…but what you can do for Earth!
Earth Day is coming up this Friday, April 22. You’ve probably seen all of the Earth Day celebration advertisements in your area. Lots of kids participate. Schools have incorporated it. It’s kind of a global thing!
Have you ever stopped to think about it? Without the hype and trendiness of it all, that is. Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970, but it has definitely gained importance — and the attention of the average person — in the last 15-20 years (depending on what area of the country you’re in).
Since this month is about growth and renewal, let’s think about ways that we can encourage those very things in our environment. I’ll give you my list, and I’d love for you to share your list with me.
What I do (or have plans to do) and why…
- Recycle. I don’t recycle because it’s the “now thing” to do. I recycle because I really want to contribute as little as possible to landfills. We already dispose of so much garbage (or rubbish, if you ask my 3 year old) that landfills are having to find better ways to conserve space, create energy and keep our air and water safe. And, that’s in addition to storing all of our trash! We truly take for granted where the garbage goes once the guys in the big, smelly truck drive away. If you don’t have recycling pick up, you can take your recyclables to your local recycling center. It’s pretty amazing all of the things you can recycle these days!
- Upcycle. No doubt this is a passion of mine! If I’m going to recycle something, I always wonder if there’s a way I could use it again. Do I need to go out and buy a new pen holder for my desk at work? Nah. I can use the tips from last week’s Upcycling Intro guest post (click here) and make a sweet, personalized pen holder from the steel can that originally brought home my daughter’s sliced peaches. So easy! And you get to flex those creative muscles!
- Compost. This is something I will be doing this year since we have freed ourselves from the HOA Prison of Planned Communities. It floors me how much compostable material gets dumped in the garbage (which then goes to the landfill). The craziest part is all that great “garbage” can be turned into a nutrient-rich material that can be used to improve your soil and help your plants grow…and it’s FREE! You can even use a strategically located compost-forming pile to provide heat in your greenhouse during cold months. You get your greenhouse heated for FREE…and you get compost. It’s pretty much a win-win.
- Refashioning clothes. Yes, this could be considered upcycling, but I think it deserves special attention. Not only does it save you money to buy from thrift and consignment stores, but it reduces the amount of crappy, disposable clothing that has become so popular in the name of “saving money.” You want to really save money? Start scouring thrift and consignment stores on a weekly basis. You wouldn’t believe the high quality clothing I’ve found for $0.50…some even still have the original tags on them! If you’re one of those people who freak at the thought that another human was in the clothes before you, wash before you wear! And for some pretty amazing ideas for new ways to wear old clothes, you have to check out ReFashionista (click here…be impressed)!
That’s what I do and what I plan to do. It’s simple and rarely requires loads of your time since I believe it really begins with awareness. Think about where your garbage is going to end up, then think about what you could do today to make even the tiniest difference in that outcome.
I’m an engineer. I create and design and figure out how things work. I want to be the kind of engineer that makes a difference, and reducing garbage is a good place to start. I’ve also set my sights on doing something about leaky garbage trucks because those just gross me out. I don’t like to deal with garbage juice running down my road! Yuck! More on that plan later…
This year for Earth Day, let’s take a new approach and show our concern for more than just a day. Encourage your kids and friends and family to do their part. Plant a tree…or plant a thousand trees. Investigate alternative energy sources (yay for solar!). Walk or ride your bike instead of driving. Send your kids to play outside and turn off the TV. Unplug, literally and figuratively. Grow a garden. Do something.
A healthy environment is an integral part of a healthy life and one that we can’t take for granted for very long.
My two favorite mantras that apply to everything I do?
Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.
Stay engaged. Have hope.
What will you do for your Earth this week and every week to follow?
Need more info?
Go to www.earthday.org.
The only affiliation I have here is that I, too, am an inhabitant of this pretty awesome planet.
Subscribe to the Starrhealthyself Newsletter for exclusive content and special opportunities! There are some seriously exciting ideas brewing that you WON’T want to miss!