How do you usually spend Earth Day? Cleaning up a riverbank with a crew of other volunteers? Enjoying an outdoor concert benefiting your favorite eco-conscious cause? Finally remembering to bring those reusable grocery bags into the store instead of leaving them in your trunk? Taking a class on composting? Maybe you’re the one teaching the compost class, because you live every day like it’s Earth Day.
As world population rises, resources dwindle, and the effects of climate change become more and more visible, and protecting the environment has become a major concern. The Millennial generation is especially committed to taking responsibility for the damage we’ve done and finding ways to reduce and repair it. In a recent global survey, 78.1% of people ages 18-35 said they’d be willing to change their lifestyle to help protect nature and the environment. The problem is, we’re not always sure exactly how to do that.
So we’re here to offer a few ideas on how you can celebrate Earth Day and live a little “greener” everyday!
Make Secondhand Your First Choice
Getting new things is exciting, but the production, packaging, and transport of those new things—and the premature disposal of old things—can be hard on the environment. Just because something is used doesn’t mean it’s not still useful, so next time you need clothes, furniture, books, toys, a car, or really just about anything with a few exceptions (you know, like toothbrushes), consider secondhand alternatives first.
Thrift stores and yard sales are great if you have time to travel, but there are plenty of online options as well, like Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, and even Amazon. It might take a little more time to find what you’re looking for, but buying used is better for the environment AND your household budget!
Downsize Your Driving Schedule
Unless you live in a city with really fantastic public transportation, driving a car is probably a necessary part of life. That doesn’t mean you can’t try to reduce your time behind the wheel though! Try to walk more when you don’t have far to go. If you can’t walk, ride a bike. If you can’t ride a bike, take public transportation.
If you can’t take public transportation, drive your car, but drive it smarter…try carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, and combining trips to reduce the additional emissions of stopping and starting your car. Online shopping is also a good way to cut back on driving, but try to order in a way that minimizes packaging and transportation…and don’t forget to recycle all those Amazon boxes!
Send Less to the Landfill
We all create trash (some of us more than others…this girl is #garbagegoals), but it doesn’t all need to go in the trash can. Recycle as much as you can. Since curbside recycling pickup is available in most areas, this is easier than ever! Compost your food waste (and even certain paper and textile waste) instead of throwing it away. Composting is simpler and less stinky than you might think, and you can use the resulting rich soil to grow the healthiest houseplants and herb gardens ever!
You can also reduce waste by buying fresh produce and bulk food instead of packaged varieties, choosing reusable containers instead of disposable ones, and trying to repair things before you throw them out and replace them.
Earth Day Facts
The very first Earth Day was organized by a Wisconsin senator in 1970 as a way to increase eco-consciousness and get the government involved in protecting the environment. And it worked…within a year, the EPA was formed, and important regulations for cleaner air, cleaner water, and the conservation of endangered species followed soon after.
In 1990, Earth Day was adopted as a global event, and recycling efforts surged worldwide. Until then, recycling might have been something you only saw when you had sleepovers with your most “granola” friend (you know, the one whose parents never bought Pop-Tarts). Now you see a bin of bottles, cans, and cardboard in just about every kitchen, office, restaurant, and park. While they aren’t always used as effectively as they could be, and there’s still WAY too much garbage getting carted off to landfills every week, making recycling mainstream is progress.
We won’t make this too much of a history lesson, but while it’s still an annual reminder to be kind to our planet, the historical importance of Earth Day as a catalyst for change is sometimes forgotten.
Now more than ever, as whales with bellies full of plastic are washing up on beaches, 95% of the world is breathing polluted air, and some of those protections that the original Earth Day helped put in place are in jeopardy, we need to remember that positive progress is possible if we come together to create it. Whether it’s community service projects, researching the most effective types of green energy, advocating for environmental causes, or simply enjoying and respecting the beauty of nature, we should all find ways to honor our amazing planet.
Here at Our Life Covered℠, we help you find affordable life insurance via a simple, online journey that doesn’t require you to drive to an insurance office or even drop anything in the mail. So visit us today for a free quote…and then get back to saving the planet!