Yesterday, April 22nd was the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. While this year we couldn’t get outside too much to celebrate our planet, we do believe that we should try and incorporate easy ways to save Mother Earth every day. We pulled together an easy list of a few things we like to do to kick start new habits. No time like the quarantine present to get started!
- Adopt a Weekly “Sustainable Day”
Whether it’s Meatless Monday or Sustainability Saturday, we can all find easy ways to make big changes one day a week. Some people use this method to do routine things like a weekly check-in on the plugs and electricity used around the house or spend a whole day not driving a car and only walking/biking to reduce emissions. A lot of people enjoy focusing on a plant-based or sustainable pescetarian diet day. In fact, not only will giving up meat for a meal open you up to other food options, it’s better for the planet. The U.N. reports that the meat industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also estimated that “meat production contributes to the depletion of precious water resources – around 1,695 liters is needed to produce just one quarter-pounder burger – and according to the Yale School of Forestry, cattle ranching is the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon nation, accounting for 80 per cent of total clearance.” Even one day a week can make a huge difference.
- Upgrade your H20 Game
We know in these crazy times that a lot of people have been stocking up on plastic water bottles. Using a reusable bottle is an excellent way to help minimize waste and plastic usage, it also can help you easily track your daily water intake! Besides, your tap water may even be safer than those plastic water bottles anyway. The NRDC reports that “tap water in most big cities must be disinfected, filtered to remove pathogens, and tested for cryptosporidium and giardia viruses. Bottled water does not have to be.” You can also buy an at-home filter or sink filter that will filter and help you live a more sustainable lifestyle.
- Start a Compost at Home
A lot of cities are adopting compost bins that are collected weekly but did you know a homemade compost can be a very easy and beneficial addition to any house? Click here for an easy way to get started on making your own compost area.Share with us on social if you start one!
- Plant a Garden or Herb Garden at Home
Spring is a great time to start that new garden in the yard! Local plant providers like Plant Party, East Austin Succulents, Barton Springs Nursery, and so many other amazing companies have plenty of options for indoor and outdoor gardening. No matter what level of Green Thumb you possess, they will have a plant for all environments and skill levels.
- Donate to a Local Environmental Non-Profit
The City of Austin has already compiled a great list of nonprofit organizations that can really benefit from donations to continue their fight in saving our planet. Take a look at this list and see if there are any you would like to get involved with helping!
- Collect Rainwater
It’s true April Showers bring May Flowers, but harnessing that wonderful rain is a great way to water plants or to clean outside furniture. Leave a few buckets or cups outside before the next rain and collect that beautiful water!
- Calculate your Carbon Footprint
How do you know if your efforts are helpful or harmful? Maybe you are already leading a very sustainable life or could use some improvements. There are a lot of different carbon footprint calculators online and they can help analyze your current habits and offer up easier changes based on your personal answers. Here’s a fun one to fill out. What’s your score?
- Keep the Earth & yourself safe!
While it hasn’t been ideal or the most fun, this world-wide quarantine has done our Earth some good recovery time. NASA has reported that some air pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions have decreased but there’s still a lot of improvement to be done. If there are new habits you’ve adopted during quarantine, try and continue those as new traits! Biking to and from local areas, supporting local vendors and food providers, and lowering your daily carbon footprint are all the rage!