I have always looked at earth day as an opportunity to do my part in making the earth a better place. Each year I make a commitment to change something big or small in my life that can make an impact. Last year I made the commitment to going cruelty free with all my cosmetic and cleaning products. This year my goal is to only produce one bin of trash a month rather than two. I have also decided to cut back on the meat I consume by using substitutes like lentils and more veggies. Not only does this help the earth in a small way but it in turn it helps me as well by saving money and improving my health. It’s a win-win! This is why I love working for eXp as well, our whole office is online and we are a paperless company, which is really important when you think of all the paperwork that is involved in buying and selling a home. If you are looking for some simple ideas that can make an impact here are some great things to consider.
1. Plant a tree. Simple. Effective. Easy. You can even give it a hug after you plant it. ;)
2. Attend an Earth Day fair. You’ll get the chance to test environmentally friendly products, eat locally grown food and chat with people who are making a difference when it comes to the environment. For those of you who are local Bellingham’s is today at 3pm. Earth Day Community Fair: Learn more about the numerous green resources available to us locally—everything from CSAs to human-powered machines, recycled art and more from environmentally savvy innovators—at today's Earth Day Community Fair taking place from 3-8pm in the beer garden at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. Music by Cherry Blossom Family Delivery will also be part of the free, all-ages fun. http://www.bbaybrewery.com 3:00pm
3. Get plugged into a group. Joining an environmental group is one of the best ways to get involved in the global cleanup effort. Make a donation, put in some volunteer hours, or simply learn about the environment. Here are a few places to get you started.
6310 NE 74th St, Suite 201E
Seattle, WA 98115
206-322-9296 x101 http://www.earthcorps.org/
Whatcom Conservation District
4. Make a recycling plan. Know what you can and can’t recycle, and always ask “can I recycle that?” before throwing it away. Contact your local recycling center for their guidelines.
5. Fix those leaky faucets. Drip, drip, drip. You’ve put off repairing that leaky faucet project for some time now. Make a beeline for the hardware store! Only 1 percent of Earth’s water is drinkable, a slow drip can waste about 7-10 gallons of water per day, adding up to more than 3,600 gallons of water per year. A faster drip can use 30 to hundreds of gallons of water per day! This can cost you several hundred dollars per year! Again this fix is simple and a total win-win, you save water AND money!
6. Start a pledge board at work or at school. Use a whiteboard or provide a pad of Post-its for people to record their environmental pledges for the year. Ask friends and co-workers to make small changes -- “I won’t leave the water running while I brush my teeth,” or “I will turn the lights off when I leave a room” -- and then to post those pledges for all to see. Working together boosts accountability!
7. Find a carpool service. Taking cars off the road is one of the best ways to combat traffic, pollution and the damage to your wallet for the price of gas! Find people in your area with whom to share morning and afternoon commutes.
8. Give up bottled water. Bottled water consumes huge amounts of fossil fuels to produce and transport, and most of those recyclable water bottles end up in landfills. Get yourself a refillable and permanent water bottle to carry with you. You’ll save money on the cost of all those water bottles, too! This can also help your health as many people will reuse plastic bottles not knowing the plastic starts to break down and leach chemicals into your water, especially when left in a hot car.
9. Start buying local. Locally grown food is easier on the environment using less fuel and recourses getting to you. You’re also supporting local farmers, and they’ll thank you for it! Here in Bellingham it can be rather easy to shop produce locally especially in the spring and through fall. Joes Garden, Young Stocks, and the Saturday Farmers market are all great places to find locally grown produce and even meat, dairy and grains at the farmers market.
10. Go paperless. Bills come in many forms -- mostly on paper. But many bill-paying services offer an option to pay online. Make a point to go paperless. You can also remove any worry about paying a bill on time by setting up auto pay systems online.
11. Make a birdhouse. Birdhouses can be installed around schoolyards or even sold to raise money at an environmental fundraiser.
12. Make a play garden. This is a space for kids to get their hands dirty. You can help them plant various flowers, vegetables and more. They’ll love watching them grow and tasting the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.
13. Go bag-less. In Bellingham we banned plastic bags at grocery stores a few years ago and while paper bags only cost .05 cents it’s always better to bring your own reusable bag that can hold far more than any plastic or paper bag. The biggest struggle is remembering to bring them with you! There are several great reusable bags that are designed to roll, fold or gather up into a small portable handy size. I keep one in my purse at all times and it’s come in very handy for more than just groceries. If you are local try the Green House home store to find a great roll up reusable bag!
14. Organize a community cleanup. Get a group together to clean up your local park, schoolyard or beach. Your local conservation group may already have some of these programs going as well!
15. Walk to school or work. It keeps you out of the car, and it's great exercise!