It’s great more people than ever are looking for ways to be more environmental, if even only for a day. Earth Day is upon us, and it’s a great way for increasing environmental awareness and making some more permanent Earth Day resolutions.
There would be a profound impact if people adopted the philosophy that almost “every day is Earth Day.” It should symbolize more than just a day. If Earth Day were celebrated more like New Year’s Day, just imagine the difference. Rather than being the one day a year when everyone does something to reduce their impact, then forgets about it until next year, Earth Day should be a time for resolutions and new beginnings. It should be about reflecting on the past year and seeing what we can do better this year.
From now on, make strides to adopt a minimum of 5 Earth Day resolutions every year.
5 Earth Day Resolutions
Let’s make positive resolutions in April. We’ve either continued with the commitments we made in January — and they have become habits — or have forsaken them. This is a great chance to start anew. Think how many of us are inspired by spring with spring cleaning, planting, home projects, and fresh starts.
Every April, let’s make eco-focused Earth Day resolutions for making the world a greener place. This is what I had on my list last year and what I have accomplished. Hopefully, it will get you thinking about some things to try.
Learn to compost
Check! My house came with a somewhat shoddily built compost bin in the backyard. I made it sturdier and started composting last spring. It’s amazing how much less trash I produced when I started composting. I highly recommend it. Next year, one of my goals is to make a rain garden.
Conquer the Twin Cities public transportation system
Half-check. Taking public transportation is the resolution I’ve fallen somewhat short of. Yes, I’ve taken the Light Rail, the Twin Cities train, a number of times. But I’m sad to say I’ve only ridden a bus once. I blame part of this on the fact that I’ve been working from home most of the time. I started a new job this week, though, so I might take the bus to work. I plan to continue working toward this resolution this year. There are many hidden perks of public transportation too. Try it!
photo credit: mjmonty
Learn how to repair my bike
Check! Peddles freshly installed and tube replaced, my bike was ready to ride last spring. I missed it during the winter and am so excited the weather’s nice enough for bike riding again. It’s a wonderful alternative to driving. Fresh air, exercise, and reducing emissions… does it get better than this?
Recycle and compost more than I throw away
Check! Are you like many people where you have more recycling than actual garbage? Bravo! For weeks, my recycling has been fivefold over my garbage. One unforeseen challenge — there will always be some things you can’t recycle or repurpose — is home restoration garbage. We’ve been working to restore our home to its 1925 splendor, and while we try to reuse as much as possible, there are some things that aren’t worth saving, which means they end up in the trash.
5. Get my parents to start recycling
Check! This is the resolution I’m most proud of achieving because it was the furthest from my control. My parents live in a smallish city where recycling is not made easy. They have to load up the car with recycling and drive to the parking lot of the local Walmart, where there are giant recycling dumpsters set up. Seriously. But, after some strategic nagging on my part over the holidays in January, they’ve started to do just that! I’m very proud of them. It’s definitely less convenient for them to recycle than it is for me to do the same.
It can be difficult to change people’s ways. However, even being proactive can make a difference. I’ve taken home trash that was about to be thrown in the garbage for recycling from my children’s school and from their Cub Scouts’ campout. Consider ways to make a difference for the next time. Every bit helps!
photo credit: greenbk
What do you think — should we make Earth Day more like New Years Day? What are some of your Earth Day resolutions?
10 Things to Do on Earth Day
Here are some more great things to do on Earth Day and any day.
Pick Up Trash in Your Community
Every neighborhood has that one street where plastic bags, bottles, and fast food trash piles up. It’s an eyesore and it’s bad for the environment. Be proactive and get a neighbor to help you pick up trash.
Tune Up Your Bike
It’s spring, which means the snow has melted and it’s a wonderful time of year to bike. Or, if you don’t have a bike, buy on used on Craigslist or your local bike co-op.
Put your food waste to good use by making it into compost. It’s easier than you think to get started.
Grow Your Own Food
Start a garden and grow fresh, organic fruit and vegetables in your own backyard. Nothing beats a fresh-off-the-vine tomato in the summer.
Opt for Public Transportation
Riding the bus or hopping on the train can be intimidating if you haven’t done it often, but it’s easy to get comfortable. Get to know your city’s public transit options and start taking advantage of them.
Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Companies aren’t required to disclose the ingredients in cleaning products and many contain toxic chemicals. Don’t put your health or the environment at risk — make your own cleaners instead.
Make Your Own Cosmetics
There are a lot of chemicals in store-bought cosmetics, but make up doesn’t have to be toxic. Check out these makeup recipes from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Spread the Recycling Love
Get a friend or family member to start recycling. I convinced my parents to start recycling last year and it’s made a huge difference in their garbage output.
Attend an Earth Day Event in Your Community
Find an Earth Day event near you or start your own event. Events are a great way to meet like-minded people and be more engaged in your community.
When you consider making Earth Day resolutions, think about which new habits you are interested in and will be able to complete and turn into a habit. In the meantime, even looking for small ways whenever you can will make a big difference.