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Every April, communities around the world celebrate Earth Day by participating in activities like climate change marches and beach cleanups – but this year is different. As the world battles COVID-19, planned community events have been cancelled, leaving many of us wondering how we can still recognize Earth Day and make an impact. Here’s what we’re proposing: use this time to evaluate your personal lifestyle and see where you have room to incorporate sustainable habits. Check out our lifestyles tips below for inspiration and pledge to adopt #ActsOfGreen.
Plant a native garden to support your backyard ecosystem.
Your backyard is a mini ecosystem. With visiting mammals, birds, and insects, backyards are brimming with biodiversity. Begin by researching plant species native to your area. Avoid invasive species and choose flowers and bushes that are best suitable for your climate. Out of the list of native plants, purchase the ones that are the most pollinator-friendly. This way, you can attract bees, bats, and birds who will help contribute to the health of your garden and the larger ecosystem. If you reside at your home all year, consider adding a birdbath and feeders to the grounds. Animals can become dependent on additional food sources, so it is important to maintain the feeders year round.
Start a vegetable garden and grow your own herbs
Growing your own vegetables and herbs is a wonderful way to be sustainable and add fresh food to your diet. You can make it a fun family event by asking your family to help plant the seeds and decorate the garden bed with accessories. Research any supplementary additives that you’re interested in using and avoid toxic pesticides that can pollute the soil and harm wildlife. Choose natural fertilizers and pesticides as alternatives. If you’re living in an apartment or home without a yard, you can use a small planter placed in a sunny spot to grow your plants indoors.
Incorporate vegetarian and vegan meals into your diet
Factory farming poses a major threat to the health of our planet. The industry leads to mass deforestation, air pollution, high carbon emissions, and animal welfare issues. Adjusting your diet is one of best changes you can make to promote a healthier planet. It’s also a good choice for your health and taste buds! Cooking vegetarian and vegan meals can be a fun experience to do with your family as it opens the door to so many new foods and recipes.
Save and freeze veggie scraps for broth
Instead of throwing away veggie scraps left over after dicing and cooking, save them in a container in the freezer. When the container becomes full, you can use the leftover scraps to make veggie broth for meals. You create less waste and save money at the same time.
Participate in a clothing swap with roommates
Trends come and go, styles change, and your personal taste transforms over the years. Instead of purchasing new clothes and adding to the demand for mass production, gather up the items that no longer bring you joy and create a clothing swap with your roommates. Chances are you will walk away with a new outfit and money saved, all while acting sustainably.
Be more green when washing and drying clothes
An easy way to become more environmentally friendly is to incorporate sustainable habits into your laundry routine. Some items in your wardrobe can be worn more than once to reduce your laundry needs. To save water and energy, wash items by hand and use a drying rack or line to hang your clothes to dry. If you need to use a washing machine, wait until you have a full load and opt for the cold setting. This small choice will conserve the energy used to heat the water.
When shopping online, choose to deliver items all at once
When we prioritize convenience, the planet is the one who often suffers the most. Rush delivery means more trucks on the road and more ships in our oceans. As a result, air pollution, ocean noise pollution, and marine mammal ship strikes all increase. Next time you order an item online, choose to have the items consolidated and sent at once. This small change will reduce the plastic packaging and minimize your environmental impact.
Purchase chemical-free cleaning products and beauty supplies
Dangerous chemicals that can harm you and the environment may be hiding in your cleaning products and beauty supplies. The first step is to research and familiarize yourself with the ingredients on labels. Harmful pollutants like parabens, ammonia, microbeads, and VOCs can contaminate the air and water when washed down the sink. When shopping, look for third party certifications and products that are biodegradable. These products will be safer for you, your home, and the earth.
Pick up trash in your neighborhood and parks
Put on gloves, grab a trash back, and set out to collect liter in your neighborhood. Whether you do it casually on a daily walk or choose a larger area to tackle for a few hours, local animals and land will benefit greatly.
Adopt or foster an animal
If you have the time and financial means, now is the perfect opportunity to open up your heart and home to an animal in need. Adopting or fostering an animal is a great way to support your local shelters during this difficult time.
Use your ceiling fan instead of AC unit
Is the weather beginning to warm up for you? Use your ceiling fan instead of the AC unit as an efficient way to save energy.
Every individual has the ability to make a positive impact on earth. Join us and pledge to adopt sustainable lifestyle habits. Together, we can build a brighter future for animals, people, and our planet.