|Plant a Water Wise Garden|
It's Earth Day, and while every day is technically a day to be kind to the planet, this is a day to show appreciation and get into new habits if needed. There are so many little things you can do to celebrate and help save the Earth, and we’ve got 10 super easy ideas below!
Trees not only cool things down (collectively, they can help decrease a city’s temperature by up to 10 degrees) but they also clean the air and give off more oxygen, among a ton of other benefits. Plant one in your family’s yard (if Mom or Dad need convincing, tell them that it’s been proven that trees can increase your property value by 15%). Another option is to plant your own fruits and veggies which will benefit your health and reduce the amount of fossil fuel emissions by not having to transport the food to stores.
Ride your bike
If you live close enough to your school, ditch the car and ride a bike to and from classes. It not only reduces your carbon footprint but it’s also great for your body. And if you aren’t nearby or don’t have a bike, carpool or take public transportation. The fewer cars on the road mean less gas such as carbon dioxide in the air that can contribute to global warming.
Let your voice be heard
Feeling passionate about a certain environmental cause or piece of legislation that you believe should be passed? Write an email to your local representative to share your thoughts. Here’s how to find their contact info. You can also start or sign a petition for something you’d like to see changed. Go to change.org to get started.
Attend an event
There are tons of festivals, organized cleanups, and walks to participate in for observance of Earth Day. Some are happening over the weekend, too, so even if you’re in class on Friday, you’ll be able to attend. Check out earthday.org to find local events and invite your friends to join you!
Buy reusable bags
It’s been estimated that Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, and just the production alone for those requires about 12 million barrels of oil. Not to mention, they take up lots of space in landfills and cause major problems for marine wildlife. Instead, buy some super cute reusable bags to use when you go to the grocery store. You’ll not only be stylish but eco-friendly as well!
Use a refillable water bottle
Just because you’re tossing your plastic water bottles into the recycling bin doesn’t mean they're not hurting the environment. Besides the fact that it takes over 1.5 million barrels of oil to manufacture all of those bottles each year, there are still over two million tons of water bottles that have ended up in U.S. landfills. Buy a reusable bottle, preferably one that has a filter attached to it, so you’ll be getting fresh water every time.
Get produce from a local farmer’s market
Besides supporting area businesses, you’ll also be helping the Earth by buying your fruits and veggies local. That’s because food in the grocery stores travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to you, and all that shipping can cause pollution plus an increase of fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions. When you buy locally, it’s transported in shorter distances.
Shop smart for clothes
Want to treat yourself to a new outfit? You can do it in a way that’s environmentally friendly! As with any kind of material good, buying something that’s already been used is great for the Earth because it doesn’t involve new resources. Check out used clothing sites like thredUP to see what kind of cute outfits are available. Bonus: some studies have shown that buying online can actually be better for the environment because it takes about 30% less energy to do so.
Unsubscribe to catalogs
The fact is that over 100 million trees are cut down each year to produce junk mail including catalogs. Plus they usually just end up in the trash anyway. Sign up for the free opt-out service at catalogchoice.org and they’ll help you get your name off the mailing lists for all those unwanted pieces of mail.
Spend time outside
Sometimes we can be so caught up in what’s happening on Instagram or Keeping Up With the Kardashians that we forget how much fun it is to be outside. Earth Day is just a reminder of how beautiful and awesome our planet is. Take advantage of it! Most outdoor activities are free, so it’s a great way to spend time with your friends. Go to the park and swing, taking in deep breaths of the fresh air. Or plan a romantic backyard picnic if you’re looking for a fun date night idea. Just be outside and show some love to the amazing place we all call home.
--From Teen Vogue