Celebrating Earth Day: Ten Action Tips

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Earth Day only comes once a year, but there are so many activities to do and steps we can complete to clean up our planet year-round. From recycling to doing away with plastic straws, to turning out the lights when leaving a room, it’s easy to decrease your carbon footprint. So, whether you’re gearing up to celebrate Earth Day or you’re just looking for ways to help protect the environment, here are some fun tips to help you get started!

1. Recycle:

It seems obvious, but how often do you see people tossing their recyclable plastics into a garbage can (or worse--onto the streets)? It’s discouraging, but every little bit helps. While it may take a little longer to separate your plastics and cardboard from your regular garbage, the simple task can help preserve our planet. Don’t forget to reuse what you can!

2. Take A Walk:

It’s easy to lose time while sitting at your desk or on the couch with your favorite cup of tea (or coffee). Take some time out of your day to appreciate the great outdoors. Whether it’s a simple stroll around the neighborhood, a long walk down the beach, or a jog around the park, appreciate nature around you.

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3. Turn off the Lights:

Why waste energy when you don’t have to? Using too much electricity can lead to burning vast amounts of fossil fuel, which causes C02 to be released into the air--that’s one of the causes of global warming. So before leaving the office or your bedroom, make sure those lights are shut off!

4. Invest in Reusable Cups:

I don’t leave the house without my reusable water bottle. Not only does it keep my coffee hotter much longer than paper cups, but I know it won’t accumulate somewhere on the coast in mountains of styrofoam and other waste.

5. Take Reusable Straws:

Did you know that plastic straws aren’t even used in Disney’s Animal Kingdom? It’s to protect the animals in the park. I have a few at home and ever since using them, I have not turned back. Not to mention, the videos online of suffering turtles with a plastic straw lodged in their noses have really persuaded me to officially ditch them. There are stainless steel or even bamboo straws you can carry with you. And remember to just say NO to straws in restaurants.

6. Shop Organic:

Plastic lasts centuries and the fibers find easy routes into bodies of water. Washing shirts? Fibers break off and migrate into the environment--try organic cotton. Can’t wait to munch on that apple waiting for you after work? If it’s not organic, it’s part of the “Dirty Dozen.” Help yourself and the environment by buying organics.

7. Chill Out:

Take the time today to get outside and relax. Whether you’re ten minutes from the beach, or your favorite lounge chair on the deck is calling your name, you should spend a little time with the great outdoors. Inhale that sweet, crisp air and listen to the wind rustle through the leaves.

8. Plant Something:

Hopefully, the ground has thawed out by now and you can dig enough to plant your favorite flowers. Have you wanted to grow your own fruits? Care for some herbs to tossing your tomato sauce down the road? Or maybe you’d like to grow a garden? Dive in and get digging!

9. Read and Educate Yourself:

Broaden your horizon and leaf through magazines, journals, or books about the effects our own habits are having on our planet and our own health. The more you know about a specific cause, the better you will be able to make informed decisions to help make a difference! And each little bit counts!

10. Spread the Word:

We all have seen sad videos about sick sealife washing ashore, or of plastic bags floating in oceans like jellyfish, but never despair. Keep an eye for the many inspiring stories about individuals around the world rolling their sleeves and working towards meaningful solutions. Discovering your own passion and be part of the solution the areas you care about. Then, share that insight by inviting family and friends to watch an environmental documentary, have a dinner discussion and brainstorm what you can do in your own community. Most importantly stay positive.

Bonus Tip: Join the 1% for the Planet!

Keep supporting organizations who are doing already good things caring for our Mother Earth by simply joining the 1% for the Planet network.

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