Wednesday, April 22, 1970, a day in history which marks the first “massive nationwide protest against the pollution of the environment.” Forty-three years later, the world again prepares to celebrate Earth Day. While the psychedelic days of the ‘70s may feel like “just yesterday” for some, Mother Earth begs to differ.
Gone are the days when simply rallying around the elimination of oil spills, toxic dumps and pesticides was enough. Recycling and water conservation are no longer the end all and be all of environmental sustainability. It’s 2013 and our rapidly changing Earth cries out for a greater effort with a heightened sense of urgency. To take your environmental sustainability efforts to the next level and to spread the #GREENspiration, here are eight unique ways to go green this Earth Day (and beyond).
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
1. Dryer lint? That’s for the birds. No, seriously. Rather than throwing away your dryer lint, put it in the backyard for the birds – they use it to feather their nests. (Source: SheKnows)
2. It’s not re-gifting if you’re turning it into something even more awesome! Upcycling is a fabulous new trend which put simply means to “create new things with the stuff you already have” (thanks, eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo). Here’s an idea – take those Wilsonart Laminate sample chips you picked up from your local hardware store and turn them into decorative accents for a gorgeous new serving tray. (Source: Good Day LA)
3. Nonstop flights = a good time for everyone. Unless you’re a huge fan of the widely dreaded take-off and landing, or you get a rush from spending hours upon hours at airports, you’re probably pretty into nonstop flights. Good news – not only are they more convenient, they’re more sustainable. Take-off, landing and ground operations add a significant amount of emissions to a trip.
4. OK, so carpooling isn’t exactly a new concept… But, it’s ever-important. Did you know that carpooling just two days a week reduces CO2 emissions by 1,590 pounds a year? Just TWO days per week = 1,590 lbs. saved. Talk to your colleagues who live near you to set up a carpooling system. (Source: One Block Off the Grid)
5. The best things cookies come to those who wait. You know that feeling when your delicious chocolate chip cookies are taking what feels like an eternity to bake? Resist the urge to open the oven door to sneak a peek – every time you do, the temperature drops 25° F and requires additional energy to get back to baking. As it turns out, there’s an oven light for a reason. (Source: We Energies)
Food & Beverage
6. Kill two Earth-polluting birds with one stone. No, don’t actually kill birds. Step 1: start your own backyard compost. Step 2: grow your own produce in your new compost garden. Do this and you’re not only eliminating waste by finding a new use for easily decomposable trash, but you’re significantly decreasing the distance between your food and your table. This makes Mother Earth (and maybe birds) smile. (Source: SheKnows)
7. It’s 5:00 (am) somewhere. In order to better conserve, water your plants first thing in the morning. Mornings tend to be cooler and without strong winds, decreasing the amount of water lost to evaporation. It’s not technically a human beverage tip, but your plants will appreciate having more to drink. (Source: The Daily Green)
8. Who says it’s not easy being green? (Sorry, Kermit.) Get your company excited about Earth Day by inspiring some healthy green competition. At CRT/tanaka, we’re celebrating environmental sustainability all throughout the month of April with our Green Competition. Employees are nominating each other every time they do something green – whether that’s turning off lights in conference rooms when not in use, sharing tips for donating books, toys or clothes, eating meatless meals or powering down laptops at the end of the day – all with the promise of some rad green prizes like Whole Foods gift cards and multi-device chargers for the top-scoring Green Warriors.
I hope these eight unique ideas inspire you to go green this Earth Day. Please spread the GREENspiration by sharing this post and commenting with your Earth Day ideas below.