Next Saturday, on April 22, we will celebrate Earth Day. If you are looking for some small way to make a positive impact on our beautiful Earth, here are 10 suggestions for little changes that you can make in your life in honor of Earth Day. None of these changes will take much time or money. But even little changes add up and can make a big difference! So pick one or try all 10…whatever feels right to you!
1. Purchase a set of cloth napkins and keep them in a basket on your dining room table so that you can grab them at mealtime instead of using disposable napkins or paper towels.
2. Purchase a reusable water bottle for each member of your family. Keep them on your kitchen counter to remember to use them. Or get in the habit of filling them each night before going to bed and setting them near your door so that you can easily grab them on your way out the next morning.
3. Each time you go to the grocery store, buy one of the reusable grocery bags at the checkout counter and use it for your groceries. Repeat until you have 5 or 6 bags and can easily fit all of your groceries in reusable bags to avoid using plastic or paper bags. Keep the reusable bags in your trunk so that you always have them available when you decide to stop at the store.
5. Choose one food item that you buy regularly and find a local source for that item.
6. Purchase one or two sets of glass storage containers to add to your collection. Prioritize using these dishes when you are putting away hot food or when you know that you will be heating up the food in that container in either the microwave or oven.
7. Bring along your own reusable to-go containers when you go out to eat at a restaurant. That way you can avoid being given the single-use and non-biodegradable Styrofoam containers.
8. Bring along your own reusable travel coffee mug when you stop at your local coffee shop to grab your morning pick-me-up.
9. Turn down the heat in a room or area of the house that you are not using. Or turn down the heat when you leave your house for the day. Another option is to install a programmable thermostat where you can set the heat at different levels for different times of the day. For example, you can program the thermostat to a cooler temperature overnight or when you are gone during the day and a warmer temperature for the morning and evening when you will be awake and at home.
10. Start a compost pile in your backyard (or buy a small, compact compost bin or tumbler if you don’t have the yard space for a compost pile). Start collecting your food scraps – you can include pretty much everything other than meat, seafood, and dairy products. Even if you never use the compost as a gardening supplement, it will still reduce your amount of trash to be taken to the landfill each week.