Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, it’s estimated that more than 20 million Americans have participated in making the world a greener place. If you want to do your part but don’t have the time or energy to make grand gestures, here are small steps you can take to make a difference in your community.
Check your plastics
In addition to most beverage containers, bottles of mouthwash, hand soap, and household cleaners can often be recycled. Simply check the number on the bottom of the container. Plastics numbered 1 and 2 can be dropped off at multi-material recycling centers or placed in your curbside recycling cart.
Walk or bike once a week
If you live within a mile or two from work, choose a day of the week to walk or bike to work. An active commute has many benefits for the planet and your health. Don’t want to walk or bike? Taking the bus or carpooling can help to conserve energy and reduce air pollution.
Water makes life possible but it’s a limited resource at home and around the world. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply recommends taking shorter showers, checking for leaks in plumbing and toilets, and only using as much water as you need to brush your teeth or wash the dishes. Have a backyard or garden? Learn more about how you can conserve water outdoors.
Use fewer chemicals
Chemicals used in cleaning products can affect your health and the environment. Try a simpler option the next time you need to clean. Remove mildew and grease with vinegar, treat stains with hydrogen peroxide, and do general cleaning with baking soda and water. If you buy cleaning products at the store, remember to read the labels and only buy what you need.
Even if you cook at home often, you may sometimes need a break from the kitchen. The next time you want to order takeout, try dining at the restaurant to reduce the use of plastic utensils and foam containers. You can also support restaurants that source local ingredients whenever possible. Want to eat more local foods on your own? Go to your local farmers market or try a community-supported agriculture (CSA) bag.
How do you take care of the planet? Share your tips with us in the comments.