Woah! WOAH! I did NOT forget Earth day this year, people. No way, no how! Earth day is better than my birthday! Seriously! I love it so much that I celebrate it EVERY SINGLE DAY.
What did you do to celebrate? Or what do you do every day to celebrate our mother Earth?
Unfortunately, I was working so that means I was flying around in a jet which is hardly beneficial to the environment! But this past weekend, I worked on my compost, rode my bike to the thrift store (does that count?), supported my local co-op (always beneficial to support local-ish farms and my neighborhood) and donated a mass amount of books, magazines and movies to my neighborhood movie and book exchange. When I get home from this trip, I'm going to start my urban garden - I can't wait!!
If you haven't already, start celebrating earth day EVERY day with these helpful rules! that's right, they're not tips - these are RULES. These aren't "change your entire lifestyle" rules, though. These are just things you should really get into the habit of. I see so much waste every single day I go to work. Water bottles, coffee cups, packaging - on a 1 hour flight, I will end up collecting what seems like 5 tons of trash! And that's just from 66 people! It makes me weak in the knees when someone comes on my plane and asks me to fill up their reusable coffee mug with coffee. Seriously. I love it.
-get a reusable water bottle already! jeez! there are water fountains everywhere, they're great for the environment and you'll save money because you won't have to BUY tap water anymore. Oh, you're afraid of the water that comes out of water fountains/sinks? Get over it! Seriously! Tap water is regulated WAY more than bottled water is. I've drank tap water in half the cities in America plus in Canada. I'm still alive! And what about all of those chemicals used to make your plastic bottles? Think that's good for you in any way? Nope! Traveler's Tip: Bring an empty reusable water bottle with you and fill it up at one of the many drinking fountains after you get through security. Water in every airport is at least $3 and a waste of money!
-Use the automatic air dryer next time you wash your hands! Not only are you keeping your hands clean by not touching something else that everyone has touched, but you are saving paper towels from going into landfills. Those paper towels that you use for 4 seconds and then throw away can never be recycled. Their only destiny is to the landfill. Spend 15 more seconds in the bathroom and air dry your hands from now on.
-People, it's 2012. If you don't have a huge stash of reusable bags by now, I think you've been living under a rock. WHY DO YOU USE PLASTIC? It breaks, it holds barely anything, and it's a waste. Reusable bags can be stylish, they're strong and they can hold like two gallons of milk plus a ton of other stuff. You won't have a plastic bag pile crampin your kitchen's style, either. Get with it! Get a reusable bag on www.etsy.com or at your local grocery store! (and did you know some grocery stores even give you .5 - .10 off for every reusable bag you bring!? what! isn't that awesome!?)
-Coffee/tea drinkers: get a mug, yo! Listen, I work in airports. I work in one of the busiest airports in the country. The amount of Starbucks cups I throw away on any given flight plus the amount people drink in any given hour is absurd! Get a travel mug. They cost like $10 and if you drink starbucks every day, you'll end up making that money back in a year. (Not only do many coffee companies give you a nice little .10 discount on your drink, but they'll also fill it to the top no matter what size you get. It's totally amazing!) Or, better yet, you can just.. make your own coffee and bring it with you! But again, if you are traveling, you don't have that luxury. But no one is stopping you from bringing your own reusable mug that's empty! No one! Unless TSA is having a bad day.. then you never know what'll happen.
-Bring your own tupperware to the restaurant. Yea, this is a little out there, and it's probably not going to catch on for another few years, but how many times do you go out to eat and bring home leftovers? I do it all the time! And I get a huge styrofoam (shudder) box that takes up half my fridge. I always forget to bring my own containers, but once in a blue moon, when I remember, it feels so awesome. I don't have to feel immense guilt for throwing away a huge styrofoam box, and I love using my cute tupperware so it's a win-win situation.
There they are, four simple rules to help you minimize your impact on the Earth. These are just to begin with - I will be going over some other tips in the future, some that are more in-depth.
I do realize that these rules all involve you remembering to bring something with you. A bag, a water bottle, a coffee mug and tupperware. But that's the thing - we often buy and use things out of convenience because we can't be bothered to remember to bring something with us. It's not easy to carry around a water bottle, tupper ware AND a coffee mug with me every time I go to work, but I do it because I've made it part of my lifestyle. It makes me feel good when I fill up my bottle with water instead of drinking out of a plastic bottle and so forth. Once you begin to get used to the feeling of having a little bit more to carry around, it won't be so hard to practice these tips. And if you have a car, well then you've got nothing to worry about! Throw your reusable bags in the backseat and keep an empty reusable water bottle in there!
Remember, every little bit helps! If we can get one person every day to start using their own tools and resources instead of opting for plastic and styrofoam, we will make a big impact on our Earth and landfills! Spread the word!