This year lovely Earth Day is on a Wednesday. I know for a lot of us it looks different than a normal year, with many people out of work, working from home or working lots more due to COVID if your job is an Essential Service. I am not working, so I have been spending a lot of time at home and going for walks, doing DIY projects, finishing up school stuff and also being lazy and unproductive.
Anyways, enough about COVID. I was finishing up a list I was making of all those “Social Media Holiday’s” like #NationalPancakeDay, and realized that Earth Day is quickly approaching. Some of the ideas listed are great to start while we’re spending more time at home, some are easier done when we have somewhere to go. Either way, you can do any of these things and the Earth will really thank you. Each thing counts.. Can you imagine the effect we have if each person gave up that take out coffee cup? It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that “I’m only one person”, but there are almost 8billion people on this planet. Each drop has a ripple effect and together we can make a really positive impact on the planet and it’s future health.
Here it goes! Caring for the planet can look like:
- Shopping in bulk
Your local grocery store will have most options if you don’t have a bulk store or health food store in your area. Opt for paper bags or your own reusable bags.
- Reusing what you have
I reuse things as much as I can. Jars are a big reusable option for me and I find I have to scale down my collection often – recycling glass appropriately of course.
- Upcycling old furniture
I love to upcycle things. You can add a coat of paint to anything if it needs a makeover or the colour doesn’t quite match what you have.
- Growing wild flowers for the pollinators
I love growing flowers (especially assorted wild flowers) to attract bees, ladybugs and butterflies! Bee’s are so good for the earth and we need them to pollinate our fruit and veg.
- Growing your own garden
Growing your own food is so rewarding! You can even grow veg if you just have a small patio or in the window. Sprouts are easy and you don’t even need sunshine for those. You can have a window of herbs as they take up minimal space or grow potatoes, greens, peas and carrots on your patio.
- Buying Fair-trade Organic Coffee/Tea
Fair-trade products make sure the farmers get a fair wage for their products and support small farms.
- Loose leaf tea
Loose leaf tea lasts longer, as you can double steep the leaves! I always make two cups with my tea leaves. I like Justea, Teapigs or Mightyleaf for loose leaf teas.
- Cycling or transit to work
I know this isn’t always an option for everyone, but it is definitely popular is many countries/cities. If you have access to a train, tram or bus, try it someday. It’s a great way to relax without the stress of driving through rush hour.
The alternative to if you don’t have access to transit or live too far to cycle to work, try Carpooling. Anyone in the office live near you or drive past your area of town on their way? Rotate who drives.
- Repairing or modifying clothes –
I love to sew. I have been sewing for as long as I can remember, but you don’t have to be a seamstress to fix your clothes. There are lots of tutorials on how to fix your clothes. Add a patch to those ripped jeans, sew the button back on your shirt, fix the hole in your pocket. They can all be done easily with a needle and thread. Alternatively, you could invite a friend who can sew over for tea and lunch and they can help you out.
- Take a shorter shower
I know.. sometimes the shower is just so warm you don’t want to get out. I have always been a fast showering person. Easily showered in 5 minutes and never understood the 20 minute showering people. I just always feel like I have more to do that stand in a shower.. lol
PS. Your hair doesn’t really need to be washed everyday (you can train it to go longer between washes – I’ve had mine upto 5 days without looking oily), so on the days you don’t wash your hair your shower would be faster.
- Launder your clothes on cold
A very easy switch. I wash my laundry on cold (or cool/warm if it is towels) and then hang to dry! It saves money on laundry, it helps the planet and keeps your clothes lasting longer! Highly recommend the switch. I also switched my laundry detergent to Nellie’s and I love it. Lasts a long time, Canadian company, hypoallergenic which is good for me with my laundry soap itchies, and they don’t test on animals.
- Shopping local
Seasonal Farmers Market are great or you can easily find a Farm to get your produce directly from.
- Blankets and Sweaters
More for winter – but still a good reminder. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees. I always have warm socks, slippers and a blanket on or near by. Ground level apartment right above the carpark gets SO cold in the winter with our baseboard heaters, so I add thermal curtains to the windows and drink lots of warm drinks to keep warm. It works pretty well and keeps the hydro bill down.
- Meat and Dairy
Before you get all mad at me for bringing up the elephant in the room, it’s the truth. Meat and Dairy has a big impact on the planet and climate and consuming it isn’t helping the planet at all. Bottom line- Reduce (or eliminate) your consumption of it. There are lots of documentaries out on eating plants and the farming industry. Game Changers, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives.
Composting correctly is important for reducing carbon emissions in the landfill. City compost is available many places, but if not you can easily make your own compost. There is lots of info online for building compost bins or making a worm compost.
- Recycle Properly
Check your local recycling options for what they take. SORT your recycling – not everything is recyclable and throwing things in the bin hoping it’ll be recycled can be bad. Glass in the mixed recycling can contaminate the whole bin resulting in everything going to the landfill. Take your electronics, lightbulbs and glass to the depot for proper disposal. If I’m unsure I’ll take it when I go to return my glass jars.
- Replace with better options
This last option can’t necessarily be started right now, but as things wear out, replace them with a more sustainable, environmentally friendly option. Think your toothbrush, your underwear, skin care, reusable containers, etc.
There is so much more, but I hope these ideas give you inspiration of some switches you can make this Earth Day to help out the planet. We all really need it in this time of a pandemic and everyday should be Earth Day to celebrate the beautiful planet we live on.
Comment below what you’re doing to help the planet or find me on Instagram.