Happy Day After Earth Day! Now what?
Earth Day every day right? Sometimes it’s very easy to fall back into the everyday habits we’ve created. It’s easy when we throw something away to let it, quite literally, be out of sight out of mind. Our culture and economy seem to value convenience above all else. Our lives are busy, we’re juggling careers and kids and money. We often go for what is easy instead of being mindful and recognizing that taking care of the planet in our capitalist society is actually at odds with what that society has taught us to value in its products and in our lifestyle. CONVENIENCE. Taking care of the planet means different choices, a change in our routine and thinking and approach, and it takes time. Maybe it’s time our values supersede these habits. And often, once we get over the initial psychological hurdle, it just becomes something that we do, something that we teach our children to do, and our by-product is a healthier planet and a more mindful generation. Here are some ideas to help you on your path to make Earth Day your Way of Life.
What Happens to Your Clothes?
We all donate our old clothes to good causes, but did you know that your moth-eaten sweater and holey socks do not need to sit in a landfill for eternity? Nope. They don’t! Planet Aid will recycle your unusable textiles, so don’t let them go to waste. Drop them in one of their yellow bins and help save the planet with your discard pile. Find a bin near you.
Food waste generates more methane in landfills than it does when it breaks down naturally. Why shouldn’t that organic material have the opportunity to be put to use again to grow other plants? We have our little compost bin on the kitchen counter and we empty it out regularly. It does not smell or attract flies if you pay enough attention to it and make it part of your lifestyle. For those of us in cities that provide a green bin (like Los Angeles for example), lucky us! We can dump all fruit and veggie scraps into it and the city will take it for compost–it says so on the bin! You can make a compost bin or buy a worm bin. Use your compost to garden, to give to friends who garden, to sell on Craigslist, whatever. If you have kids, a worm bin provides endless learning opportunity and some great bonding time and funny memories. <3
Eat the Peel
Why put it in the compost when you can eat it? Yep, eat the peel! Lemon peel, orange peel, clementine peel, grapefruit peel, BANANA PEEL. They are all edible and very good for you. You just need to figure out how you like them served.
Small Things Turn into Big Things
Make big stews for the week–avoid takeout waste and spend less money! Stainless steel storage is a great alternative to plastic tupperware containers. Try Bee’s Wrap instead of plastic saran wrap. Have a trash bag and a recyclables bag in your car to make sure that everything that can be recycled IS recycled (I even have a compost bag in my car). Keep your canvas grocery bags in the car too to avoid plastic bags–wildlife is dying because of them. Turn off all lights and appliances that aren’t being used–even the ones we don’t think about, like the ones that emit a little red or blue light just because they are plugged in. And didja know, you probably did, that you can bring your own cup to Starbucks.
There are so many things we can all do to break this cycle of favoring convenience over our environment, and we have to be clear-eyed about the real impact our carelessness has. We’d love to hear what you do to keep this beautiful planet green–including any favorite nonprofits you spend your time with or give to. We’d love to hear from you!