Happy Earth Day! The planet has just one wish for itself – and for us – on this special day. That is, for us to be mindful of everyday actions that consume energy and precious resources.
Think of each decision you make as a drop in a very large bucket, or a penny in a piggy bank. Over time, these tiny contributions add up to a really big difference. In fact, you might not even notice the effort you are making to save the planet, but the rest of us sure will!
We hope the planet is around to celebrate many more Earth Days!
Not sure where to start? Here’s what Mother Nature has on her wish list for the 41st annual Earth Day:
- Use less gasoline: Even if you don’t walk or ride your bicycle, consolidate trips where ever possible to avoid going out so many times in a single day. Here’s more tips to help you save gas.
- Save water: Don’t leave the faucet on when you brush your teeth, run the dishwasher only when its full, water your garden in the early morning or at dusk, consider showering with a pal. There are many ways you can minimize your water consumption, leaving more in stream for fish and reducing utility water demands.
- Adjust your thermostat: Keep the temp a little lower in the winter and a little higher in the summer. HVAC operations require a ton of energy. Get yourself a programmable thermostat and watch the savings add up.
- Use canvas reusable shopping bags. Trust me – this is far easier than you might think. I grocery shop for a family of four and have a dozen or more reusable bags in the back of my car right there for use when I need them. Avoid plastic bags which are rarely recycled and are made out of petroleum, and keep in mind that paper bags require trees and energy to produce as well.
- Wash in cold water: Again, this is so simple. Set your washing machine to cold and you save the energy costs of heating water (unless you have a solar hot water heater). We love this post from a few years ago in which we profiled a “one year old climate warrior” raising environmental awareness on this easy-to-address issue.
- Recycle aluminum cans: Did you know that by recycling a single aluminum can, you can save the energy it would take to power your television for three hours? Just one can. Such a big impact.
- Stop using single-use plastic water bottles: This has got to be my personal pet-peeve. If you want fresh, clean water, use your tap and get a water filter! Re-usable water bottles are sturdier, can be used hundreds of times, and do not add up to the growing problem of discarded plastic bottles. One statistic claims that the number of water bottles used in a single year could circle the globe 150 times!!
- Unplug: Don’t leave your chargers plugged in when you are gone during the day. For that matter, unplug the toaster, the coffee maker, and your hairdryer too. Even when these appliances are off, they continue to draw electricity if they are plugged in, which simply adds to your utility bill and your carbon footprint.
- Recycle electronics: Speaking of appliances, keep your cell phone, camera, GPS, computer, mP3 player, etc. out of the landfill by recycling electronics. Many retailers include programs through which you can recycle for free because they get cash for turning in your old electronics! Or you might get your own money by using a recycling ATM like the one described in this post.
What is it that you really want on Earth Day?
Make the planet happy for Earth Day!
What are you giving this year?