We’ve put together this guide of things that you can do with your family to celebrate Earth Day and make environmentally friendly choices. If you participate, let us know on social media with #paliearthday
Simple Everyday Things:
- Get rid of junk mail – Collect the mail that comes to your household and reach out to the companies to remove you from their list. CalRecycle has some resources for this here.
- Go out on a nature walk – Head outside and enjoy the spring weather! There’s plenty of nature in neighborhoods and local parks to enjoy while following physical distancing guidelines.
- Learn about your local recycling guidelines – Do you know what items can be recycled in your community? Head to your local waste management’s website to learn what you can recycle from your home and do a little research on where other things like electronics or CRVs can be recycled.
- Picking up Litter – While out on your walk, keep an eye out for any litter around! Bring a bag to carry litter home to throw it out. (Bring a second bag to use as a glove to avoid touching things directly!)
Food and Water Usage:
- Install a home compost bin – Look up ways to install a compost bin in your yard or where locally you can compost plant materials. (You may already have Green Bins!) Take a look at this guide to setting up a compost system for inspiration.
- 4-minute shower challenge – Turn some of these tips into a fun challenge. See who in your family can take showers in four minutes or less to help reduce water usage!
- Be creative with food scraps – Did you know that peel and bits of veggies that you would normally toss can be use to make a delicious veggie stock? Same with leftover bones! What can you use that would normally go to waste?
- Plan meals ahead by shopping your pantry first – Look around your cupboards and fridge to see what’s lying around and make a menu from that! Supercook lets you put in ingredients and suggest meals you can make. Using up what you can can help reduce waste and save money!
Reusability & Recycling:
- Create an ‘Unpaper’ Towel – Look around your house for things you can use that replace paper towels. Cutting up old bedsheets or t-shirts that you no longer use is often a good place to start. You can even get creative and sew some new towels!
- Invest in a reusable water bottle or coffee mug – Go a step further and decorate your water bottle or coffee mug to make something you’re proud of and want to carry around!
- Invest in a reusable straw – Many businesses are stepping away from plastic straws due to the impact they have on the environment, if you enjoy drinking out of straws, it may be time to invest in a personal reusable straw – or go paper!
- Fix or re-purpose ripped clothing – Learn how to sew and fix tears in your clothes to extend their life. Clean or polish your shoes to keep them looking new!
- Create art from recyclables or trash – Get creative! Look at your recycling and start thinking about what you can make! Mood boards or collages are a great place to start, look around online for more ideas!
Grow Your Green Thumb:
- Plant a food garden – Learn more about what goes into growing your own food! Plants can be started from seeds or you can purchase starter plants from a home improvement store. From tomato plants that you can grow on a porch to potatoes that you can grow in a barrel, there are a lot of options that don’t require a lot of space! Herbs are a great place to start if you just have a bright window sill.
- Adopt a houseplant – Houseplants can be a great connection to nature while we are in our homes. A lot of easy to grow houseplants may be available to purchase just at the grocery store! Once you get a plant, research how to take care of it so it can thrive in your home!
- Learn how to regrow certain foods and vegetables from scraps – Veggies like green onions, celery, lettuce, and herbs can be regrown from what you buy from the grocery store. Save your scraps and plant them to see what pops up! For an extra challenge, look up how to regrow a pineapple! (Usually takes a while to fruit again but can be a fun experiment!)
- Research native pollinator friendly plants and plant them in your yard – Native plants are well adapted to the local growing season, climate, and soils so growing them is easier. Pollinators are then essential for plant reproduce and help product genetic diversity in the plants they pollinate. Garden with native plants, forgoing chemicals helps create pollinator-friendly landscapes that can help curb pollinator decline!
Take it to the Next Level:
- Write to your government representative about an environmental issue – Get involved! Contacting your elected representatives helps let them know what is important to the community.
- Make food from scratch instead of prepared or take out options – Learn how to cook your favorite food from scratch. Learning to cook from scratch gives you more versatility in the kitchen and allows you to keep a more varied menu if supplies are limited. (Or you can use this as a reason to make Disney Churros!)
- Take a virtual field trip to a state or national park – With hundreds of parks to visit, you would never be able to visit them all in person! Now is a great time to visit some parks virtually and maybe you’ll find some you want to visit in person.
- Conduct a household trash audit – When making any change to your routine or systems, it’s important to get a baseline of what you are doing so you can know where to improve!
Household Choices & Habits:
- Turn off or unplug unnecessary electronics – ‘Vampire energy’ is the energy that devices pull from an outlet even when a device is not on. Reduce your energy consumption by unplugging devices when they are not in use.
- Wash clothes in cold water and air dry – Another way to reduce your energy consumption is to wash clothes in cold water and let them air dry instead of using a dryer.
- Switch light bulbs to energy efficient models – When your light bulbs need replacing, make sure to pick energy efficient models! While they may have a higher up front cost, they cost less to operate and last longer leading to long term savings.
- Organize your refrigerator so food doesn’t go bad – Sometimes when food is pushed to the back of the fridge, it gets forgotten and goes bad before we can eat it. This can be prevented by organizing the fridge and labeling food so that it can be eaten in a timely manner!
Happy Earth Day!
Thanks for participating! Was there anything that you can incorporate into everyday life? Keep doing good work and remember, if you weren’t able to get to the more elaborate activities, that’s okay! Set them aside until you have more time. Happy Earth Day!