Earth Day is April 22. Read more about how Earth Day began.
Many people don't realize that doing just one eco-conscious act a day, a week or even a month can make a huge impact on the environment. Here are some easy ways you can help the Earth and celebrate Earth Day every day:
1. Slow the Flow
A faucet leaking just one drop per second wastes over 1,300 gallons per year! A leak from a hot water source wastes both water and fossil fuel, creating more greenhouse gasses. Most repairs to plumbing fixtures pay for themselves within just a year. Fix it! Find more water saving tips here.
2. Think Green When You Clean
Cleaning products that contain chlorine or petroleum distillates expose your family to toxins and then end up in the ecosystem. Choose nontoxic, naturally derived cleaning products, which are proven effective but won't cause long-term damage to the Earth. Read more about cleaning green here.
3. Choose Both Sides
Every year, pulp mills release over one trillion gallons of chlorine-tainted water as part of the paper making process. Using the other side of the paper can cut that pollution almost in half! And choose recycled paper -- especially processed-chlorine-free recycled paper.
4. 'Green' Your Machine
Americans waste over 700 million gallons of gasoline each year just because tires aren't properly inflated. Millions more are wasted because our vehicles aren't properly tuned up. Keep your machine running 'Green!' You'll save money and reduce emissions!
5. Meat Less for Dinner
Once a week, plan a meat alternative for dinner. Enjoy pasta with a marinara or Alfredo sauce, meatless chili burritos, or even grilled veggie burgers! According to www.goveg.com, eating one meal that contains meat is equivalent to leveling 55 square feet of rain forest, or dumping 2,500 gallons of water down the drain!
6. Walk, Hike, Ride a Bike
If people in the U.S. would occasionally ride a bike for a short errand instead of driving a car, over 70 million gallons of fuel could be saved each year! And there's the added benefit of enjoying the fresh air and exercise! For short errands, take a hike!
7. Plant a Tree Every Earth Day!
Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. It also provides shade that keeps homes and cities cooler!
8. Give Weeds a 'Hand'
Herbicides aren't the only way to control weeds, and they're certainly not the most environment-friendly way! Invest in a good pair of gloves and garden tools, and remove weeds by hand. Also, choose natural alternatives to pesticides for getting rid of pests!
9. Lighten Your Energy Bill
There's a brighter way to light your home: new Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Compared to regular bulbs, CFLs last 10 times longer, use only 1/4 the energy and produce 90% less heat -- yet they produce more light per watt! Brighten the future: go CFL!
10. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
It's more than just a slogan. You can start making the world a 'greener' place today: return hangers to the cleaners, donate clothing and computers to charities, pack lunches in reusable containers instead of bags ... the list goes on and on. There are hundreds of easy things to do! It's up to you!
11. Just Say No to Plastic Bottles
Americans consume more than 2.5 million bottles of water every hour. Only around 10% are recycled, which means we are throwing away more than $1 billion worth of plastic a year. Also, plastic water bottles require 1.5 million barrels of oil each year to make. Use a refillable stainless steel bottled filled with your own filtered tap water.
12. Buy Local and Organic Food
The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Use Local Harvest to find farmers' markets, family farms, CSA programs and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce and many other goodies.
13. Save Our Future From Being Flushed Down the Toilet
Did you know that it takes 90 years to grow a box of tissues? That's right, every time you blow your nose, you are wiping away ancient forests. And every time you use toilet paper you're flushing old growth trees down the toilet. Recycled tissue products help protect ancient forests, clean water, and wildlife habitat. It's easier on the Earth to make tissues from paper instead of trees. Download Greenpeace's Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide.
Tell us how you celebrated Earth Day by e-mailing me at PGG@dzshq.com. Happy Earth Day!