We all know that Mother Earth could use a helping hand these days. We see the documentaries on Nextflix about the sad state of our oceans, and we know that recycling isn’t As grand a plan as we were lead to believe. Just because you aren’t BP or the head of a state, doesn’t mean you can’t make a BIG difference. In honor of Earth Day, we have compiled some easy earth friendly ideas that will make Mama Earth (and your wallet) happy:
- Wear a reusable mask: As many of you may have seen, mask litter is everywhere thanks to COVID. Reusable masks can’t be recycled and many of them end up in our oceans. Several reports have also found that certain disposable masks contain sketchy materials like carbon filters that the wearer ends up inhaling. According to the CDC, the most effective face mask has at least 2 years of fabric covering your nose and mouth. Opt for a machine washable face mask made out of at least 2 layers of a breathable, natural material like cotton, modal, or silk.
- Switch Your Bank: With your hard earned cash, mega banks are using your money to fund fossil fuel projects, sweatshops, factory farms, tobacco farms, and firearms manufacturers. If hearing this makes you want to scream, “Not with my money!”, then switching to an ethical bank is the move for you. There are many banks in the US that invest in socially responsible industries and use your money to create jobs in local communities, after school programs, and a better world overall. Not sure where your bank sits on the environmental spectrum? To find a bank committed to social and environmental values, look for those that are certified as a B Corp business or participate in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Click here to check your bank’s ranking, click here. When you break up from a polluting bank, be sure to let them know why you are leaving.
- See a piece of trash? Pick it up: Going on a walk or a jog outside? If you see a plastic bottle on the ground, pick it up! Make it a goal to pick up 5 pieces of trash on your next walk, whether that be cans, plastic wrap, bottle caps, etc. When you get home, put your findings into the recycle bin and then thoroughly wash your hands. This simple act not only beautifies your neighborhood, but helps prevent the garbage from ending up in the ocean.
- Stop Buying Plastic: Consumers don’t often realize how much power they have in their pocketbook. If we all stop buying plastic where we can, then companies will learn that buyers do not want plastic packaging and will be forced to switch to non-plastic packaging alternatives. For example, when you buy eggs, look for a cardboard egg crate instead of a plastic or even worse, styrofoam (which can’t be recycled). If you must buy a water bottle on the go, look for glass bottle options like Panna, Pellegrino or Voss. Say no to plastic bags at checkout and bring your own reusable bags.
- Practice Sustainable Fashion: A few items to note about fashion...
- Donate your clothes to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. Did you know that every single article of clothing is repurposed? They use clothing they are unable to sell to make cushioning that goes into car seats and furniture. Nothing goes to waste if you donate to the right place.
- Second hand online shops like Poshmark or Depop have some major fashion finds that are kind to your budget. Next time you are shopping, check out poshmark to see if they have what you are looking for. Chances are, you’ll be able to find the exact same garment at a killer discount!
- Natural fibers all the way, everyday. When you are shopping for clothing, try to buy naturally occurring fibers like cotton, modal, silk, wool, bamboo, rayon, etc. These fibers will disintegrate over time unlike synthetic alternatives, such as polyester. Synthetic fibers shed small micro plastic particles into the water each time they are washed, which end up in our oceans, rain water, and the food we eat.
- Buy from eco-conscious clothing brands. Fashion is the #2 largest polluter to the environment, and there are ways to be more green in this industry but it requires more effort on the company’s part. Brands that are looking for recycled materials, offsetting carbon emissions and using minimal plastic are what you are looking for.
- Shop at Your Local Farmer’s Market: The best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to shop at farmer’s market. Instead of shipping your produce in from countries half way around the world, they offer organic, fresh foods that take a minuscule amount of fossil fuels to get to you. This brings money back into your local community and delivers produce without harmful pesticides to your plate. Plus, they’ll get you outdoors in some fresh air and we swear, the food always last longer When it is from a farmer’s market. Not sure where to find one? Google your city name and Farmer’s Market or “Farmer’s market near me”.
We are all in this fight to save our planet together. We hope this list inspires you to take a closer look at your everyday activities with a green lens, and see what small changes you can make that will make a difference.