Earth Day 2019 Has Come and Gone, but Here’s some Green Living Tips to Help Celebrate Year-Round
NEW YORK - Monday, April 22 was Earth Day, a holiday that was created 49 years ago in order to remind the world how their actions affect the environment, and how we all should be collectively taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint upon the planet in order to ensure the health and well-being of future generations.
In this day and age of differing political and social opinions on just about everything, helping to save our environment is certainly a cause everyone can get behind, and to make that easier for the average man, woman, and child to do, we’ve compiled a list of the top things your can do to help protect our planet.
Recycle…and not just the easy stuff. “Micro-trash” needs attention as well
Sure, some household items are easy to recycle, including large plastic, aluminum, cardboard, and glass, and it helps that many local municipalities offer weekly recycling pickups. However, a lot of people tend to overlook smaller items such as plastic straws, paper wrapping, and plastic grocery store bags. Most people tend to throw this “micro-trash” out, and as a result they end up clogging landfills across the country. Your average person typically isn't going to make the extra effort to try to separate these things from their regular trash, so a healthy alternative would be using metal or biodegradable straws and reusable grocery store bags instead of their single-use equivalents. The switch may be easier than you think.
Using reusable utensils
Another item that people tend to overlook, and something commonly found in office and workplace kitchens, are plastic utensils and paper or styrofoam plates. These can also be considered “micro-trash,” as they are typically small items that people don't think to recycle; as a result, they also tend to end up in landfills. While it may take a tiny bit of extra work, bringing reusable utensils and plates to your workplace is an excellent way to help reduce your personal carbon footprint. If you want to go even further, you could actually use utensils made from eco-friendly materials such as bamboo or recycled aluminum.
Commuting to work at new and different ways
If your ask your average worker what the dreariest part of their day usually is, most will probably tell you that it’s the commute to and from work. But there are ways to change things up that are not only more fun and interesting, but could actually help the environment as well! For example, if you live local to your work place, you could always ride your bike; this will not only save you money on gas and help the environment, but also you'll be getting some much-needed exercise in as well. In addition, hybrid and electric cars are more affordable now, so utilizing one instead of an old fashioned gas-guzzler is another viable option. And lastly, the old standby...carpooling! If you have several co-workers who are all looking for some variety in their commute, get together with them and make a point of traveling to work together, with a different co-worker driving each day.
See some trash? Pick it up!
While in a perfect world everyone would clean up after themselves when they're out enjoying nature, unfortunately some people can't be bothered doing so. That said, if you're out and about and you notice some inconsiderate person has left their garbage in a park or wooded area, give some serious thought to maybe picking it up yourself. Carrying a bag with you for such purposes is a good idea, and if you really want to go crazy, you could even consider separating any recyclables you may find as well.
Invest in solar energy
Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are the wave of the future, so why not get in on the ground floor and help save the environment sooner rather than later? If you've ever wondered if the price of installing solar panels on your home would be worth it, you only have to look as far as the EPA's greenhouse gas equivalency tool, currently available on their website. According to their calculations, the energy output of even one solar panel per year equals the equivalent of hundreds of pounds of coal. In addition, solar power also helps to save the substances that are typically used up in the creation of other forms of non-sustainable energy, including water and air.
Earth Day may have come and gone, but there's no reason why you can’t adopt the spirit of this important holiday each and every day of your life. Going Green shouldn’t be an annual occurrence...if everyone pitched in each and every day, even in small and insignificant ways, it would all add up to a bright and sustainable future.