The earth is our home, and we need to take care of it as we would our own house. Earth Day is more than just thinking about the environment for just a day, something we try to do in earnest here at NeighborWorks of Western Vermont. We try to take actions to be kinder to the earth all year long. Earth Day 2020, which is on April 22, is quickly approaching. So, here are some ways you can help give back to our planet and make your “home” a healthier place for all:
Recycling is a simple act that can remove hundreds of pounds of waste deposited in landfills each year. You can actually recycle a lot more materials than we typically do, like crayons, lightbulbs, and even wine corks! These are just some recyclable materials that are clogging landfills. If your home or work does not recycle yet, check in with your local recycling center for bins and posters to help you start.
Composting is also simple! Pick a spot where you can compost biodegradable foods or materials. Composting is so much more eco-friendly than sending compostable foods to an overflowing landfill AND it is great for those that have their own flowerbeds or gardens. Turning food waste (ie: eggshells, coffee grounds, fruit, and vegetable ends) into fertilizer is a great way to make sure what you buy or eat gets used completely.
Plant a garden or trees:
Gardening and planting trees can help in several ways. Gardening cuts down on the amount of food you need to purchase at stores where most foods have to travel long distances to get to you. Planting trees helps regulate the Earth’s temperature and they consume carbon dioxide all while providing habitat to different species. Gardening is also very relaxing and it’ll help boost your confidence! It’s beneficial for the earth and you.
Get a reusable water bottle:
According to the Food & Water Watch, over 50 billion water bottles are used in the United States alone each year. To make these bottles, 17 million barrels of gasoline are used, that’s enough to power 1.3 million cars for a year. Most of these bottles are not recycled when people are done and end up in landfills and even in the ocean. Getting a reusable water bottle, which can ultimately be recycled in the end is key. Some good brands are Klean Kanteen, Contigo, Nalgene, and HydroFlask.
Enjoy the Earth! Go for a hike, run, walk, go to the beach, or go to a park. You can even just sit outside! Make some time to go outside and enjoy the beauty of the Earth. Making even little connections to the outside world can give you a sense of being.
Be a better grocery shopper:
Billions of plastic bags are used in the United States as well as all over the world. Plastic bags are one of the bigger things people are trying to help eliminate. Many states are moving towards banning plastic bags and you can help. Use reusable bags, paper bags, or reusable containers. Besides bags, try getting local fruits, vegetables, or even meats! If can’t go local, try going ethical or sustainable.
Change your paper bills to online billing. You’ll not only be saving trees and the fuel it takes to deliver your bills, but you will also be eliminating excess paper in your home.
There are so many things we can do to help make a better living space for all. The thing is, even if each of us does just a few things, we ARE making a difference! If you want more ideas, visit www.earthday.org for more tips. Remember Earth Day is on April 22 and while we encourage you to celebrate that day, make some lifelong habits that will keep the Earth in your mind all the time. Check out www.nwwvt.org for more!
Author: Bailey Aines, part-time NWWVT employee