How much of a difference can YOU make? Small, incremental changes to help the environment really do add up, and when you practice earth-friendly habits year round, you can reduce your personal carbon footprint in a big way.
In honor of Earth Day 2014, here are some easy ways you can help save our planet – every day of the year.
- Cut back on plastic.
Plastic doesn’t biodegrade – so every bit we produce will be around forever. Avoid disposable plastics like single-use water bottles, grocery bags, silverware, dishes, and disposable cleaning tools. And try to avoid products that come with lots of plastic packaging or be sure to recycle it!
- Slay the energy vampires.
Many appliances and electronics suck up a lot of electricity – even when they’re turned off. Unplug cell phone chargers when they’re not in use, and put your TV and computers on a power strip.
- Recycle old electronics.
Electronics are made with dangerous metals like cadmium and mercury that can leak into water and soil if they’re not properly recycled. Visit www.e-stewards.org to find a recycler for your electronic waste.
- Start a junk mail diet.
The average adult gets 41 pounds of junk mail every year. Half of that goes straight into a landfill. That means an adult who’s been receiving junk mail for a decade will have received two TONS of mail and added one ton to the local landfill. Lighten that 41 pound-load by contacting the Direct Marketing Association at www.dmachoice.org and choose exactly which pieces you want to discontinue and which pieces you want to keep.
- Lower the temp on your water heater.
Here’s an easy, one-time action that will pay off for years. Lower your water heater’s thermostat to 120˚ F (which is as hot as most people can stand) and save some energy – not to mention some extra cash!
- Support your local farmer’s market.
Food that’s been transported across the country (or around the world) bears a heavy environmental cost. And, in transit, produce can lose up to 45% of its nutritional value. So, make friends with a farmer and start buying local produce. You’ll enjoy healthier veggies that are better for you and the earth!
Simple, smart stuff, right? Take action on some or all of these, and feel great about treading a little lighter on our planet! Mother Earth will thank you, too.