Doesn’t it seem like nowadays everyday is a “national day” of some sort? “National Coffee Day,” “Hug Your Cat Day,” and one of my personal faves “World Nutella Day.” Most of these arbitrary “national days” just give us an excuse to hug our furry friends extra hard or drink that extra margarita, guilt-free (ish). Don’t get me wrong, I will take any excuse to eat Fettuccine Alfredo and take a nap (yes, there are days for that too) but sometimes one of those days comes around that actually has a very positive impact. Next month, Earth Day will circle the sun once more on April 22. I’ll spare you the history and some scientific jargon (you can find it all here) but here’s the gist: “Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now includes events in more than 193 countries, which are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.”
Since the environment is such a hot topic these days (as it should be), I think we should make small efforts and make it our goal to celebrate Earth Day all month long. Here are 22 Easy Ways to Go Green(er) Before Earth Day (April 22):
1. Turn your thermostats up!
Before you head to work in the morning, turn your thermostats up to 75-80 degrees. No need to keep an empty house cool! This not only helps the environment, but also helps your wallet.
2. Celebrate Meatless Mondays!
I am all for enjoying a good cheeseburger or filet mignon now and then. Learning that the red meat industry is a huge cause of greenhouse gas emissions and it takes nearly 2000 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of red meat, reducing your red meat intake just slightly can make a huge difference. Not to mention the reduction is great for your cholesterol levels!
3. Turn off the lights when you leave the room!
That’s an easy one…
4. Eat Local!
A ton of pollution comes just from the transport of food from the source to your table! We can reduce that by eating locally sourced food (where available).
5. Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth
I am definitely guilty of this one… just thinking about the 60 seconds, twice a day, of water usage that adds up is reason enough to turn off the tap.
5. Unplug your devices
Even if you’re not using your blow dryer or coffee maker, you might be surprised that they’re still sucking energy when they are plugged in. Nearly ¼ of household energy use is being consumed by “vampire power”
6. Take a Hike! (… or a walk… or a bike!)
It’s April, Spring has sprung (at least in most places) so leave your car in the garage and enjoy the great outdoors!
7. Plant a tree!
No… I don’t mean physically go out and dig a whole and plant some seeds (though power to you if you do!). There are a ton of resources to a plant a tree in someone’s honor as far as Israel for as little as $18 and as near as California to help the impact of the devastating forest fires.
9. Get a houseplant!
So I was going to say “plant a garden” but I know a lot of us life in apartments so a houseplant is the next best bet! Here are a few best houseplants for clean air and better health
This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.
10. Reusable bags!
I cannot stress this one enough and it’s probably the easiest one to achieve (aside for maybe turning the lights off…) How many of those canvas totes do you have lying around the house? Well go throw 3 in your car right now and use them every time you do groceries, or go to pharmacy or anywhere you’d get a shopping bag. So darn easy. In case you don’t have any, check out some of my faves from The Little Market that also give back!
11. Ditch the straw
Honestly, this should be a forever thing and not just a one-day thing. I’m sure you’ve heard how bad single use straws are for the environment (and our oceans!) so I won’t reiterate. Just go get a reusable metal or glass straw or ditch them all together! Only one more year till you can enjoy your frappuccinos straw-free!
12. Swap out a few household products
13. Use a dish towel to dry your hands instead of paper towel
14. Make sure dishwasher and washing machine are fully loaded before running
15. Open the window instead of turning on AC
16. Take shorter showers
17. Replace your AC filter
Trust me, you’ll breathe better and your AC won’t be working so hard so you’ll save energy and money!
18. Pick up Trash
If you’re outside on your way anywhere and see a piece of trash on the ground (unless it’s really disgusting) pick it up and toss it in a garbage! Easy peasy.
Whether it’s to work or out to meet friends, try and coordinate lifts with others! Uber and Lyft also offer carpool options so you can save money AND reduce your carbon footprint.
20. Use a reusable water bottle
21. Celebrate Self Care Sunday
Stay in and take a day for yourself. You’ll save on gas, reduce your carbon footprint and improve your mental health. While you’re at it, consider some self care products that are also good for others!
Finally, the last of the 22 Easy Ways to Go Green(er) Before Earth Day
22. Just Try!
Finally, the last of the 22 Easy Ways to Go Green(er) Before Earth Day, just try something! The world doesn’t need a few people doing zero waste perfectly, it needs many people trying to be greener imperfectly. Small efforts from hundreds, thousands, or millions of people can seriously have a major impact on the environment. So go ahead! What are you waiting for??