Happy Earth Day! The purpose of today is to raise awareness of our planet: appreciate it and develop practices to sustain it. There are plenty of things you can do in your everyday life to preserve the earth – here are just nine of them.
1. Try a different set of wheels. If you can, ditch you car for the day. Walk to work, take public transportation or ride a bicycle. It might take a little longer, but you’ll likely be energized by the fresh air and discover new things in your neighborhood, such as freshly blooming flowers or a new restaurant.
2. Remember to keep a travel mug in your car, your work bag – wherever you’ll remember to use it when you pop into a café. Stop using disposable paper cups – even if they’re recycled, resources are still being used to produce them.
3. Take a look at your work practices and see if there is a way to green your business. Are you using environmentally friendly fluorescent or LED light bulbs? Are your office plants working for you by removing harmful pollutants?
4. Think twice before hitting the print button. Can you edit that document on your screen? All the better for the planet than printing out a sheet of paper, only to toss it afterward.
6. Re-examine your recycling practices. Have you thought about washing and reusing plastic sandwich bags? What materials do your recycling bins take? I just talked to my building managers to clarify what our bins accept, and it’s more than I thought, such as tin cans!
7. Buy local. Seek out farmers markets so the produce doesn’t travel as far to get to you. And don’t be afraid to ask those companies you patronize about their sustainable practices.
8. Do a little research on whom you do business with. Most company websites will have a section on their site – often under About Us – about their green policies, contributions to their community or social activism.
9. Watch American Experience’s “Earth Days” documentary, about the first Earth Day celebrated in 1970.