You know that awesome feeling you get when you do something GOOD for the earth? You can do good any day or every day, but the official Earth Day for 2021 is Tuesday, April 20. Our BedVoyage team would like to offer many ways to become a better resident of planet earth:
Most of us are used to recycling our glass and plastics, and conserving water and power. But did you know there are dozens of other ways that we can contribute and be a better resident of planet earth? We’ve created a list to remind you to try to use a few methods each day. Below are a few to get you thinking!
One of the easiest ones to do is to recycle, so even when you’re out and about, try to use bins. Many quick-stop restaurants have recycle cans, gas stations frequently have them. Grocery stores have bins to insert your used plastic grocery bags for recycling. If you don’t have good access to recycling, look up a local recycling plant or a free recycle location near you. Many have a recycle area where you can drop off your glass and plastic. As well as old medicine, print toner, etc.
Need some new clothes for yourself or your kids? Stop by a consignment clothing or second hand store, where you can pick up some great finds! There are even high-end shops where you can buy some fabulous evening or office attire. Kids grow so fast that its a great place to get better quality clothing. Good prices too, better than buying new at your local department store.
Supporting your local community farmer, or shopping at the Farmers Market is a great way to reduce waste. The fuel of trucks transporting goods to the stores is high-use. Plastic bags (take a basket!), chemical spraying of vegetables and fruits that go to the grocery store are all added waste and toxins. At a Farmer’s Market you’re usually getting organic produce, which tastes better, and you’re keeping small businesses going. Also, growing your own vegetable or herb garden is easy, and saves all those plastic bags you drag home from the store. Check out The Gardening Mentor’s blog here.
The amount of plastic bottles that are used daily in the U.S. is a mind boggling 60 million! An easy way to greatly reduce that is to buy a filtering water pitcher for your refrigerator. Then fill up your own 1-3 reusable water bottles to take with you for the day. Simply wash them at night, and they’re ready to be reused the next day. Your own filtered water will likely taste better than bottled anyway.
Our BedVoyage CEO, Sharon Stuart, takes her own to-go cup when she travels, and refills it at the hotel water station often found by the front desk, lobby or pool. She calculated that on her latest 6 day trip; she would have used a minimum of 36 plastic bottles if she’d not had her own. Most businesses have a water cooler to reduce the water bottle waste, so take advantage of that. As well, you can buy a soda maker for home use, and no longer have to buy cans or bottles that quickly fill the garbage can.
Making your own soda often means less sugar and chemicals, and you can increase or decrease the mix to your own taste. A family of 4 using these techniques can save hundreds of bottles and cans from ending up in a landfill! Instead of using plastic utensils that go into a land fill, you can pack metal utensils in your lunchbox. Or bring your own to fast-food restaurants, after use; wrap in a napkin and take home for washing.
Ride Your Bike There:
If you live close enough to work to ride your bike, its a GREAT way to get your exercise, reduce fuel usage and reduce the miles you put on your car. Studies have been done that say that if Americans would make just one 4-mile round trip each week on a bike vs a car; we’d save nearly 2 billion gallons of gas. That’s a savings of over $7 billion a year, that’s huge! Many cities even have a ‘borrow-a-bike’ plan that is very affordable. Its a great option for populated areas where parking alone can be costly and hard to find.
We all know to turn off the lights when you leave a room, who hasn’t had it drilled into them by their parent while growing up?! But some other things you can do to conserve energy and reduce your power bill:
- unplug the coffee maker and the toaster when you go to work, or leave for the weekend, or a vacation.
- turn off your computer when you are done using it, or before you go to bed.
- if you have multiple items plugged into a power strip, you can easily turn them all off at the main power button to the strip.
- in the fall/winter, turn your heat down to 68 when home, and put on a sweater if needed.
- when you go to bed, turn the heat down to 63-65, and you’ll sleep better too!
Plant a Tree:
One of the most wonderful things we can do for the planet, and for our air, is to plant a tree, or three! For some wonderfully easy ways to learn what to do, visit OneTreePlanted.org. Many people may not know that you can even plant a seed from the apple you just ate. Or from the acorn that fell off a nearby tree. You can plant a tree almost anywhere: in the forest where there is some light, in your back yard, in a park, in a pot in your house! Its an amazing feeling to watch something grow, and know that you planted it. You created a tree that cleans the air, provides some shade for reading or picnicking, and allows a child to learn to climb. Maybe consider growing some fruit trees, then you can pick and bake a pie, yum!
Planting organic heirloom seeds in a garden, greenhouse, or neighborhood plot means that you can eat your own tasty homegrown food! Similar to the reasoning behind supporting your local farmers market, you help the earth by conserving fuel and plastics AND its rewarding and fun to grow your own. How great to serve up a lovely fresh salad to your family or guests all summer long. If you don’t have space for a garden, you can plant a small few pots on your windowsill and have fresh basil, dill, parsley, sage. Amy seasoning of your choice anytime you like, and it will grow year-round!
Make it Fun for the Entire Family!
Have fun doing your part on Earth Day, make it a great day by including your children, parents, friends, and community! You can also buy BedVoyage Bamboo Bed Sheets which come packaged in a fabric bag, as we’ve reduced our plastics too!