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Easy Ways To Celebrate Earth Day

Rachael Brennan Published On: 16-04-2018
Easy Ways To Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is remarkably similar to New Year's Eve. Everyone decides to make big steps towards fixing problems, sets lofty goals for the upcoming year, and then discovers just how hard it can be to actually work towards improvement.

After a few weeks of trying to ride your bike everywhere you suddenly get a flat tire or end up in a rainstorm and all of your good intentions go down the drain, leaving you driving to work every day the same way you did before you decided to make a change.

It is easy to let your goals fall by the wayside, but the environment is too important for you to quit trying for better. Instead of leaving your attempts at environmentalism behind like a half-remembered gym membership you might consider setting a more reasonable goal that is easier to maintain. Every little bit counts, so you can feel good about taking steps towards environmental sustainability even if the journey is a little slower than you had originally planned.

If you know you won't be able to live up to your grand intentions but you aren't sure exactly how to scale them back, here are a few ideas you might want to consider. 

Difficult Goal - Giving Up Single Use Plastics For The Year

Easy Ways To Celebrate Earth Day: Give up Plastic

Single use plastics are undoubtedly causing significant damage to our environment. To date more than 8 billion tons of plastic has been produced across the planet, of which more than 6 billion tons is now waste material, most of which has been dumped in landfills or oceans. When you consider that plastics never completely break down and single use plastics account for 50% of all plastic produced, this is clearly a problem that must be addressed.

Giving up all single use plastic items is an excellent idea, but for many people this is not a change that can be made cold turkey. From food packaging to cell phones to some of the fibers in our clothing, plastic has made its way into nearly every aspect of our daily lives, making it incredibly difficult to remove the offending substance all at once.

For an easier alternative, just give up one specific kind of single use plastic, such as drinking straws or grocery bags, for the year. Think about all the ways plastic impacts your life and figure out where you can reasonably expect to replace it or quit using it all together. Given that the average person uses 1.6 drinking straws per day, giving them up could prevent 584 drinking straws from ending up in landfills and oceans over the next year.

Difficult Goal - Quit Using Fossil Fuels

Easy Ways To Celebrate Earth Day: Reduce Carbon Footprint

Fossil fuels have a dramatic impact on our environment. From increases in carbon and methane to toxic water pollution and acid rain, fossil fuel use damages our environment in dozens of ways, contributing significantly to climate change. People do need to come together and put an end to fossil fuel usage over the next several years to prevent irreversible damage to the planet, but in much the same way that plastic is deeply entrenched in modern life, fossil fuels are much the same.

Most homes use oil or gas heating and most cars are powered by gasoline, which means that unless you can afford to build your home from scratch or buy a very expensive electric vehicle you will be forced to make use of fossil fuels in some way.

You can absolutely take steps to reduce your use of fossil fuels, but until we make these changes as a society it will continue to be extremely expensive to make these changes as an individual. For an easier alternative, find a list of all of your elected representatives and email them to let them know you won't vote for anyone who doesn't support renewable energy.

Difficult Goal - Going Vegan

Easy Ways To Celebrate Earth Day: Go Vegan

Jillian Michaels

It can be shocking to learn that producing one pound of beef uses 1,799 gallons of water. It is even more alarming to learn that cattle alone produced 119.1 million tons of methane in 2011 alone. When you consider the rapidly dwindling amount of available fresh water on the planet and the significant impact methane has on climate change it can be enough to convince you to give up meat completely. Many vegans did choose to adopt their animal-free diets for exactly these reasons, so it certainly isn't unheard of for people to choose tofu over steak to help save the planet.

Even with the best of intentions giving up meat can be incredibly difficult. Studies show that 5 out of 6 people who choose to become vegetarian or vegan will eventually go back to eating meat, partly for nutritional reasons and partly because maintaining a meat-free diet is incredibly difficult in a society where meat is a dietary staple. As an easier alternative you might choose to go meatless one or two days per week.

Reducing consumption is an excellent way to make a positive impact on the environment without totally overhauling your diet. 

Atrium Staffing

Small changes are significantly easier to maintain than large ones, and the environmental impact of a small change that is maintained long-term is significantly better than a large change that only lasts for a short time.

This Earth Day what changes will you make to reduce or improve your impact on the environment?

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