Companies, charities, and international organizations take advantage of World Earth Day to raise awareness of environmental issues. On the one hand, it’s one day every year that the media and the rest of the world will talk about the earth’s challenges. On the other hand, shouldn’t we be doing much more than one public celebration annually?
Beyond action items and to-do lists, why don’t we pledge our commitment to nature by observing environmentally friendly practices year-round? Here are 22 pledges we can take along with our children, family, and communities to show our care for Mother Earth.
- Adjust the thermostat to save money and the earth’s warming atmosphere. Lowering the thermostat for just 8 hours can save 10%!
- When not in use, unplug gadgets. Even when products are plugged in, they may consume “vampire energy” that we end up paying for.
- Choose energy-saving bulbs. In the United States, these are products with labels like EPEAT certified and Energy Star to indicate energy efficiency.
- Fix dripping faucets. Overlooking small leaks can result in large volumes of wasted water, a higher water bill, and the possibility of property damage.
- Use cold water when doing laundry for a more effective wash. Reducing the load to twice weekly can also save on CO2 emissions and energy.
- Install low-flow showerheads to reduce water consumption.
- Lessen food waste by cooking at home. Planning meals help to lessen food waste and practice meal preparation.
- When ordering takeout or delivery, inform the restaurant that we’re skipping the utensils because we have those at home.
- Bring children to visit local farms and fisheries that use ethical agricultural methods to teach them about sustainable food production.
- Plant a tree species native to the area by going to the local nursery to buy and plant seedlings. Join a volunteer group or donate to a charity that does this also counts!
- An outdoor herb garden is an enjoyable and straightforward way to connect with food while saving money and enhancing the family’s meals. Herb gardens are also easy to grow indoors and take up little space.
- Practice BYO (Bring Your Own) to reduce single-use plastic like water bottles, straws, and plastic bags.
- Start a DIY recycling project instead of buying something new. The DIY Network is a great resource.
- Proper composting helps mitigate the harmful gas released in landfills through food waste disposal.
- Maintain reduced driving speeds to consume less fuel. It’ll not only help the environment but also our wallets and vehicles.
- Shifting purchases to local vendors helps keep the money circulating within the local economy and reduces the number of carbon emissions from transportation and shipping.
- Go for Meatless Mondays or Forest Fridays to inspire the community!
- Volunteer in a cleanup program either solo or with a friend.
- Organize a watch party and choose a documentary about environmental issues.
- Hold a garage sale to give pre-loved items a second lease at life.
- Join advocacy groups and share experiences with others! Learning from the experts can be a great way to ensure we foster climate-friendly habits.
Finally, we can keep track of our pledges by sharing and encouraging others to talk about collective efforts at home and within our communities. Happy Earth Day!