Happy Earth Day: 10 Simple Ways to Help the Environment

It’s sad for me to admit, but I was never much of a fan of nature growing up. I thought Earth Day was foolish. I would complain when my dad would want to go on hikes. I never cared about recycling. A lot has changed in the past few years. The damage that we have done to the earth is starting to have real consequences. But also, I have learned to gain great inner peace when I am able to connect with nature.

So here are simple changes that you can start today, that will make lasting impacts.

  1. Reusable shopping bags: If you haven’t started using reusable shopping bags then switch today. My favorite thing is that when you shop at places like Lululemon or Bare Minerals, they actually give you the product in a reusable bag! Love it!
  2. Cleaning product makeover: Discontinue using the Lysol wipes or cleaning with paper towels. Find some old rags to wipe down counters. Also, switching to natural products will be safer for you, your family, and pets, as well as the environment.
  3. Cut down on your use of animal products. I am not saying that you need to become a vegan. However, the average American has more than doubled our consumption of animal products since 1950! This puts an incredible demand on our planet and our animals. So, decrease your cow’s milk by buying almond or coconut milk. Share a chicken breast and up your veggies with dinner. Have a meatless Monday.
  4. Buy Local: Not only is this good for your community and local economy, this is also good for the earth. The amount of energy that is consumed by mass production and shipping is astronomical. Support your local farmer, bookstore, or retailer.
  5. Join a community of recyclers: One person’s junk, is another’s treasure. If you haven’t checked out your local Freecycle community, you definitely should. This is a way to keep your junk out of landfills and find great items for free that you could use.
  6. NO MORE BOTTLED WATER: I am sure we have all seen the commercial about how many water bottles have wrapped around the planet. This is an easy switch that will save you money. Fill up your reusable water bottles. Keep a Brita in the fridge. Or buy one of those cool Camelbak bottles that filter each cup!
  7. Unplug your computers and cell phone chargers: This is one that I am guilty of. This will greatly reduce your use of energy and your electricity bill. Very simple if we could be slightly less lazy. Whoops.
  8. Change your mail preferences: And I’m not talking about email. Make sure your bills and statements are electronic. This will save you some stamp money too. You can also discontinue junk mail! WooHoo! Less unwelcoming mail in the box will make checking it less anxious!
  9. Live urban: Yup, get out of the ‘burbs. OK maybe this one isn’t simple but it’s pretty awesome. When you live in the city, you take up less space (decrease energy and material consumption), walk more (anything to avoid paying these expensive gas prices is welcoming), and buy local ingredients from smaller markets.
  10. Take a nature walk: This impact is indirect but crucial. When you are able to get out and connect with nature, you gain appreciation for it. When we feel gratitude, then we will be more conscious about taken care of it.

What are some of your favorite environmentally conscious tools?

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