In the spirit of Earth Day (and month), we can all be doing more to improve our environmental state. Small steps can lead to big gains and we all need to be doing our part! Luckily, it's easier than you think to adopt eco friendly habits:
Reuse Old Clothing
Spring cleaning is a perfect opportunity to sift through those clothes you never actually wear. But don't just toss them out! You almost certainly have a family member, friend, or neighbor who would love to re-home those garments that no longer fit or that you're just tired of. You'll get clutter-free closets and they'll get a free shopping experience! Plenty of charitable organizations would also love to take unwanted clothing off of your hands to distribute to those in need. Or you can offer them up for free on local community message boards. The more we're able to extend the life of perfectly good clothing, the less we're contributing to mounting waste in our landfills.
Pro Tip: Even if your clothes have seen better days and aren't quite up to donation standards, you can still repurpose them! Cut up old t-shirts to use as reusable cleaning rags. You'll save a ton of money on paper towels and help save the trees at the same time!
Bring a Reusable Water Bottle
Buying water in plastic bottles creates a mind-boggling amount of waste. Some estimates suggest that 1,500 plastic water bottles are tossed every second! These petroleum-based plastics are clogging our landfills and oceans with disturbing speed. Buy yourself a few reusable bottles and fill them at home or work. Our single-use plastic problem is huge, but a step as simple as purchasing reusable bottles can have massive implications! Don't underestimate your impact!
Ditch Plastic Bags
Not to harp on our point above, but single-use plastics are to be avoided as much as possible. Once you tackle the water bottle problem, set your sights on plastic bags. Reusable totes are more durable, have increased capacity, and save us from so much plastic waste! Grocery stores often have them readily available right in the checkout line for very reasonable prices (and with fun designs!).
Pro Tip: If you really want to go for the gold, you can knock out two eco tips at once with a simple craft project that turns old shirts into reusable bags. There are plenty of tutorials out there by creative folks who love to get the most use out of the items they already have. It's a win-win for you and the environment!
Plant a Garden
It’s good to have a reminder of where your food comes from. Here’s an easy one with great benefits! Having an herb or vegetable garden is fun, useful, and convenient. Whether it’s inside or outside, give them a little water, a lot of sun, and some love and they will give you amazing, fresh food in return!
Switch to LED Bulbs
All at once or over time, changing out the light bulbs in your home or at work will not only save you money, it will use less energy. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, LEDs will give you safer (they are cool to the touch and pose less fire risk) and less expensive illumination with the added benefit of only having to change the bulb every 5-10 years on average!
Plant a Tree
In your yard, park, school, and other community spaces, you can put a tree to work by putting one in the ground. Trees help remove carbon dioxide from the air and make the world a safer place to breath. Often times, cities or communities will offer free trees to residents who want to plant one. Check out your local government website to find out if you can score a new addition to your yard!
Walk or Bike When You Can
It’s not always possible, but think before you leave the house. Do you really have to drive your car? Why not go for a nice walk or bike ride to get where you need to go? Take a stroll to the store to pick up a few things or bike to the beach to go for a swim. Cars are an understandable necessity for many tasks, so when you do need to take them, plan out your routes efficiently to eliminate unnecessary back and forth and wasted gas. The earth and your wallet will thank you!
Pro Tip: Armpocket armbands are a snap to attach to your bike handlebars! Track your route hands-free while protecting your phone from inclement weather and drops.
Perhaps the most basic and well-known eco tip of all: recycling! Of course, it's always best to reduce your waste contribution to begin with, and barring that, to reuse the items you can to make sure you're milking all possible use from them before disposal. But once you've done your best to reduce and reuse, please check to see if you can recycle the item you're through with. You have heard this a million times, but recycling really can make a world of difference. Most cities offer a free service to help you recycle and contacting your local sanitation department should get you the information you need to start.
As you can see, it's easy to be more eco-friendly. Why not make a small change that can make a huge difference? Join us in our passion for active lifestyles and protecting our planet for future generations by sharing your Earth Day activities!