Most of us probably forget that April 22nd is Earth Day, an underrated holiday that, for most, means recycling one more item than usual that day. However, Earth Day is a day we should all appreciate a little more and a time to think about our own carbon footprint. Nature is a gift. Walt Whitman once said the secret to making the best person is "to grow in the open air and eat and sleep with the earth".
So for this coming Earth Day I have created a list of little things you can do every day that help the planet without totally changing your lifestyle.
1. Eat at home just one more time a week than usual.
Going out to a restaurant or ordering delivery means one more car trip for you or the delivery man which means just a few more gallons of gas used. Plus, cooking for yourself means less utensils to be washed and more water and electricity saved (and its healthier usually).
2. Don't run the faucet while you brush your teeth.
This should be self-explanatory
3. Ride your bike or car pool with a friend to work.
Using public transportation works too for reducing gas emissions by having less vehicles on the road.
4. Shut down your laptop completely when you're not using it.
Even in "sleep" mode your laptop is sucking up loads of energy. Turning it off completely and unplugging it when its not in use saves electricity and your laptop battery.
5. Use re-usable bags when grocery shopping.
Plastic bags are terrible for the environment. Plus, you can buy cheap and reusable grocery bags that are actually made from recycled materials. You're killing two birds with one stone (or saving others from plastic bags in the environment!). You can even re-purpose an old t-shirt into a cool tote bag.
6. Purchase a BPA-free reusable water bottle.
You save plastic and drinking from a sturdy and BPA-free water bottle is better for your health.
7. Buy a house plant or topiary.
Indoor plants are beautiful and some are great for air purification.
8. Pack your lunch in an insulated or reusable lunch box instead of a paper or plastic bag.
All the cool kids are doing it. Using Tupperware instead of sandwich bags is also a money and energy saving idea.
9. Take your own travel mug to coffee shops.
Some coffee places, like Starbucks, charge you less for bringing your own mug!
10. Turn off lights you're not using.
I'm sure your parents used to yell at you for this when you were a kid.
11. Go paper-less with any bills or statements you receive monthly.
Most banks and businesses offer the option to receive bills and statements via email. This is also a great way to reduce clutter and better organize your finances.
12. Take the stairs instead of the elevator!
Its not only an energy saver, its a great extra calorie burner!