Earth Day is a chance to take some time out to invest in our planet and support the environment. The great outdoors provides us with many opportunities to engage in our favorite activities, so carving out time to help preserve and conserve the beautiful land around us is vital.
To honor Earth Day and give our planet some much-needed rest or revitalization, keep reading to find 10 ways to contribute. Not sure? Do the Earth Day Challenge puzzle to find which action to take today. Commit to living a greener life while helping save our planet and the places we love to explore (on Earth Day and every day).
Can you go a day without using a car? On Earth Day, take a break from driving. Reducing your carbon footprint (i.e., car emissions), which are significant contributors to global warming, can positively impact our planet. It’s a great way to spend less on high gas prices too!
Before grabbing your car keys, think about replacing horsepower with leg power. Jogging, walking or biking for errands really will make a difference.
Can’t skip the car? Join a carpool to get to where you need to go. If you can’t find one, start a carpool in your workspace or community.
Buses or intracity passenger rail are also excellent services to utilize. And to make the biggest bang for your buck, aim to use them beyond Earth Day.
If you love coffee and delicious meals made with fresh produce, you’re not alone—your garden does too! Food waste is another major contributor to climate change and unnecessary waste, squandering about one-third of our food. Instead of dumping leftover organic matter such as vegetable waste, fruit scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds (filters too!) in the garbage, try composting to feed your garden. The added nitrogen will enrich the soil and reduce greenhouse gas from landfills.
Looking for more ways to conserve? Sometimes it’s as easy as flipping a switch or turning a knob. Turning off the water while brushing your teeth is an impactful way to conserve water. The same goes with turning off lights when you leave the room and turning down the thermostat at night. Another way to conserve is to go paperless. Skip the receipt at the machine or switch to paperless on your accounts to reduce waste and save trees!
These simple and easy steps can help save the planet and your wallet.
Challenge yourself on how much you know about climate change. If there are gaps in your knowledge, invest in your understanding of the planet by seeking out insightful documentaries, books and podcasts.
Knowledge is power, and by understanding how the climate is changing, you can do your part in making a sustainable difference.
Can you avoid using single-use plastic for a day? Plastic pollution is a rapidly growing concern for our environment. When eating out, instead of reaching for disposable cups and utensils, bring your reusable ones from home or get some here. Opting for reusable plastic-free bags cut down on the amount of plastic ending up in landfills and waterways. If you don’t have plastic-free bags but find a heap of plastic bags already in existence in your cupboards—bring them with you and re-use them! It will still help.
Here's a tip if you find yourself owning plastic-free reusable bags but often forget them: try setting them next to the door as a visual reminder.
Plant a tree or contribute to One Tree Planted for just $1. Trees purify the air and combat climate change by cooling our planet. Planting a tree is one of the most sustainable ways to give back to the environment. Now more than ever, we can use more of them!
Another way to contribute is by planting local, pesticide-free foliage in your garden or along your sidewalk. Doing so assists our friendly pollinators in doing their job to increase crop yields.
Get exercise while caring for the planet. Plogging (exercising while picking up trash) is a remarkable way to keep our planet clean. On Earth Day or any day you’re outside on a hike, run, or walk, don’t forget to grab a bag and make the planet healthy too!
Not certain about what is recyclable and what’s not? Learning the three basic recycling rules helps the process be more effective and ensures that qualifying items find a second home beyond the landfill.
- Rule 1: Recycle bottles, cans, paper, and cardboard.
- Rule 2. Keep food and liquid out of your recycling.
- Rule 3. No loose plastic bags and no bagged recyclables
Click here to get the EPA’s best tips about recycling. Doing your part to recycle correctly and doing it regularly can significantly impact our environment.
Before heading to the store for something new, try repairing or repurposing an old or outdated item. Stained, ripped, or unworn clothing can be used as cleaning cloths or transformed into reusable grocery bags. Perhaps you’ve outgrown a hobby or switched sports—donate your gear so someone else can find their new passion.
If upcycling won’t cut it, check out your favorite local thrift shop or check out Thrift Shopper to discover a new favorite.
You’ll save money and reduce global resources by giving items a second home. Plus, you never know what treasure you may find.
Are you finding yourself with extra time on your hands? Our oceans are receiving more trash than ever before—soon expecting to outnumber fish! Volunteering at a beach clean-up beautifies our areas and makes them safer for all. It can also be fun to spend more time outdoors and meet like-minded people.
Of course, donating money is always a valuable way to help non-profit organizations care for our planet if you don’t have time to volunteer.