“The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. For more information, visit www.earthday.org“
The three pillars of environmental responsibility: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Reducing the amount of waste we create and energy we consume is the most effective, and possibly simplest, way to help Mother Earth.
A few easy suggestions:
- Reduce the amount of mail that comes in your home by unsubscribing from mail you don’t want or need. These websites can help you with that:
- Reduce energy consumption (a big drain on the environment) by turning down the heat, shutting lights off, carpooling when possible, lowering the temperature on the water heater, washing your clothes on the “cold” setting, etc. Every little bit helps!
- Create a network of friends and neighbors to borrow or lend items you don’t use frequently. For example, I have a table saw. Once I completed the project I purchased it for, I only use it a few times a year. I’d be happy to loan it to a friend or neighbor. What do you have in your house you could do the same with? (Facebook is a great way to get the word out.)
Finding a way to reuse what no longer serves in its original purpose is another great way to help the environment. (If you watch Flea Market Flip or any of those types of shows, you will also hear the term “upcycle”.)
How to do that?
- Look at any sturdy packaging you may be about to throw away. Can it serve another purpose? Shoe boxes become drawer organizers. Empty cottage cheese containers become food storage. Tin cans become pencil cups (you may want to decorate them up a bit.) You get the idea.
- Invest in reusable shopping bags. In addition to the kind the retainers sell, there are some really fun and practical choices on Amazon.
- Use cloth vs paper napkins. The energy it takes to create a paper napkin is unbelievable! If you want the stats, click here. I would imagine the energy consumption to produce paper plates and plastic forks would be the same. Use “real” silverware and dishes whenever possible.
- There are many, many great charities that support individuals that could really use what you don’t need. Do some research on what’s available in your area. Give where it feels good.
And then there’s recycling. Recycling has been around for long enough that most of us are in the groove. As a matter of fact, some cities are actually fining folks that don’t recycle and compost efficiently. Mother Earth thanks those cities from the bottom of her beautiful heart.
Some thoughts on this:
- Check your local municipality for recycling guidelines . . . I’m amazed at how much they differ!
- Go that extra step when looking to make a purchase and look for items made out of recycled products.
At Organize To Simplify, we are dedicated to giving back to others and the environment by celebrating Earth Day every day!
“Together we can help others and the environment by reducing, re-purposing, and recycling items you no longer need to lessen the long-term impact on our environment.”
How do you celebrate Earth Day?
National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter President
Certified Premium Subscriber, Institute for Challenging Disorganization