Remember the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”, where the entire world collapses due to climate change? Well, today is “The Day After Earth Day”, where I hope we don’t all forget that we have to continue all the “green” things we did yesterday in order to ensure the entire world doesn’t collapse like in that movie. For many, Earth Day is a one day a year event, where their concern for the planet lasts only 24 hours. The next day, things go back to their version of “normal”, with the environment never given another thought for 364 days. Companies even get in on the act, like how Coca-Cola thought it was a good idea to market plastic bottles full of filtered water as a celebration of Earth Day. But I am hopeful that there are less and less of those type of people and more of the kind who know that we need to make these changes permanent! Just because it is The Day After Earth Day doesn’t mean that we should stop caring about the only planet we have to live on. After all, if we trash this, we have nowhere else to go!
Living sustainably and responsibly is easy enough that we all should be able to do it throughout the year. It doesn’t require living in a tent, walking 30 miles to work, or eating only zucchuni for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Mostly it just requires some thought or being aware of what you are doing, and eventually it just becomes “normal” to watch consumption, reduce waste, eat healthier, recycle more, and watch the use of toxic chemicals in our homes. Just paying attention returns some big dividends! Lost as to where to start or in what ways you could make easy changes? Here are a few very simple tips from an old post of mine titled 35 Low-Cost Ways To Green Your Lifestyle:
5. Install sink water aerators. These cheap little things slow down the flow of water out of your sink, saving you money and saving us all water use. Cost: $2-$3
11. Make sure all your major electronics are on power strips. Even when they are “off”, stereo equipment and computers continue to draw electricity. Turning off a power strip at night or when you leave the house reduces energy use and saves money. Cost: As little as $10.
15. Use rechargeable batteries. We no longer need to buy any batteries, as we have a full set of rechargeables for all of the gadgets, remotes and smoke detectors in the house. Recharging batteries keeps dead ones out of the landfill and saves you money in the long run. Cost: $10 and up.
23. Bring your own bag to the store – any store. Most people talk about bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, but why not bring them everywhere? We leave a few in the car in case we stop to shop somewhere unexpectedly. Cost: A few bucks, if not free.
I know that every year on Earth Day, we hear people say that they took the stairs instead of the elevator for some exercise or they carpooled to save gas or they bought an organic cotton t-shirt rather than one sprayed with pesticides. These are all GREAT things…that we should be doing every day if we can. Don’t get me wrong, I could probably be “greener” in many ways; but the important thing is that everyone does their fair share of what they can, encourage others to do the same, and they stick with it beyond a single day dedicated to the Earth. “Every day is Earth Day on my planet” is a quote I heard yesterday that I absolutely loved. Since we are talking about ways to keep Earth Day going for the next 364 days, I dug up a few more posts that might help you along the way…
Which Fruits & Vegetables You Should Be Buying Organic.
It really should be common sense to take care of our planet, right? Even if you are not an “environmentalist”, why would you want to live in a world with things like polluted air and water, trash lining the roads, or plastic bags suffocating wildlife? Does that make any sense whatsoever? Good planets are hard to find…let’s take care of the only one we have and hope that everyone starts treating every day like it’s Earth Day.