Happy Earth Day! Try a few of these Earth Day tips to celebrate the holiday this year. Here’s how to improve your home, office, yard, and commute. Pick a few of these ideas and share the tips with your friends and coworkers.
Earth Day Tips: Connecting With Nature
- Go outside on Earth Day! Take a walk, visit a local park, or do some yard work.
- Start your own organic vegetable garden. You could also volunteer at a community garden or local food bank garden.
- Plant a tree in your yard or local neighborhood. Or, donate a tree.
- Switch to eco-friendly lawn care at your house or office. Try replacing unused lawn with natural landscaping. Look to local natural areas for inspiration!
- Add a bird bath to provide a fresh water source to local birds. Or add a little solar-powered fountain if you already have a bird bath. You can also make your own sugar water for hummingbirds. Suet bird feeders are a great way to draw insect-eating birds to your yard.
- Plant some flowers! April is a great time to plant new flowers. Lily bulbs are easy to plant, and so are peony roots. Bees love yellow flowers, while hummingbirds tend to prefer red flowers. One of the best pollinator flowers to grow is Bee Balm (Monarda) – its super easy to grow and usually comes in pink or red.
- Pick a local endangered plant or animal species to support to preserve biodiversity.
- Reduce the amount of water used in your yard. Switch to eco-friendly lawn watering and consider drip irrigation for gardens. In general, deep watering on an infrequent basis produces the healthiest plants. Watering early in the morning cuts down on water lost to evaporation.
- Fix leaks in your indoor faucets, outdoor taps, and irrigation.
- Set up automatic timers for your drip irrigation or sprinklers.
- Start a compost bin in your backyard to divert food waste from the landfill. No yard – try a worm bin.
- Read your local community development plan to familiarize yourself with local land management. Consider getting involved in community planning or activity groups.
Earth Day Tips: Around The House
- Get a home energy audit or survey done to learn the best ways to reduce energy usage.
- Turn off unused lights and unplug unused electrical items.
- Replace old appliances and burnt-out light bulbs with modern, energy-efficient options.
- Switch to certified-organic essential oils in your household.
- Use lids to cover pots on the stove and keep in the heat. Try out some one pot meals instead of using several burners.
- Clean out the pantry and other cupboards to remove unused and expired products. Dispose of them safely, using composting or recycling if possible. Stock your newly-cleaned shelves with basic eco-friendly cleaning products. Choose products with the environment in mind. Labels like Certified Organic and Fair Trade show a basic environmental commitment.
- Add a few low-maintenance indoor plants to filter indoor air.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Take advantage of natural light and heat by opening windows or lowering blinds.
- Wash clothes in cold water.
- Take outdoor shoes off at the door to reduce the introduction of pollutants. This will help with indoor air quality.
- Use VOC-free paint for interior decorating. Only buy what you need. Choose a standard catalog color from a reputable manufacturer so it will be easy to get more. Use extra paint can to paint utility areas or for crafts. Dispose of surplus paint safely at a specialized waste depot.
- Use weather stripping to seal gaps around doors and windows.
- Buy a radon test kit or digital instant radon meter.
Earth Day Tips: Waste Reduction
- Collect and recycle old batteries, light bulbs, and printer cartridges.
- Read the instructions for your local neighbourhood recycling program. It’ll give you ideas for more things to recycle.
- Donate old, unused appliances to a thrift store like Habitat for Humanity’s “Re-Store”. Bring along any unused furniture on the same drop-off trip.
- Donate old or unworn clothes to a local charity thrift store. Perhaps someone else can enjoy them instead of the clothes collecting dust in the closet.
- Clean up waste at a local park, greenway, or beach and sort it out at a local recycling facility.
- Stop buying single-use plastic water bottles. Re-usable drink containers like Swell and Yeti are popular reusable options. For carbonated water, Sodastream is a nice lower-plastic option.
- Stock your purse or jacket with a small re-usable shopping bag. Forgo the paper or plastic bags by bringing your own reusable canvas bag.
- Compost kitchen scraps along with your yard waste.
- Dispose of old or unused household chemicals like paint thinner and cleaners safely. These items may be collecting dust in the basement, cupboard, or garage. This will include checking for a local disposal facility that accepts the items you have.
- Reduce the amount of waste you’re responsible for when you’re shopping. Buy products made of recycled materials. Choose items with minimal packaging. Recycle all packaging and used products where possible.
- Rent or borrow infrequently used tools and other items. Check out books (or e-books) from the library. Shop at thrift stores for everyday items.
Earth Day Tips: Smarter Shopping
- Buy locally-produced goods where possible.
- Swap out prepackaged snacks for fresh veggies or other locally-produced healthy options.
- Avoid meat, oils, and crops which are hard on the environment (like conventional palm oil).
- Go meatless for dinner one day a week. Search “meatless Monday” on Pinterest for recipe ideas.
- Group online purchases into a single order. Look for online vendors that choose lower-impact packaging and shipping methods.
- Choose energy-efficient appliances for home, work, and housewarming or wedding gifts.
- Choose LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs are available in a wide range of color options. Bulbs at 2700K provide a nice soft light (like incandescent). Bulbs with a temperature at or above 5000K are more like bright daylight. Some bulbs are dimmable or variable between color temperatures. You can even get LED lights that can change between the different colors of the rainbow.
- Check with your utility company to see if renewable energy is available to buy. It’s possible that your provider offers lower-impact options such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.
- Use digital coupons and ask for emailed receipts instead of prints.
Earth Day Tips: Home Office & At Work
- Substitute the paper mail you receive with digital options. Opt into digital billing instead of receiving paper bills. Digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions are a great paper-free switch to make. Digital coupons are easier too!
- Stop junk mail delivery. Junk mail is the worst! Put a note in your mailbox stating you do not wish to receive unaddressed advertising mail. Mark received unwanted mail with “return to sender” and put them back in the outgoing mail box. In the USA, you can opt-out of junk mail at Catalog Choice, DMA Choice, and Opt-Out Prescreen. Write “not at this address” on mail for previous residents and put them back in the outgoing mail box. Contact the sender to stop sending it if that doesn’t work.
- Change your default printer settings to 2-sided, black and white printing.
- Send digital greetings and photos whenever appropriate.
- Stop printing brochures, newsletters, and catalogs. Try out digital versions instead.
- Shred printed paper and reuse as packing material.
- Stop using k cups! Or, at least make arrangements to recycle them.
- Share these Earth Day Tips with your coworkers and on your company website!
Earth Day Tips: Greener Transportation
- Commit to one fewer car trip each week as a way to drive less. Walk to the grocery store, carpool to work, ride a bike to the coffee shop, or take public transit to do errands.
- Telecommute instead of traveling to work. Many companies have under-utilized telecommuting policies. If you are in a management position, test out telecommuting with the members of your team.
- For work days requiring in-person attendance, bike, or take transit to work.
- Take a carbon footprint quiz during your morning commute. You’ll get Earth Day tips customized for your day-to-day situation.
- Keep your car’s tires inflated according to the instructions to increase gas mileage.
- Remove unnecessary heavy items from your car.
- Change your driving habits. Speeding and unnecessary acceleration reduce gas mileage and increase your carbon footprint.
Tips For A Happy Earth Day
Happy Earth Day! These simple Earth Day Tips will help you (and the environment) have a happy and healthy Earth Day.