Earth Day is the perfect day to dial up your eco-friendly efforts. The changes you make on April 22 can inspire lasting changes in your lifestyle. This kind of positive shift has a ripple effect on everyone around you. When others see how easy it is to go green, they are more likely to commit to making the switch to more sustainable living.
Here are some simple and effective ways to go green this Earth Day. Feel free to share these with your friends, family, classmates, and coworkers.
1. Walk, bike, or bus to school or work.
Leaving the car at home is a great way to cut your carbon footprint. Walking or biking to school or work gives you a chance to connect with the outdoors and get some exercise. Using public transit helps support the local efforts of your community to cut carbon usage and reduce traffic congestion.
2. Host an eco-friendly potluck.
Everyone loves a potluck lunch. To make the most of your eco-friendly efforts, send an email thread with the following: a list of lunch needs and a sign-up sheet so there’s no overlapping items, some easy, eco-friendly meal and snack ideas to spark inspiration, and a spot for people to list any food allergies. Consider serving needs as well. If your office doesn’t offer reusable kitchenware, encourage people to bring their own and make a plan to talk Human Resources about going green moving forward.
3. Ditch meat during dinner.
Going meatless for even a single meal lowers your carbon footprint, water consumption, and overall contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. If you’re unsure what to cook, simply go with something familiar and leave the meat out. If you’re feeling more adventurous, search Pinterest for easy vegetarian and vegan recipe ideas. To make dinner as eco-friendly as possible, base your ingredients around local or organic options.
4. Plant a tree.
Tree planting is one of the most rewarding green activities. It gets you outside, connecting with earth, and investing in the future. Just be sure to choose a tree variety that can flourish in your area.
5. Create a plastic pollution challenge.
You can easily calculate your contribution to plastic pollution at EarthDay.org. From there, get your family, friends, or coworkers do the same and create a challenge around who can reduce their contribution by the most by a certain date. Tailor the prize to your competitors. For instance, at home, you can offer a day off from chores. At work, you can offer an eco-friendly gift package filled with eco-friendly snacks, a reusable meal kit, gift cards, or eco-friendly personal care items.
6. Say no to single-use items.
If you take stock of your daily routine, you might notice a lot of unnecessary waste. From coffee cups to plastic straws and takeout containers, there are so many items we use once and discard without a second thought. On Earth Day, make a commitment to change this behaviour for the sake of the planet. Bring a thermos or reusable mug, reusable utensils, a container, and reusable straw in your school or work bag to prevent single-use items from ending up in landfills.
7. Spend some time earthing.
This is a green activity that even the busiest person can complete with ease. All it requires is a few minutes and a small spot of grass, soil, sand, or mud. Kick off your shoes and socks and enjoy the earth’s energy flowing up through your feet.
Better yet, take your coffee or tea time to the grass or do some stretching or yoga without a mat. You’ll be surprised how rejuvenating it is to reconnect with the earth in this simple and cost-free way.