Earth Day: How and Why to Practice Sustainability
By Genevieve Ava, B.I.S., NASM-CPT,
Earth Day is an important day because it’s a chance to celebrate our planet, cherish it, and reflect on what we can do better to preserve it. We’ve made strides toward more sustainable lifestyles, but there is always something we can do better. How can we continue to be conscious and make small yet effective changes to practice sustainability? We’ll share a few tips.
Use More Eco-Friendly Products
Our homes are filled with so many products that we might not realize aren’t very eco-friendly. Whether it’s plastic bottles, paper plates, paper cups, disposable cutlery, produce bags, etc. These are a part of our everyday lives, and while we might use these items to help reduce the amount we have to clean, too many of these items aren’t serving our environment and are, in fact, putting our environmental health at risk.
Lessening the rate at which we use these particular items can make a big difference. One way to practice sustainability is to take up sustainable shopping and use more eco-friendly products or eco-friendly packaging.
Examples of eco-friendly products can include reusable grocery/shopping bags, stainless steel water bottles, compostable plates and bowls, metal straws, reusable razors, and more. Switching to these items can reduce waste significantly. Even in your search for food, try going to your local farmers’ market. You can play your part in environmental wellness by buying fresh produce that has no plastic packaging and buying from a place that has lower carbon emissions than other factories that have accelerated global warming.
Use Transportation Mindfully
Depending on where you live, it might be hard to find public transportation, especially transportation that is easily accessible. Cars and other means of transportation have a big effect on the environment. Not only due to how many products and parts it takes to make vehicles — which involve the disposal of many wastes — but vehicles also are a leading cause of how much pollution we have in the air.
When you’re able to, think about how far it might take you to get somewhere and if you can walk, ride your bike, or even use electric scooters such as Lime or Birds.
If you can walk to your local market and don’t have too many groceries to carry back, take advantage of that! Not only will lessening the use of cars help reduce air pollution, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and more, it’s also a great way to get in your exercise and grab some fresh air.
Watch Your Paper Use
There are roughly 98,339,000 tons of paper produced in the world in 2022 alone. That’s an extremely significant amount of paper. The production of paper requires more water than one would think. The World Count highlights that it takes ten liters of water to produce a single A4 sheet of paper.
Not only does the production of paper mean that we are using a lot of water, but it also means that we are using millions of trees day by day to continue the production of paper. The U.S. is the second leader in paper production, producing almost 75,083,000 tons.
Ways to reduce the use of paper can include taking notes on your phone or a dry erase board, using online storage or cloud storage for certain files and documents, reducing how much you print, and keeping a recycling bin nearby. Paper is very easy to recycle. The more paper is recycled, the less paper supply will need to come from newly cut trees.
Add a Plant to Your House
Over the past three years, many have found themselves becoming new plant parents or adding to the plants they already have. Not only are plants beautiful and a great way to add some decor to your living space, but plants are also a critical resource because they help support life on Earth.
Having indoor plants can reduce VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and carbon dioxide from the air. They release oxygen and help regulate water cycles. Other benefits of having plants in your home include mood improvement, better air quality, less fatigue, lowering your stress and anxiety, aiding your healing and pain tolerance, and even helping your focus.
If you’re new to plants and need one for a beginner, start by adding a plant to your home that’s easy to take care of and maintain, such as a Peace Lily, Aloe Vera Plant, and more.
There are so many different ways to help the environment. Try some of these tips above and share them with others who are trying to practice sustainability. We’re in this together, and taking these simple steps can make Earth a better place.
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