instead of grabbing plastic utensils to eat your lunch, grab a real metal fork and wash it after you've used it.
Instead of using a paper plate, use a real plate.
Instead of using paper towels, use reusable cloth dish towels. If you need help breaking up with paper towels check out our blog post all about creating a paperless kitchen.
6. Plant trees:
Did you know it's pretty easy to plant trees? You can plant trees to offset your carbon footprint through programs like the Nature Conservancy.
7. Talk to friends and family:
It might seem scary to get friends and family involved, but I find it's easiest when you invite them to participate in an activity with you.
For instance, invite them over to a plant-based dinner party and teach them how to make some delicious vegetarian or vegan meals.
You can invite a friend along on a zero waste grocery shopping trip or teach them how to make their own DIY cleaners.
Once they see how easy it is, they'll be more likely to implement the change in their own lives.
8. Get involved:
Finding a local community is one of the best ways to get involved! Want to ask a local restaurant to switch to a straw on request policy? What about getting the local cafe to incentivize bringing your own container? What about passing a plastic bag ban? Or a carbon tax?
Shop less and share more! Are you a member of a local buy nothing group? These groups are typically hyper-local and it's a place where you can offer belongings that you no longer need.
Of course, in return, you can also post things you're looking for. This way you can swap and share with your neighbors.
There's also a great app for this called Bunz that's very popular in Canada. You should check them out because they really streamline the whole swapping process.
10. Eat more vegetables!
One of the best ways to have a positive impact on the environment is to change up your diet. The average meat eater is responsible for 2.5 tons of carbon a year where a vegetarians diet is responsible for 1.6 tons of carbon and a vegan diet 1.3 tons of carbon.
Cutting back on how many animal products you eat is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. You can read more in our blog post 5 Ways to Reduce your Carbon Emissions.