Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Happy Earth Day! While being kind to the planet should be an every day practice, sometimes we get busy and forget about the easy eco-friendly practices that we can incorporate into our daily routine. Here are 10 simple things you can do to help the planet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
1. Try moving towards a plant-based diet most of the time (or better yet, all of the time!). Whether you're motivated to improve your health, preserve the planet or save animals, the more plant-forward your diet, the better our Earth will be now and for future generations. Plants require much less resources to grow than meat and dairy. Eating more plants will benefit our children, helping them to live in a more sustainable, safe and healthy environment. If you have not seen Cowspiracy, it's a very impactful film documenting the effects of animal agriculture on the environment. A very poignant infographic from the film shows the results of agriculture on climate change, water use, deforestation, species extinction, waste, fisheries and land use.
2. Compost your food and biodegradable packaging. This is a great way to let food scraps and packaging decompose naturally. Watch this fun kids video on composting.
3. Reduce, reuse, recycle. The National of Environmental Health Sciences lists some fun facts and great ideas for the entire family. Buy only what you need, support local growers, reuse old bottles and carry a cloth bag for purchases. One big cause of environmental and sea life destruction is something that we use daily—plastic bags. Moving forward, try alternatives to plastic bags like storing food in mason jars.
4. Give away old clothes, toys, electronics and other barely-used items that you don’t use. Did you know that instead of throwing away old towels, sheets and bedding you can donate them? Check with your local animal shelter about their needs. They would probably be very grateful to take your old items.
5. Wash laundry in cold water to save the extra energy it takes to heat the water from cold to hot. Line dry clothes that do not have to go into the dryer.
6. Bike or walk in place of driving. Burn calories while saving the earth...sign me up!
7. Purchase products from green companies. Here is a list of the Top Green Companies in the United States.
8. Plant a tree or a garden to help reduce greenhouse emissions and pollution. Organizations such as Trees Atlanta have lots of fun planting activities planned throughout the year. Check your local newspaper listings to see what's happening in your neighborhood. Or save five meters of rainforest by donating $5 to Cuipo (a meter is saved for every dollar donated).
9. Opt for silence one day out of the week—no television, no phone, no computer, no distractions. Great for the planet, yes, but also great for mind and soul.
10. Instead of going to the gym (drive car, workout on treadmill, watch tv, listen to radio=lots of energy use) get some exercise outside like walking, running, biking, or hiking. Enjoy the birds singing as your background music.
What would you add to this list?