Our home is our source for protection, comfort and supply. To honor this source, we celebrate Earth Day and acknowledge our part in all of the inner workings of the planet, our greater home.
What Can You Do at Home to Honor Earth Day?
When asking yourself, “What is my part?” the letter “R” can be a helpful reminder. “Reduce, reuse, and recycle” has become associated with environmental efforts, but you can also include realize, replace, renew, ride and realistic.
You can reduce waste in many ways:
- Purchase products in bulk, reducing plastic packaging
- Buy well-made products, reducing landfill waste
- Turn off lights and fans in empty rooms
- Utilize electronic billing offered by many businesses and banks
- Remove your information from any mailing lists you do not want
- Avoid disposable items, which quickly fill landfills because they must be replaced continuously
Reuse items for different functions:
- Use an empty coffee can to store beans or spare change
- Utilize re-sealable containers instead of plastic or foil
- Purchase cloth bags and return them to your car when you unpack groceries
- Use coffee cups rather than paper cups
- Use the plastic bags you already have until they fall apart unless your grocery store offers a place to recycle them
- Fix broken household items, toys, or furniture, if possible, rather than buying a “new and improved” brand
Recycling and redistributing goods can have a profound positive impact on the Earth:
- Look for the recycle triangle made from arrows
- Educate yourself on what can be recycled in your local community, and if something can’t be recycled, find out where the nearest recycling plant is (e.g., a neighboring community might recycle something yours doesn’t)
- Purchase items created from recycled materials
- Thoroughly rinse food out of recyclable materials
- Donate old clothes, toys, or appliances
- Keep the hand-me-downs circulating by passing along your child’s outgrown clothes to cousins, nieces or nephews
As in any change process, the first step is to realize. Get honest with yourself about where you overlook simple steps that can amount to a large impact on our planet.
Millions of trees are cut down every day around the world. Vegetation is lost and wildlife are pushed from their homes, leading to car wrecks when motorists collide with animals, namely deer. You can help replace the lost foliage:
- Plant your own trees and/or small plants in your yard
- Support organizations that protect/replace trees
- Contact your local representative to build awareness or request action
- Gently encourage friends, family or neighbors to get involved
6. Renew and Reconnect
With the rise in pollution affecting air quality, you can renew your home and reconnect with nature:
- Nurture a few house plants for added oxygen and a calming effect
- Surround your windows with greenery and open them on pretty days
- Take a walk in the woods, in the peaceful solitude of nature
To help curb the effects of fossil fuels on the environment, you can invest in a bicycle and ride rather than drive, or simply walk rather than bicycle.
The last piece of advice, and perhaps the most important, is to be patient with yourself and be realistic. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself to help heal our world. Make a plan and do what you can. And know that you do make a difference.