Earth Day is approaching quickly. Together over a billion people will celebrate our planet on April 22nd making Earth Day the largest secular holiday observed in the world.
Our Earth is beautiful and wonderful. I am fortunate to have gotten to travel to a few various parts of our spectacular planet, but there is so much more I want to see. I want this planet to be around a long time after I’m gone, and I feel personally responsible to do my part and encourage my children to do the same.
This is an easy one nowadays as most of us have curbside recycling. I can remember back in the day having to haul all of my recycling to the recycling center and sorting it all out. That is no longer the case, and it really takes minimal effort to recycle items you normally would simply throw away. Look up your local curbside recycling to find out what materials are and are not accepted. For me, glass and plastic grocery store bags are not accepted so we have to find other places to recycle those items.
Pick up trash
So I feel like most people probably know not to be a litterbug. But my son and I have gotten into the habit when we are out for a walk or at the park and we see trash on the ground, we pick it up and throw it in a trash can. Most of the time a trash can isn’t too far away and we can keep things looking nice.
Reduce your single use of plastics
At the rate we are currently using plastics by 2050 the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish. We are dumping the equivalent of one garbage truck’s load into the ocean every minute. It was sobering to me when I learned that fact. I vowed to consume less single use plastics. So today, I no longer use plastic grocery sacks. Whenever I am going to the grocery store, I bring my own tote bags with me. Besides the obvious benefits to the planet, I love this because I don’t have to deal with all of those plastic bags everywhere, and I can fit way more groceries in one of my tote bags than I could in the little plastic store bags. So that means less trips from the car to the kitchen when I am unloading.
I also try to use less single use plastics in my kids’ lunch and snacks. We rarely, if ever, use zip lock bags or plastic wrap. Instead we use cloth zip bags I can put sandwiches and snacks in, and we can then throw them in the wash after we’ve dirtied them.
I intentionally do these things with my children. We have conversations about what we do and why we do them. Even my toddler helps carry things to the recycling bin, and we discuss pollution and littering and why we love our planet. My 5 year old is very quick to spot trash on the ground or notice if something should be recycled or not; he will get on to anyone who leaves water running and we make sure we turn any light we aren’t using off. We are doing our best to build earth friendly habits.
I realize I don’t actually do as much as I could. Some of these things I wasn’t even doing a few years ago. But I know if I can continue to make daily small changes, those can add up to a big impact. I have set a goal that I would to eliminate using plastic disposable straws. This is a big one for me as I am majorly a straw drinker. I do not like sipping from a glass so it’s something I will continue to work towards.