April 22nd is Earth Day, which started in 1970. Read about its origin: https://www.earthday.org/history/.
I try to take steps to help the Earth, but it can be hard to lead an environmentally friendly life.
Here are some things you can do:
One: Recycle and Reuse (bags, water bottles, etc.)
Recycle: put out recyclable materials for local collection. Cities and towns typically have one of two days a week to recycle materials. The City of Boston info: https://www.boston.gov/trash-and-recycling. I find it challenging to figure out what can and can’t be recycled but there are resources available online to help answer local recycling questions.
Reuse: There is a large variety of reusable products including, bags, straws, towels, etc. I’ve found some products easier to use than others. Self shared an article with a list of reusable products for the home: https://www.self.com/gallery/reusable-products
Reusable Bottles and bags: This is an easy action for me. I’ve used refillable water bottles for many years. My favorites keep water cold for hours. This is my newest version and a recently purchased strap to hold it.
Another brand I use is Swell. They are having an Earth Day sale this week with 25% off some products (FYI: the discount appears in your cart). https://www.swell.com/
I’ve also been using reusable bags for years. I like to keep a packable bag with me at all times. You can buy sets of packable bags on Amazon. I’ve also purchased some at local bookstores.
I love this tote made from recycled materials with an interior pocket!
Two: Eat more plant-based foods and buy plant-based products
You don’t have to commit to a fully vegan or vegetarian lifestyle to eat plant-based foods. One option is to participate in Meatless Mondays – https://www.mondaycampaigns.org/meatless-monday
One vegan product I’ve recently discovered:
My favorite esthetician and friend, Page, introduced me to this product to be used as my daily facial sunscreen. The verdict – I love it! I took Page’s advice to shake it first and only use a tiny dollop. Another Page tip: don’t forget to use it on the top of your hands.
This step requires a little more work and research. This is a 2022 goal of mine. I had done some research earlier in the year and gave up because I couldn’t figure out how to get an outdoor bin for my compost materials.
Today I did a quick google search and found project Oscar: https://www.boston.gov/departments/public-works/project-oscar. I did have to take a “quiz” about items that can be composted in order to get the code to the neighborhood compost bin. I passed!
The next step is to buy a bin for my home to collect the materials. Here is a good housekeeping article on bins: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/g35902276/best-compost-bins/
Reasons to compost and compost list (from the City of Boston website):
There are so many great reasons to compost! Here are just a few:
~Regularly removing organic waste from your kitchen by dropping it in a compost bin 2-3 times a week significantly reduces odors in your home and prevents your trash from attracting unwanted pests.
~When food waste is sent to landfills it produces high levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is produced by anaerobic decomposition. When food waste is composted, the aerobic conditions in which it is broken down prevent the production of methane. By composting, we are helping to maintain a healthier atmosphere.
~When our fruits, vegetables and grains are harvested from the field, they take a lot of the soil’s nutrients with them. By composting our food scraps we are returning many of these valuable nutrients (like nitrogen) back to the soil to support the growth of another generation of food. We call this “closing the loop” and it means that farmers who spread compost on their fields require less chemical fertilizer to grow their crops. Additionally, compost helps the soil retain more water and more nutrients and helps prevent soil erosion which is a major contributor to water pollution and soil degradation.
WHAT CAN I COMPOST?
~Fruit and vegetable scraps, peelings, pits, and seeds
~Eggshells and nutshells
~Coffee grounds and coffee filters
~Cut or dry flowers
~Cardboard take-out containers
~Wooden coffee stirrers
FYI: It might take a little time to get in the habit of using a trash can and a compost bin.
Four: Buy sustainable fashion, clothes from thrift stores, or rent clothes
Some sustainable/vegan brands I’ve purchased products from include Gap and Banana Republic, Dagne Dover, Rothy’s, Vessi, Madewell, and Rareform. Some of these brands use vegan materials to reduce waste, and some brands repurpose materials (Rothy’s and Rareform).
Don’t want to research sustainable fashion brands? No problem: The Good Trade has done the work for you https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/affordable-ethical-fashion-brands
Renting: I’ve been renting clothes from Rent the Runway on and off for a few years. My goal is to have a capsule wardrobe and use RTR to add trendy pieces and cut down on my yearly clothing purchases.
Thrifting: Buying gently used clothing from local stores. Do a quick google search to find nearby locations.
Remember to donate or recycle old clothes before placing them in the garbage. I wrote a post about a visit to Goodwill in 2013. Still a great organization to support.
Five: Join a cleanup, visit a state park, or donate
Do a quick google search to find a local cleanup event or to find an organization worthy of your donation.
Or create your own event: I like the idea of a family clean-up day – go for a local walk with a trash bag to clean up the neighborhood. I would recommend using gloves when collecting items.
Visit a state park. https://www.mass.gov/visit-massachusetts-state-parks
To celebrate Earth Day – go for a walk outside!