Today marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day! The first official Earth Day was held in 1970 when 22 million Americans engaged in rallies, marches, and educational programs to advocate for clean air, land, and water. Since then, Earth Day has grown to become a global celebration raising awareness of environmental issues and encouraging positive change to address climate concerns. Celebrate Earth Day with us today by reducing your carbon footprint in these easy ways!
1- Stop by your small local market– Buy products and food that are locally made and grown. This greatly reduces fossil fuels that are used when transporting goods from far away. Be sure to check if they have a bulk food section, and remember to bring your reusable bags! This is also a great way to support your local small businesses.
2- Schedule a home energy audit- Mass Save and the Home Energy Loss Prevention Services (HELPS) program offer no-cost home energy assessments to help homeowners make home improvements that save money, electricity, and heating fuel. BPI-certified staff will help identify and prioritize cost-effective improvements for your home and let you know about rebates and incentives to make it more affordable. Sign up here!
3- Redecorate your home with reclaimed and salvaged items– Our store, EcoBuilding Bargains, is the largest reclaimed and surplus building materials store in New England! Located in Springfield, MA, and online on eBay. Using reclaimed materials instead of new ones is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Stop by EcoBuilding Bargains or your local thrift store to pick up some unique salvaged pieces!
4- Do today’s load of laundry in cold water– This creates significant energy savings from not heating up the water, which can save you money too! And don’t worry, laundry detergent works just as well in cold water.
5- Test your knowledge about recycling– RecycleSmart MA has a fun two-minute quiz to help you become an even smarter recycler. Take the quiz here!
6- Drink out of your reusable water bottle- You will be helping the environment both by reducing single-use plastic and having one less glass to spend money, energy, and water cleaning afterward.
7- Drop off unwanted clothing for donation– Textiles contribute 8-10% of CO2emissions globally. The energy consumption for producing fabrics and shipping the final products is substantial since the textile industry relies heavily on fossil fuels. So be sure to donate your clothing so it can be re-worn or recycled!
8- If you can, walk or bike wherever you need to go today- This not only reduces CO2 emissions, it is healthier for your body as well!
9- Turn off extra lights & electronics- Switch off any lights when you are not currently in that room and unplug electronic devices when they are not in use to save energy!
10- Avoid eating meat today– Raising livestock requires a great deal of land, water, resources, and energy. Livestock production produces more greenhouse gases than the world’s entire transportation sector — cars, trucks, planes trains — combined. Skipping meat even for a day can make a large difference!