This Earth Day, the theme is “It’s Our Turn to Lead,” putting the need and spark for change in the hands of ordinary people like you and me. Before you feel overwhelmed by this responsibility, remember that slight modifications in behavior can lead to real change at a global scale. Much like our integrated weight-loss program, Earth Day urges people to make small changes in their everyday life that will transform the way they live and impact earth for the better.
These changes don’t have to occur overnight or all at once. Below are some adjustments you can make in your everyday lifestyle to conserve our earth’s resources and keep it clean and green! Together, we can make every day Earth Day!
Ditch the Disposable Water Bottles
Invest in a sustainable water bottle you can clean and refill at your convenience. It’s estimated that 75 percent of disposable water bottles ends up in landfills, rather than being recycled (source). By purchasing a water bottle you can reuse over and over again, you are singlehandedly preventing waste from disposable water bottles. As an added bonus, many of these heavy-duty reusable water bottles have measurements listed on the side, so you can track your 80-ounce daily water consumption with ease!
Do you live in a city where public transportation is available and easy to use? Consider investing in a transit pass or walking to work or school if you are close enough. Maybe ride your bike or take a walk with your family to the local corner store for groceries or other essentials and avoid an unnecessary drive. This saves money on gas and lessens the amount of emissions pollution caused by vehicles. And you’ll get some great exercise each day, just by taking a walk or bike ride.
Plant Some Green
You may not think you have a green thumb, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try planting herbs, plants, flowers or small trees. Many of these can be found pre-potted at your local grocery or outdoor store and are nearly foolproof! Fresh herbs add flavor to your favorite dishes and will make your kitchen smell wonderful. Growing your own fruits or vegetables in a small garden can be a fun and inexpensive way to eat healthy! You can even increase the amount of air in your home by keeping small houseplants indoors. Planting trees adds more carbon dioxide to the outside environment while creating sustainable living areas for animals. You are doing nature—and yourself–a favor each time you dig in the dirt!
Before reaching for over-processed snacks, try something that will emit little to no waste and is good for you! Vegetables and fruits are a sustainable option when you have the munchies. Try to buy locally whenever possible to support the farmers and growers in your area, helping to reduce high costs of transporting goods over long distances.
Practice the Three Rs
In elementary school, we learned all about the three Rs—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—and we can continue to practice these lessons today. By reducing consumption, finding new uses for old possessions and recycling, we can each do a small part in ensuring our planet remains habitable for future generations.
This planet belongs to each of us and it’s our job to both celebrate the wonderful things it has offer and return the favor with these small changes we can all make each day. Cheers to a cleaner, healthier and happier home for all!