Today is the 41st Anniversary of Earth Day! It’s a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was inspired by the anti-war movement led by students of the time and decided to try and harness that energy to raise awareness for air and water pollution.
The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 and was considered to be the birth of the environmental movement when 20 million Americans turned up to rally and demonstrate for a sustainable environment. The first Earth Day was a tremendous success, leading to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. You can read the full story about Earth day at www.earthday.org.
There are so many things we can do in our homes that can contribute in reducing landfill waste, cleaning the air, and preserving the natural landscape. Here are some easy, green choices you can make in your home today. I challenge you to select three choices that you're not already doing and make a point to do them this year. Perhaps they’ll become a new habit for you and your family!
Which of these do you already do? Which ones are you going to focus on? And what can you add to the list?
1. Plant an herb garden.
2. Switch all your light bulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few).
3. Wash laundry in cold water.
4. Create a compost bin.
5. Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model.
6. Stop using disposable bags.
7. Stop buying plastic water bottles. Buy reusable bottles and use them daily.
8. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
9. Open your curtains and enjoy natural light as long as you can. Don't turn lights on.
10. Pack a “No Garbage” lunch for you and your family on a daily basis.
11. Walk or ride a bike to do errands whenever possible.
12. Shop at a local farmer’s market to support your local economy.
13. Turn off your computer completely at night.
14. Research whether you can sign up for “green power” from your utility company.
15. Pay bills online.
16. Put a stop to unsolicited mail.
17. Reuse scrap paper (i.e., print on two sides, use for notes...etc).
18. Conduct a quick energy audit of your house.
21. Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away.
22. Fix leaky faucets.
23. Make your own household cleaners.
24. Line dry your laundry.
25. Visit a local trash facility and talk with your family about the impact your household trash has on our landfills.
26. Carpool whenever possible.
28. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
29. Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
30. Repurpose something (i.e., save egg cartons for paint wells, seed starters, jewelry holder...etc).
31. Collect rainwater and use it to water your houseplants and garden.
32. Use cloth diapers whenever possible.
33. Use wax paper instead of plastic wrap whenever possible.
34. Buy a “hybrid” car for better gas mileage and lower emissions.
35. Use cloth rags instead of paper to clean your house.
36. Take five minute showers.
37. Think of ways to make your community or school more environmentally friendly and put your ideas into action.
38. Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage
39. Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
40. Donate to thrift stores (i.e. – Goodwill, Vietnam Veterans of America, Schools, Soup Kitchens, ….etc.).
41. Drive the speed limit.