April is a special month. It’s when we actually get to see winter coming to an end (and you already learned how to cut down your energy bill). Buds start to sprout on trees, animals reappear, and there's a little spring in everyone's step. Life is coming back to the planet. Earth Day happens also happens to fall during this time.
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in more than 193 countries. And since then, it’s been celebrated annually as a demonstration for environmental reform and care. It paved the way for the 1992 UN Earth Summit, The Clear Air Act, The Water Quality Improvement Act, The Endangered Species Act and international awareness for recycling. While certain members of certain governments are looking to repeal these acts, you still can make a difference this Earth Day to help reduce your impact.
Money isn’t the only thing you’ll be saving here. How much of your day is taken up sitting in front of a screen? Switch this off, and go enjoy this beautiful day. Enjoy a walk, go for a hike, get some fresh air, and connect with the people that matter the most in your life.
Purchase carbon offset
What is Carbon Offset? Great question. On a manufacturing level, companies that produce goods create an environmental impact. To offset the damage, companies will invest their finances into programs, like reforestation, to negate the impact of their production. Companies that follow this are described as “Carbon Neutral.”
As people, we create a large carbon footprint by living our daily lives. Electricity, water usage, and purchasing disposable goods are just ways we impact the environment. To offset this, we can also donate to carbon offset companies that take steps to negate for the damage done to the earth. It’s a stepping stone that becomes more effective when combined with lifestyle changes which reduce environmental impact. Just make sure you research the company you choose to invest in.
Get a home energy audit
A home energy audit is the first step to addressing how much energy is being consumed by your home. Hydro or energy company usually provides this service to show your home's inefficiencies. The long-term benefits of acting on these results can help you save money, reduce your home's impact on the environment, and even help resale value.
Go vegetarian for the day
Whatever your beliefs are on meat, there’s no argument that the production process has a tremendous environmental impact, especially on red meat. From how red meat is produced to the methods used for transportation, this particular industry contributes a substantial amount of carbon to the atmosphere. Check out a few delicious vegetarian recipes for dinner options this day instead.
Make your workplace more environmentally friendly
It takes a certain amount of courage to speak up and suggest change, especially when it alters people's comfort. Take a critical look at how your workplace can minimize its carbon footprint, whether it be the elimination of paper towels, implementing a compost bin, or investing in electronic alternatives for paper-free work. Find people who are aligned with your views, create a proposal, and make the change happen.
Use green cleaning products
There’s a term in the cleaning industry called “Greenwashing.” Due to the absence of federal oversight in the industry, companies falsify their products' environmental cleanliness. Find companies certified by reputable certifications such as EWG, USDA Organic or ECOCERT (At AspenClean, we were the first cleaning products company to get the EWG verification in North America, so check out our products).
You can also make your DIY cleaning sprays with water, white vinegar, lemon juice and some organic essential oil, such as lavender.
Keep the car in the garage
So many options are available: public transit, bicycles, or simply walking. It may take a little more time, but as a famous dashing teenager once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Put together an activity for your community
We all need leaders in the community. Put together an event to do something with those who live in your community, whether it be a clean-up, a charity fair, or even a zero-waste potluck. Find a way to help engage those around you to be a champion for the world.
Ski the bath
Do you know how much water you use per day? A 10-minute shower consumes up to 189 litres of water. Put that in context with the fact that a typical family survives on a tenth of that for an entire day, including drinking water.
So on Earth Day, you can stay a little dirty -- or, more accurately, slightly less clean. In addition to all the water you’re saving, you may find it makes you look and feel healthier. Showering daily can wash away the natural oils that our skin and hair need and can deprive your immune system of the germs it needs to develop fully. (But please wash your hands – let’s not go crazy here.)
Put together a list of goals for the following year
What do you want to do this year? How do you want to achieve them? How can you take steps to create positive change in your life and the environment? Take the time to make SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals that you can take forward into the year.
This earth day, take the time to make a difference. We’re all part of the same home. Let's make sure we treat it like one!
And if you still want to make a difference, even after Earth Day, we are giving advice here on “ How to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.”