April 22 is Earth Day (if you don’t already have it on your calendar). This day was set aside to raise awareness of protecting the Earth. But one day a year is not enough – protecting the environment is important every day. We put together some seamless ways to make every day Earth Day by making simple swaps in your life. They won’t break the bank, won’t make you overly “crunchy” and won’t take up too much time to implement. They’re just smart, easy ways to protect the planet for future generations. And they all have the added bonus of saving you some money!
- Make sure all of your appliances are as efficient as possible. If you can’t afford to buy new energy efficient appliances, you can schedule an Energy Efficiency Audit to make sure the appliances you do have are running optimally. According to Conserve Energy Future, “an audit will assess all of your home’s energy uses and outline all of the specifics. In simple words, a home energy audit is a process that helps you to identify where your home is losing energy and what steps you can take to improve energy efficiency.”
- Conserve water whenever possible. Believe it or not, running the dishwasher uses less water than hand washing. Don’t keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers. Taking a shorter shower by just 2 minutes, can conserve 5 gallons of water! Multiply that by each person in your home.
Ditch your dependence on disposable products, especially plastic.
“According to UNESCO, “[t]he United Nations Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic.”
- Use reusable grocery bags.
- Switch to reusable cleaning products (like e-cloth which are reusable up to 300 machine washes!)
- Switch to reusable lunch bags (Blue Avocado are my personal favorites).
- Stop buying paper towels! The e-cloth General Purpose Cloth 4pk makes a great alternative!
- Stop buying bottled water and instead use a reusable water bottle. Americans buy over 25 billion single-use water bottles. 80% of those bottles end up in landfills forever. (Care2)
Conduct a waste audit. The idea is to find out in what areas of your life you are creating the most waste. Then come up with an actionable plan to reduce that waste. Here are a few resources to help you out:
Conducting a Waste Audit at Home from Jen and Joey Go Green
How to Conduct a Household Waste Audit from Conserve Energy Future
Recycle. This seems obvious, and chances are you’re already doing it. But it might be time to revisit what items are actually recyclable. There might be items on the list that you could be recycling but have been throwing out. According to the Care2 and the National Recycling Coalition, these are the top 10 things you should be recycling: “aluminum, PET plastic bottles, newspaper, corrugated cardboard, steel cans, HDPE plastic bottles, glass containers, magazines, mixed paper and computers.”
- Buy local food whenever possible. This reduces the use of energy resources, manufacture of disposable materials as well as the amount of pollutants emitted during transportation that is normally associated with processed food. “On average, domestically grown produce sold in conventional supermarkets has traveled some 1,500 miles from farm to table. Not to mention, it’s probably been treated with fungicides so that it can be stored.” (Care2)
And our personal favorite, eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in the home! By switching to e-cloth and cleaning with just water, you’re not only
ensuring that your family is safe and healthy, you protect the environment from toxic pollutants and chemical contaminants. Eliminating chemical cleaners keeps the quality of indoor air cleaner (which is estimated to be 3-5 times more contaminated than outdoor air). This reduces the number of chemicals polluting the environment. Contamination of indoor air also has the potential to contaminate outdoor air. These contaminants are easily released into the atmosphere “contribut[ing] to smog formation in outdoor air” and “released to the environment during normal use through evaporation of volatile components and rinsing down the drain of residual product from cleaned surfaces, sponges, etc.” (EPA)
Happy Earth Day!
We invite you to join us in celebrating Earth Day! If you’re committed to making every day Earth Day, please feel free to share this badge on social media. Make sure to tag us and use the hashtag #eclothEarthDay
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