Earth Day: 10 Super Easy Eco-friendly Tips

Small steps to take this Earth Day

Every April 22nd is Earth Day – and after a turbulent year for all of us, it’s especially important that we celebrate this annual event by cultivating some new eco-friendly habits which will help us preserve the environment this year and after our lives can begin to return to normalcy.

Earth Day is being celebrated for the 51st time this year, the event has gone from being a US-specific one to now being celebrated across the globe.

Any day of the year is a great time to start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle – yet Earth Day provides a wonderful opportunity for us all to think about our planet and what we could do to preserve it. To help you on your eco-friendly journey, we’ve put together 10 of our top tips for habits and changes which can help you reduce your environmental impact going forward. Whether you pick them up before Earth Day, on the day, or after, you’ll be doing a great thing for the planet.

1. Clean up your community

Unfortunately, many of us live in places with trash in the streets or in the natural areas that surround us. One of the best activities for Earth Day, which you can make a regular habit going forward, is organizing or taking part in community clean-ups. These are especially common in coastal areas, but just as important everywhere else.

If you cannot take part in a coordinated clean-up due to the current restrictions, going on your own or with your family is just as great. Get yourself a set of reusable gloves and a bucket to collect the waste and start making your community a cleaner, more eco-friendly place to live!

2. Eat less meat

Make Earth Day a plant-based one – and incorporate more plant-based alternatives into your diet. Animal products in general produce more greenhouse gasses, consume more water and take up more land, according to research by Our World In Data.

There have never been so many eco-friendly vegan alternatives available in stores – give them a try or take it to the basics with some beans, vegetables, fruit and whole grains.

3. Give zero waste bathroom products a try

So many of our bathroom products are packaged in plastic nowadays! Look for zero waste swaps to the cosmetics you’re using – from something as basic as natural soap to inventive solutions such as biodegradable floss.

These zero waste solutions do not have to cost more – you could even DIY some of them! Reusable zero waste alternatives such as safety razors or menstrual cups can actually save you a ton of money in the long run.

4. Go paperless

Most of us are already using digital technology for most of our needs and activities – so digitize your paperwork, bills, books… and any other needs for which you may still be using paper! It’s a simple change and most banks, utility suppliers and other organizations make switching to paperless options very easy because it also pays off for them too.

As an added bonus, you’ll never have to sort through all the papers that have accumulated in your desk drawer again.

5. Use your public transport

Earth Day - Transit

If you live in an area where public transport is reliable and affordable, you’re lucky – so make use of it! Instead of driving, take the bus or the train. If you live in a city, a train or subway may actually be faster than driving, so you won’t risk being late.

If there is no public transport in your area, why not carpool with friends or family who have the same journey as you? This won’t save as much carbon emissions as public transport, but it still makes a world of a difference compared to driving alone.

6. Say no to fast fashion

The clothing you wear could be very harmful to the planet. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions and this is mostly due to the rise in popularity of fast fashion – an unsustainable business model all about making us buy more and more clothing by reducing the price and quality.

The environmental sins of fast fashion are numerous: high carbon footprint, water consumption and pollution, waste production, the encouragement of overconsumption… and more. Stop supporting the harmful industry. Instead, buy clothing which will last for years from sustainable fashion brands or, if you’re on a budget or want to reduce your impact even further, shop secondhand! Interested in more steps to a sustainable wardrobe? Check out our earlier post on the subject.

7. Find zero waste stores and farmers’ markets in your area

Zero waste shops and farmers’ markets make shopping without waste much easier. While you can certainly reduce the amount of waste you’re producing even when shopping at a supermarket, a zero waste shop or farmers market can help you go all the way to zero waste. Simply bring your own packaging such as mason jars or reusable bags!

Not only are you saving waste, but you’re also supporting small companies and your local economy, which makes this one of the best eco-friendly habits to cultivate this Earth Day!

8. Try growing your own food

Earth Day - Garden

Earth Day is the perfect time of the year to try planting some fruits, herbs, and vegetables! This could be as simple as a few mason jars of herbs on your kitchen windowsill, or as elaborate as a whole veggie garden – you choose. You may also want to search for community gardens in your area if you don’t have your own garden.

You’ll have access to fresh ingredients right at home and you’ll be sure they haven’t been treated with any harsh pesticides or fertilizers.

9. Take good care of your health

Many of us forget how important maintaining good health is to sustainability. By staying fit and eating a balanced diet, you can prevent many different conditions which could threaten your health. Put your health first – you’ll find that doing so is not just wonderful for you, but also for the environment.

10. Think before you buy

We live in a consumerist culture, where most of us buy before considering the purchase thoroughly. This results in massive amounts of unwanted and unused items being sent to a landfill. That’s why it’s very important to think about whether what you’re about to buy is something that you really need or that will truly bring you joy. Sleep on it and, if 24 hours later, you still feel like the purchase is something you truly need or want, go back to the store or website.

Many companies, such as fast fashion brands, purposefully exploit our fear of missing out by creating limited collections and rotating stock quickly. Don’t fall prey to this and think before you buy.

Remember, you don’t need to make a habit of every item on this list to make an impact. Start by doing one thing and building from there. Even one day of picking up trash or making a change in your buying habits can make a world of difference. Earth Day is about the small actions of many coming together to make the world a better place.