On April 22, people around the globe will observe, individually or collectively, Earth Day.
Since the spring of 1970, Earth Day has been an annual clarion call for responsible stewardship of the environment, influencing public policy and encouraging sustainable lifestyle practices that will ensure the planet remains habitable for humans and non-humans alike in the years and millennia to come.
For forty-five years, Earth Day has banded people of every nationality, race, color and creed together for a common cause that affects us all. Every year, on the same day, Earth Day offers us a reminder to take care of the planet we call home, a home we share.
Despite different views, we seem to have reached nearly unanimous recognition that the concept of sustainability has become, well, mainstream. That’s not just good for the Earth; it’s good for us.
Earth Day gives us a nudge to examine our individual impact on our shared habitat. A day on the calendar to take action, however small, that has a positive impact on our environment. Earth Day offers us a reminder that the human race has housekeeping responsibilities. And while we may make a tradition of “spring cleaning” in our homes, we don’t only vacuum the floor and take out the trash once a year. When it comes to maintaining a healthy home, every day is Earth Day.
1. Learn to Recycle
There are many benefits to recycling, such as reducing waste sent to landfills, conservation of natural resources like trees, water and minerals, reducing the pollution caused by the collection of new raw materials, and saving energy.
2. Pledge to plant
Researchers at the Davey Institute found that urban trees and forests are saving an average of one life every year per city because of the particulates that they remove from the air.
3. Turn off the lights
About 15% of a home’s energy consumption comes from lighting. Turning off the lights when not in use not only saves you money, but reduces fossil fuels burned for energy production.
4. Eat less meat
Nearly one-fifth of all man-made greenhouse gases worldwide are produced by the meat industry.
5. Start composting
More than a billion pounds of uneaten food are thrown away every year. This food waste can be turned into soil instead.
6. Adjust your water heater
The average water heater wastes energy heating water to temperatures that are too hot for human use. Save energy by adjusting the thermostat.
7. Stop using disposable plastic
Plastic doesn’t go away, it just breaks into increasingly smaller pieces. Every piece of plastic ever made is still with us today.
8. Buy local produce
The average grocery store produce has lost 45% of it’s nutritional value by the time it has been transported to the store. Add all of the greenhouse gases produced by transportation, and eating produce grown closer to home starts to make a whole lot of sense.
9. Unplug unused appliances
Billions of kilowatt hours of electricity are wasted in homes every year by appliances that aren’t on, but are still consuming energy.
10. Stop receiving junk mail
More than 100 million trees are chopped down each year to make the paper for junk mail. In the United State alone, nearly 4 million tons of junk mail are produced each year. http://www.directmail.com/directory/mail_preference/
11. Recycle your old electronics
Every year, thousands of old electronic devices are thrown into landfills, polluting the environment with materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium. These items can be recycled instead.