The first Earth Day in 1970 launched a wave of action, including the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States. In July of 1970 the Environmental Protection Agency was established and The Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts created. Many countries soon adopted similar laws.
2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day under the theme of climate action.
🌎 Let's celebrate Earth with 30 eco-tips 🌏
1. Clean your inbox and unsubscribe from unwanted emails. According to a recent report*, emails have a significant carbon footprint: 246 billion emails release 986,000 tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere every day due to the electricity, air conditioning and water required by the data centers. So let's opt out!
2. Watch a documentary or read articles about sustainability, climate change, food waste, plastic pollution... Netflix has several available: Minimalism, Fed Up, The True Cost, Planet Earth, Before the Flood, Rooten.
3. Plant herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables, trees. It's good for the air, the soil, your health and your mind! So let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!
4. Shorten your shower to 5 minutes can reduce your water usage and CO2 emissions by 70-80% per year. See one of our previous blog post about ways to save water.
5. Use the leftovers: in the USA, we throw away up to 40% of the food we buy, it represents 20 pounds of food per person per month! Buy only what you need by making a meal plan and a shopping list, store your food properly, limit leftovers, freeze what will perish.
6. Switch to cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. Paper napkins can be composted but can not be recycled. Cloth napkins in natural fibers are indefinitely reusable and so much nicer on a table.
7. Have you heard about Ecosia? It is a search engine that plants a tree every 45th search you do 🌳8. Choose Fair Trade Chocolate to fight farmers' poverty, children's labor, corruption and deforestation. Watch the episode of Rotten / Bitter Chocolate on Netflix to learn more. 🍫 10. Go for a walk and pick up litter (wear gloves): it might seem weird or useless but it puts you into action, prevents wildlife from mistaking it with food, and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
11. Eat seasonal / Shop local / Support small businesses: reduce the carbon footprint of your food while supporting your local economy, especially during these troubled times.
12. Go meatless once per week: the most powerful way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet and prevent chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Livestock agriculture uses a considerable amount of the world’s fresh water and arable land and accounts for nearly 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. 🥗
19. Air dry your clothes and reduce your energy bill, keep your favorite clothes longer and benefit from the free whitening and disinfecting sun's powers!☀️More information about a zero waste laundry routine here.
20. Make your own cleaning product: DIY cleaning product recipes usually only require 2 or 3 cheap and non toxic ingredients: water, vinegar and baking soda. For instance, mix 3 parts of water with 1 part of distilled vinegar in a spray bottle for an all-purpose cleaner. Instead of using essential oils for the smell, I prefer to infuse my vinegar with orange and lemon peels. 🍊 🍋
21. Unsubscribe for junk mail: we receive 41 pounds of junk mail per year resulting in 5.6 million tons of trash added to the landfills, you can use catalogchoice.org or the Paper Karma free app to easily unsubscribe. ✉️
22. Disconnect and reconnect with Nature: turn off your phone, laptop, TV, radio and go outside, find a quiet place and listen to the wind in the trees, the birds, feel the sun on your skin... That beats all the stuff that are on our electronic devices. 🌳🌻
23. Mend worn clothes: my Grandma was able to fix about any clothes, I wish I was half talented as her but I am not, so I just try my best. They are many tutorials online to learn how to repair your favorite clothes. 🧵
24. Replace your old light bulbs (after the current ones burnt out) with energy-efficient bulbs, they use at least 30% less energy than traditional incandescents, saving from $45 to $100 per year. They last 3 to 25 times longer. 💡
25. Refuse single use plastic, say no to plastic bottles, cups, straws, cutlery, bags, wraps... The coronavirus crisis and the historic low oil prices aren't helping us in this fight today. Just try to do your best.
26. Share your eco-tips with your family, your friends, colleagues. Tell them why you made this swap, how it simplified your life and the positive impact it has on the planet. The more we are to switch to sustainable alternatives, the merrier! However, I am not saying to persuade them at all cost! That usually doesn't work.
27. Repair what needs to be fixed instead of throwing away: clothes, shoes, appliances... but also air and water leaks of your home.
28. Vote - Demand climate action. No desire to be political here, just vote. Follow the bills of your state and email your representatives about the bills you support. Check @sierraclub website or google Sierra Club, legislature and your state.
29. Divest your money from fossil fuel. If you have savings or a 401k, do you know what your money is used for? Chances are they are used to fund coal power plants, oil, or gas pipelines. Ask your bank or retirement company and request to invest in fossil fuel free funds.
30. One step at a time, don't stress! I hope those 30 tips inspired you to take action. Don't try to adopt them all at once, it would be overwhelming and you'd give up pretty quickly. Change is a process. Start with 1 or 2 easy swaps for you and your family and see how it goes. Once used to them, try another one, then another and so on.
What are your favorite eco-tips? Which one will you try first?