Earth Day Is April 22: Heal The Planet With These Simple WaysEarth Day is April 22, followed by Arbor Day on April 28.
Close to 48 years ago, on 22 April 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development.
In the US and around the world, smog was becoming deadly and evidence was growing that pollution led to developmental delays in children. Biodiversity was in decline as a result of the heavy use of pesticides and other pollutants.
The global ecological awareness was growing, and the US Congress and President Nixon responded quickly. In July of the same year, they created the Environmental Protection Agency, and robust environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, among many.
Trees are like the lungs of the planet. They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. Additionally, they provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. Planting trees in your neighborhood (or anywhere) really is one of the best things you can do for the local environment and for the planet. It’s no secret that trees help the environment, but you may be surprised by all the benefits that planting trees can provide. Besides producing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide and contaminants from the air, trees have many other social, economic, and environmental benefits.
How can you help this Earth Day ( and EVERY DAY of the year)??
1-Make your home, energy efficient
*There are many things you can do to help your house become more energy efficient. From installing weatherstripping and window coverings to help maintain the internal temperature to upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, there are large and small ways to save energy. Even just using a programmable thermostat can decrease the times your HVAC system is unnecessarily running. Not only does an energy-efficient home help the environment, it lowers your monthly utility bills.
*This may seem obvious, but there are still many people who unconsciously waste gallons of water every day. It can be lots of small daily things that add up over time: running the water while brushing your teeth, over-watering your lawn or not fixing a leaky faucet. Making the effort to conserve water greatly helps the environment and also keeps your monthly water bill low.
*Fossil fuels greatly impact the environment and contribute to pollution and global warming. You can help the environment by driving less, and using more eco-friendly modes of transportation instead. Riding a bike or walking are excellent choices, and provide the extra bonus of helping you stay in shape. You can also choose public transportation. If your lifestyle requires lots of driving time, consider investing in a hybrid or electric car.
*The current food production system places an enormous strain on the environment. Shipping food all over the world requires immense quantities of fuel, not to mention the additional pollution and carbon emissions. You can help combat this by choosing locally-grown food as much as possible. Farmer’s markets, CSAs and co-ops are all great resources for local food. The more people support local, small farmers, the more incentive there is for the inefficient and unnatural food production system to improve.
5-Choose eco-friendly producers
*Consider how much power you have as a consumer. Deliberately choosing environmentally-friendly products and companies sends a message about your priorities. The more people choose to reward environmentally responsible companies with business and revenue, the more other companies will be encouraged to make eco-friendly choices. Supporting responsible companies also regulates supply and demand to make eco-friendly products more affordable.
*Any time you can reuse or recycle an item instead of throwing it away it’s a small victory for the environment. Recycling is easier than ever with drop-off centers in most towns or the option to have your recycling picked up with your weekly trash service. There are countless ideas on the internet for ways to repurpose or reuse things. When you are ready to throw something in the trash, take a second first to think about if it can be recycled or reused. You may be surprised at how much you can reduce your household’s waste simply by taking a minute to consider other options.
-Ways to improve your recycling:
Get the kids in on the action!!!
*It’s never too early to start the children of the world, thinking the right way about our Planet. The Earth is continuously becoming more used, wasted, polluted, and dangerous in so many ways, and the more we teach our younger generations about ways they can help, the better! Make the earning process fun as well as educational so the little ones will know how important it is to help and they’ll feel so proud that they’re doing something to help out!
1- Search for “energy vampires” and zap them!
*Energy vampires are home appliances that still use significant electricity when they’re in standby or charging mode. Video games, cell phone chargers, microwaves, and additional plugged in devices, that aren’t being used, are chief culprits.
One of the most direct ways to stop these vampires from sucking energy is to buy a smart power strip and plug items that are often on standby into them. But if you want to go to that expense, you could also ask your children if they want to help zap the energy vampires.
2- Find an alternative to bottled water at the next sports or school gathering.
*While bottled water is marketed as healthy, it’s certainly not healthy for the planet. Two thirds of plastic water bottles are never recycled. If they are incinerated, they release toxic fumes. It takes over 1.5 million barrels of oil each year to manufacture plastic water bottles for the United States market. That doesn’t even include the oil that’s used to transport the bottled water to the market.
3- Ask your child to help you always remember to bring your reusable plastic (or canvas) shopping totes into the stores!
*Explain to your child why you want to stop using so much plastic, and tell him that you need his help. Before you set out to the grocery store, it’s his job to gather up the reusable shopping bags. After they helps you unload the groceries, their job is to gather up all the bags and put them back in the car, so that you won’t forget them next time.
** You can make this job more interesting by keeping a running tally of how many plastic bags you’ve avoided using!
4- Look for toys that are made with less packaging and that are made with recycled materials!
*The amount of packaging used for typical toys is ridiculous, and a lot of it can’t be recycled. When you’re shopping for another child’s birthday party, let your child help you scout out gifts that have less packaging and that are made from recycled materials
5- Get them informed
*Have you ever explained to your child that the three arrows in the recycling symbol represent reduce, reuse, and recycle? Help teach the kids about what it looks like to properly recycle (being able to identify which things are recyclable), so they’ll be able to help out when they’re at school or out with friends.
Give children ideas about small changes they can make to help out and remind them that anything they do to help (no matter how big or small) can make a huge difference in man ways!
**(More ways that kids can help the planet):
HELP OUT IN ORANGE COUNTY!
10 Great Earth Day Events in Orange County: