8 Fantastic (and Frugal) Earth Day Ideas
April 22 is Earth Day, so make the day count by giving a little TLC to our loving, giving home – Planet Earth. (Tip: You can save money along the way, too.)
Earth Day this year should carry a sense of heavy urgency. Scientists tell us that in the past 50 years, humans have consumed more natural resources than have been consumed during the entire existence on this planet.
Between 1950 and 2005, oil consumption grew eight times and metal production increased by 600 percent, while natural-resource extractions increased by 50 percent between 1980 and 2010, according to non-profit recycling company EcoCycle. Each American household goes through an average of 848 pieces of junk mail annually.
Bottom line, we owe Mother Nature our lives, but we don’t act like it. The “youngins” are the future, so we’re going to deal with the problems previous generations left behind, whether we like it or not.
We should make it our priority to preserve the world for our own children.
Here are eight easy, free(ish) Earth Day ideas to help the planet this April 22:
1. Go to an Earth Day Fair
These fairs usually offer free samples of delicious food that’s locally grown and environmentally conscious. They also have environmentally friendly products for show so that you can make small lifestyle adjustments to lessen your carbon footprint.
Admission to these events is usually free, and they’re an excellent way to get siblings and parents involved.
You can search for Earth Day events in your area on the Earth Day Network website.
2. Join an Environmental Group
The best way to make a small, but meaningful impact is to join a group. Not only does group participation produce results, but it can help with personal development and networking. Environmental groups have no admission fees – just opportunities for donating, which can also help you get more back in your tax refunds.
3. Follow the 3 Rs
Reduce, reuse, recycle!
I remember a song from elementary school that got me excited to sort through my trash. Now the knowledge that my planet is imploding is enough motivation.
Recycling can help reduce the amount of natural resources we extract and minimize the use of fossil fuels.
5. Drip, Drip, Drip
That leaky faucet repair that you’ve been putting off? Better head to the store ASAP. Not only are you paying more on your water bill, but those little drops of water can really add up. “Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Less than one percent of Earth’s freshwater is accessible for us to drink, and our supply is increasingly finite.
6. Plant a Few Trees
It’s simple and nostalgic. After saving the world from environmental degradation, you can show your kids the tree that started it all. That’s love. You can plant trees for free by going to the park and finding a seed, or else you can get little seed packets that cost a few cents.
If you’re a millennial, then you probably already do car sharing in the form of Uber, or find other ways of saving on your commute. By sharing a ride with a stranger, you can minimize the number of cars on the road and save on gas, insurance, and car payments. Some municipalities even provide federally funded carpool programs for those living in their district. Find out if yours has one! If not, ask around at work or school.
You’ll make new friends and save money. What’s not to like?
8. Buy a Permanent, Refillable Water Bottle
Bottled water wastes huge amounts of natural resources in the form of fossil fuel extraction (used in production of plastic bottles), not to mention the compounded effect of carbon emissions from the transportation of the bottles. By buying a permanent water bottle, you can both save money in the long term and help save your planet.