Today, April 22, is Earth Day. Here are some of the best ways you can give back to the environment and turn your average day into one good for the planet.

  1. Visit a flea market, yard sale, or thrift store. There’s no point letting perfectly good things go to waste. You never know what kind of amazing discoveries you can find. Buying second-hand reduces production waste and keeps products that can still be used out of landfills.
  2. Take a few minutes and pick up any little pieces of trash you happen to find. In our busy lives, we often find ourselves ignoring the litter we see. It only takes a few moments to remove some trash from the ground. Even a little bit makes a difference.
  3. Stop using disposable water bottles and buy a reusable one. The bottled water industry is extremely harmful and the constant use of plastic bottles leads to excess of pollution. Filling your own bottle every day cuts down on cost, waste, and you can personalize your bottles too.
  4. Try to carpool more often. It’s a lot more fun to travel with someone than it is to travel alone, and you cut down on carbon emissions while you’re at it.
  5. Ensure you aren’t wasting excess water. Take shorter showers, turn off the water while you brush your teeth, and avoid letting sprinklers run longer than they need to. Also, when you walk into the school bathrooms, make sure the sink faucets are all the way off.
  6. The most cliche example is also a great one. Plant a tree. Trees provide habitats for animals, oxygen for all of us, and decrease carbon dioxide in the air. They also provide great shade when it gets hot in the warmer months.
  7. Eliminate single use plastics as much as you can. Sandwich bags can be replaced with reusable and durable containers, for example.
  8. Start a compost pile. When food is in landfills, it takes a lot longer to decompose than it does in a compost pile. Composting also returns important nutrients to the soil to keep plants, animals, and microbes thriving.
  9. Unplug appliances when you aren’t using them, as well as turn off the lights when you leave a room. We often leave our phone chargers plugged in even when our phones themselves aren’t charging, for example. Take a minute to make sure you aren’t wasting energy when you don’t need to. Whenever you leave a room, get into the habit of turning off the lights. A little effort goes a long way.
  10. Spread awareness. Doubt is the most dangerous weapon against the Earth. Remember, the Earth is our home. If we don’t take care of it, it won’t take care of us. Listen to environmentalists, scientists, and fact-based research. The more people are informed about the state of the environment, the sooner we can make a change.

By: Cat Whiting, Opinion Editor, and Chloe Eidt, Photographer

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