As a nation, we have come a long way since the first official Earth Day in 1970. Back then, 20 million Americans turned out for the first Earth Day in cities across the USA. Today, over 200 million people worldwide recognize April 22 as a day to celebrate Mother Earth! The early environmental movement has lead to the creation of The Clean Air Act, The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the protection of our favorite animal friends with The Endangered Species Act. While those accomplishments represent large, long-term goals, there are small steps you can take to make big change. Here are 10 eco-friendly life hacks that can make a real difference in the environment and your health.
10 Eco-Friendly Life Hacks to Start on Earth Day
1. Get A Two For One
Skip the steak and the milk and cookies once a week. This gives back to the environment by cutting down on consumption and gives some great health benefits to your body. You might even feel so good that you add a day or two more as time goes on!
2. Carry The Water
Americans throw away more than 50 billion plastic water bottles every year. Bringing your own water bottle to hydrate during the day is good for your skin, will energize your muscles and help save our oceans.
3. Exercise Your Right To Exercise
Make a conscience effort to bike, walk, run or hike at least once a week. Nature is all around us even in the biggest cities in our country. Walk to lunch one day or ride your bicycle to your favorite coffee shop instead of firing up the whip. Your body will thank you and so will the environment by producing less Co2 emissions.
4. Farmers Are Our Friends
At the turn of the last century, 90 percent of the jobs in the country were on a farm. The foods in our grocery stores are typically filled with pesticides, additives, and preservatives. Going to the local farmers market and stocking up on fresh vegetables does wonders for your diet and cuts down on the consumption of highly processed, polluted foods.
5. The Tree of Life
It has taken humans thousands of years to deforest large parts of the earth. It only takes moments to plant a tree. Starting with Earth Day, celebrate major holidays by planting a tree! If you have kids it will be a legacy they can watch grow and admire. In addition to the environmental benefits, your body will get a decent little workout prepping the ground, digging the whole and moving some dirt.
6. Mary, Mary How Does Your Garden Grow
As a kid, I always dreaded the fall garden harvest, and the root cellar was something I took for granted. Now, living in a metropolitan city, I would kill for a fresh beet salad from the garden in December! Planting a garden brings you closer to nature and it also strengthens your constitution. Not to mention, urban farming is quickly catching on in cities around the country and helping families plant fresh greens and life right in their yards!
7. Leave No Trace
Eco Tourism is becoming big business. It’s also great for our planet. Choose vacations that get you out in nature and cut down on your carbon footprint. Green hotels are popping up all over and several offer local eco-friendly activities. Being active on vacation is a great way to recharge your batteries and have a low impact on the environment.
8. Clean Communities Make Life Better
Once a year my Dad would make us walk about two miles up and down our country road in both directions cleaning up the shoulders and ditches. It takes maturity to look back and realize the life lessons we learned from our parents are universal and transcend time. Grab some buddies, the neighborhood kids and go clean up your community. It will get you moving, make you feel good about yourself and help the environment all at the same time.
9. Use Trash To Save Cash
Take your organic based garbage to a composting facility or better yet create your own compost bin. Americans could eliminate close to 30% of their consumable waste which normally would end up in the landfills by composting. Using the by-product to fertilize your garden or enrich your soil will make your grass grow green and make your veggies taste delicious.
10. Repurpose and ReUse everything You Can
The fact that Earth Day falls on April 22 gives everyone a great excuse to do some spring cleaning at the right time of year! Being active around your house cleaning out cluttered closets and over loaded pantries will help you burn some calories and also give you an opportunity to repurpose some old stuff. Try looking on Pinterest for “things to repurpose” and you will find more ideas than you could possibly imagine.
Earth Day is not only a great day to celebrate all the wonderful things nature provides it also gives us an opportunity to press the reset button on some lifestyle choices that will pay big dividends for both our health and the environment. We cannot wait to see what Earth Day inspired changes you take on!