Happy Earth Month everyone!
For us, Earth Month is every month. I mean, we live on the planet every day of the year right? Nonetheless, we love a theme and a chance to spread the word on sustainability and the restoration of our planet. Speaking of themes, this year the theme of Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth,” a fitting and hopeful message to help kick off a decade the United Nations has declared the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. To learn more visit EarthDay.org and consider becoming a member. They have lots of great resources and events coming up all month.
However, if you’re looking for some more ways to take on the Restoration theme this month, we’ve rounded up 21 easy steps you can take to restore the planet starting right now. Whether you’ve got time today, this weekend, or anytime this month these are steps anyone can start to take.
Reuse, Recycle and Buy Recycled
Look for refillable products (ahem, especially refillable skincare)
Look for every opportunity to replace single use goods with reusable alternatives. Remember that zero waste alternatives do not have to be Instagram worthy! Old clothes can become dishrags. Pasta jars can become drinking glasses or storage containers.
NEVER leave home without your reusables: Shopping bags, produce bags, refillable water bottle & coffee cup
Say no to plastic straws, silverware, & condiment packets when dining out & remember to tell your server as soon as you sit down because once they drop it on your table they can’t take it back.
Plant something! If you’re stuck on what to plant, our packaging is a good place to start ;)
Start a composting bin. It’s not as hard as you think, check out this post for how to compost anywhere, even an apartment.
Pick up litter, by yourself, with your family, with your company, or with a broader organized community
Host an eco-swap with friends & family. If everyone is vaccinated, get together but if not you can easily do this online too. Have everyone bring a bag or two of unused items and swap away.
Try thrifting before buying new. There are some great online options these days, we love ThredUp and Tradesy for fashion and often you can find brand new items for less.
Take stock in your own carbon footprint through calculators like this one. Often, just seeing the data leads to immediate changes.
Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy
A full one-third of the food produced in the world is never consumed. In the U.S., that’s 60 million metric tons of wasted food per year—an estimated value of $162 billion. So much energy goes into growing, harvesting, transporting (and, depending what you’re eating, processing and packaging) food. Don’t waste it!
Switch your light bulbs and turn off the lights when not in use. Changing to energy-efficient lightbulbs dramatically reduces the amount of energy you use to light your home (and saves money in the process!). If every household in the U.S. switched just one incandescent bulb to a compact fluorescent, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing 1.3 million cars from the road.
Ask your utilities company to switch to cleaner, renewable energy sources
If it’s economically feasible for you, consider solar panels and/or an electric vehicle.
Drive Less. Be mindful of all the places you drive to and combine trips to make your drive time more efficient. Try walking & biking whenever you can.
Find ways to repair any durable item you are considering throwing away.
Consider every item you purchase and look for alternatives with maximum levels of recycled content (especially post-consumer waste).
Shop ethically with companies that give you transparency into how goods are made, what they are made with, and how they treat their workers.
Get Educated. There are so many resources out there to help you get deep in issues of sustainability. Here are a tiny subset of ideas to get you started!
Podcasts: https://www.sustainablejungle.com/podcast/, https://greendreamer.com/, https://asustainablemind.com/, https://gimletmedia.com/shows/howtosaveaplanet, https://news.janegoodall.org/2020/04/22/coming-soon-jane-goodall-hopecast/
Books: All We Can Save, This Changes Everything, Natural Capitalism and the Drawdown, Nature’s Best Hope, Silent Spring
Documentaries: A Life on This Planet, The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy, Beyond Recognition, Come Hell or High Water, The Biggest Little Farm, Fools and Dreamers, Chasing Coral, Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest
Intersectional: Learn about Intersectional Environmental issues at https://www.intersectionalenvironmentalist.com/ and read books like Black Faces, White Spaces and A Terrible Thing to Waste.