Today is Earth Day and I wanted to share with you 10 ways you can positively impact the planet starting today.
When I think back on what Earth Day has always meant to me growing up, I’m reminded that we participated in planting trees or raised funds to plant trees but that was the extent of how Earth Day related to me. This past year I have really been committed to learning more about the state of our planet and that without EVERYONE making even the smallest of changes, we are doing some serious damage for future generations to come.
The days of saying, “oh I’m just one person or a single household and us not recycling isn’t really going to make a difference.” Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Americans are obsessed with using plastic water bottles and the average person uses over 150 per year and only recycles about 30. That’s just one person on average.
We’re all able to positively impact our planet with small changes and I wanted to share the efforts we’ve made personally and in our household collectively. Even if you implemented 2, 5 or all 10 of these tips you are creating change and that’s what matters.
- Stop purchasing plastic water bottles and invest in reusable. These days reusable water bottles are readily available at a multitude of price points. Make sure you look for BPA free and ensure everyone in the family has one to call their own.
- Bring your own travel thermos/mug + stainless steel straws when you go to coffee shops or travel. Coffee cups & straws are notorious for filling up landfills and oftentimes these days, you can receive a discount for bringing in your own reusable cup. I love to travel with mine & have found that establishments are more than happy to reward your sustainability efforts.
- Stop buying and start making. We invested in an Almond Cow earlier this year and instead of buying cartons of milk, we reduce waste by making our own and storing the almond milk in reusable glass jars. Not only is it better for our planet, but nothing compares to homemade milk.
- Upcycle. You know those spaghetti jars or jam jars that you rinse out and toss in the recycling bin? Instead of sending them off to recycle, think of ways you can upcycle them within your own home. I use spaghetti jars as drinking glasses and/or storage for bulk nuts and grains. Jars also make great vases in a pinch as well! I also save the plastic containers that my favorite açai bowl comes in from a local spot. These work great for the pantry and is putting your dollars to good use rather than in the landfill.
- Stop using ziplock bags and invest in reusable options. Normally, plastic can take up to 1000 years to break down so we simply need to stop using it! We invested in these reusable gallon size and snack size bags rather than ever purchasing one-time use ziplock bags. You simply rinse, pat dry and keep using over and over again. They’re great in the freezer, holding dry snacks or even marinating meat.
- On that note, skip the plastic wrap and opt for eco-friendly reusable food wraps instead. These are great for wrapping cheese, fruit, snacks and even covering a bowl. I’ve become obsessed with them!
- Ramp up your recycling efforts. We added a dedicated recycling bin to our kitchen and our master bathroom to eliminate any excuse to not recycle. Once you make a serious conscious effort of determining if something is recyclable or not (tip — buy recyclable packaged items), you’ll find that you fill up the recycling bin far faster than the garbage bag. Don’t be lazy and not recycle, this is the least you can do with minimal effort!
- Commit to bringing your own reusable bags and produce bags to eliminate single-use plastics. Tip — once you unload your groceries, take the extra minute to walk them back to your car so they are always on hand. You can also use the Reminders app to tell you to bring in your reusable bags once you get to a specific location (i.e. the grocery store).
- Reduce fast fashion purchases. Be very mindful of what you bring into your closet. Ask yourself if this is a need or a want. Instead of buying low quality, mass produced attire that typically resonates with poor eco-friendly methods, look into investment pieces that will stay with you for years to come. Some of your favorite brands are now releasing sustainable, eco-conscious clothing and shoes using recycled plastic and ocean waste that they turn into fabric. We have to start being conscious consumers and always be open to shopping second hand!
- Transition into clean beauty and household products. It’s not just trash that’s polluting our earth, it’s also the chemicals that are in our everyday items. Not only are the products better for our planet, but they’re better for you too! I’ve shared some of the clean beauty products I’m using, but I’m also really loving companies like W3LL People for makeup who are committed to clean ingredients with clear transparency and sustainable efforts. This also goes for sunscreen. The chemicals in traditional sunscreen is quite literally destroying our coral reefs. Look for brands that don’t contain oxybenzone and octinoxate such as Sun Bum reef-friendly sunscreen.
I’m passionate about honoring and protecting our environment and the beautiful places we have the privilege to explore around the world. If we don’t lead the way now, we’re going to continue to see a rapid decline of beaches, oceans, glaciers and our overall quality of living. Don’t be naive to think that you, as a singular person, can’t have a positive impact on our world. It just takes one person to make a change and to inspire a person in their lives and so forth. Be willing to stand up for change. Trust me, it feels good.
Share some of the ways you like to provide a positive impact on our planet in the comments below!