Earth day is right around the corner, and that means it is time to figure out what actions you take to make the world a better place! For the 52nd Earth Day, I have 52 simple, everyday actions you can take. Why not try out a few of these items (or all of them) to help our world, not just today, but every day?
Be a Smart Consumer
All of our choices, big and small, make a difference. A lot of our choices are actions, but others are what and who we decide to support and purchase. Checking labels and being smart with what you buy is a great way to help the environment.
- Check labels for items that are harmful to the environment such as palm oil.
- Buy only used clothes or get hand-me-downs.
- Buy reusable bags.
- Buy reusable water bottles and straws.
- Use bamboo toothbrushes, to bring down the 1,000,000,000 plastic toothbrushes wasted each year and the plastic waste that goes with it.
- Buy locally made products, this cuts down on gas emissions for products made far away.
- Only buy eco-friendly or homemade cleaning products.
- Eat less meat.
- Ask for an email receipt instead of paper.
- If you need a new backpack, buy from a sustainable brand like Lefrik, which makes backpacks out of recycled bottles (I have one and they are great!).
- Start making more things from home, like soap or pet treats.
- Buy things only if you REALLY need them.
Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle
The six r’s of conservation are what you should always keep in mind. These are the fundamentals of conservation and helping our world, so it is so important to use these as guidelines for everything you do. Here are some great examples of the six r’s in action.
13. Refuse plastic or paper bags.
14. Fill your dishwasher all the way, it uses the same amount of water.
15. Have an old glass of water sitting around? Instead of dumping it out, use it to water your plants, or fill your pet’s water bowl.
16. Use a mug for water before having tea or coffee, then when you pour your drink, use the same mug. One less dish!
17. Wash clothes in cold water, saving about 75% of the energy used.
18. Take showers instead of baths to reduce water. Extra bonus: take a short shower!
19. Unplug electronics when not in use.
20. Drop off old cell phones at cell phone recycling stations so the parts can be used again.
21. Ask for no straws at restaurants and use reusable metal or silicone ones.
22. Use both sides of paper.
23. Make art out of recycled materials.
24. Turn off lights when you leave a room.
25. Use recycled materials for gifts, cards, and wrapping paper.
26. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.
27. Donate old clothes or hand them down to friends and family.
28. Do more virtually, whether that is work, or having a family hang-out. Cutting down on travel emissions is very helpful!
29. Reuse backpack and school supplies every year, and just get rid of the used pages, or use them for scrap paper.
30. Make a bird box out of recycled materials to help birds.
31. Use online resources instead of printing them out.
32. Ship things less.
33. Close shades or blinds in the summer to keep the heat out and reduce electricity use.
Getting out in Nature in an Eco-Friendly Way
Getting out in nature is so important so you can build a strong connection with the environment and know not only how special Earth is, but also be reminded of why we need to protect it. While exploring and out in the field, here are some steps to make our world a better place environmentally.
34. Start a compost bin to make good soil for a garden.
35. Go on a trash walk or hop in your kayak to pick up trash. Don’t let those plastic bottles end up in the hands of wild animals!
36. Walk or bike, don’t drive or get a vehicle that is better for the environment.
37. Travel less, and when you do, travel locally or with an eco-tourism group.
38. Start a garden and grow your own vegetables and fruits.
39. Plant a tree for fresh air and nice views.
40. Plant flowers for pollinators.
41. Don’t use pesticides.
42. Build a strong connection with nature, we humans all need to realize we are a part of nature, not separate from it.
43. Get out in nature to gain a greater appreciation.
44. Carpool to places.
45. Use public transportation.
Earth Day Education
I always say, education is the first step: If we don’t know about an issue, how can we help it? If you would like to learn more about education in conservation, you read my article about this subject here: https://www.orangutanrepublik.org/weblog/2021/04/19/importance-education/ Here are some of the best ways to spread awareness and help groups that already do.
46. Support or join non-profits. A great way to give support is by donating.
47. Join a group protesting for the climate.
48. Educate yourself and others on not only issues but how to help them.
49. Write letters to companies telling them to get environmentally harmful ingredients out of their products.
50. Write to politicians about how they can help the environment.
51. Spread Earth-friendly messages, items, or causes on social media.
52. Help educate others about good, eco-friendly items.
2 bonus ways to help!
53. Have a bake sale or a yard sale and donate the money to an Earth-Friendly cause.
54. Buy books that not only educate but are printed on Earth-friendly paper. (Check out Kawan the Orangutan, Lost in the Rainforest, written by me!)
All of these are great ways to help the environment. As the Kid Conservationist, I practice many of these, but even I have many of these I can improve on. None of us are perfect, so even if you already do a couple of these, do them more often, or try new ones out. I’ll be doing 30 this summer! Get out there and make a difference for our planet, and make Earth Day EVERY DAY!