In 1970, 20 million Americans came together for the very first Earth Day to raise awareness of the massive impact humanity has on our planet, as well as the urgent need to protect it. Today, we’re still working toward the same goal, but on a much larger scale and with a greater sense of urgency, especially regarding climate action.
Like never before, our daily choices on travel, food, and spending are harming people and places all over the world at an alarming rate. However, as a consumer, voter, and member of a local community, you have the influence to make a positive impact on our world and the fight against climate change.
Are you looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day this year? We've gathered 10 climate-friendly actions you can do today (or any day) to support our planet.
Shop smarter.Thoughtful purchasing, even when shopping online, minimizes waste. Consider the materials used to make the product, the manufacturer or retailer you’re buying from, and how the item will reach you. When going to the store, bring reusable bags for shopping. Also, try looking for pre-owned items before buying new ones in order to support recycling efforts and save money.
Be more eco-friendly AT home.Minor adjustments to your household energy use and cleaning habits can have a major impact on our environment. Simply using cold water when running the washing machine, turning off appliances when not in use, and buying non-toxic, environmentally-friendly products will all make a big difference. You should also replace incandescent light bulbs with more efficient CFLs or LEDs, and stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws.
Help something grow.Plant a tree, sprinkle some flower seeds, or make a little garden in your backyard and enjoy the beauty of what you created - it's highly rewarding! No matter the size or quantity of what you’re growing, it will create cleaner air, cut pollution emissions, and even help local plant and animal species thrive.
Make better food choices.What we eat has a direct impact on climate change and human health. Try preparing more plant-based dishes to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other negative side effects animal agriculture has on our environment.
Reduce YOUR mail.We all receive a ton of junk mail that just gets tossed in the trash (or preferably recycled), so take the time to unsubscribe from those undesired mailing lists and prevent more waste. Switching from paper bills to online billing wherever possible will also help eliminate trash build up, as well as save trees and the fuel it takes to deliver your mail by truck. You should also consider reading documents online or printing them two-sided.
Involve the kids.It's never too early to teach your children about the environmental impact we make with our everyday choices, as well as the climate concerns we currently face. Talk to them about what you’re doing to make positive changes for the planet, as well as why, and include them whenever possible.
Donate your unwanted items.Instead of throwing something out, try taking it to a donation store, posting it online, or giving it to a family in need. Donations help support recycling efforts and keep consumer goods out of our already overflowing landfills.
Keep up the digital collaboration.Though telecommuting and video conferencing might seem like a temporary solution during the pandemic, consider incorporating these climate-friendly actions into your regular routine to minimize your carbon footprint.
Vote Earth.Next time you exercise your right to vote, consider the climate issues on local, national and global levels. Take time to examine your candidates’ environmental platforms, and support candidates with clear, ambitious, and convincing plans to protect our planet.
- Take part in the Global Earth Challenge to help monitor and mitigate environmental and human health threats in your own community through a mobile app.
- Calculate your carbon footprint to become more aware of your personal impact on the climate.
- Sign up to be an Earth Day Network volunteer for a cause you care about and receive a regular flow of resources, as well as a platform to make your voice heard.
- Tune into Earth Day Live for real-time, online streaming of various messages, exciting performances, and environmental calls to action.
- Make an online donation to a climate-friendly cause of your choice.
Earth Day is more than just one day to celebrate the protection of our planet, but rather a global event that promotes positive environmental action and aims to inspire life-long support. Just remember, you don’t have to change everything you do, but one small deed today can pave the way for a cleaner, greener future. So try out some of these tips and help build a better Earth for everyone.
Want to do more?
Encourage and inspire your community to get involved with this list of climate-friendly actions and helpful toolkits.