Let's make a difference on Earth Day

Darian Graivshark

On Monday, April 22 let's work together to go green and help the earth this Earth Day.

Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world, and is celebrated by more than a billion people every year. Denis Hayes, Andrew Garling, Arturo Sandoval, Stephen Cotton, Barbara Reid, and Bryce Hamilton were key Earth Day staffers and organizers of the very first Earth Day. Earth Day originally began on April 22, 1970.

One way to make a difference on Earth Day is to go outside and help plant a tree. Get a work, school, or volunteer group together to plant something at home or in a nearby garden. Make sure to turn the lights off, too, before you go outside! This includes unplugging electronics that you won't be using, or won't need, while you're away.

Reduce your carbon emissions by carpooling, walking, or taking public transit. You can also reduce your emissions by eating fruits, veggies, and locally sourced products. This means visiting your local farmers market instead of buying corporately ordered items. In addition to this, maybe try out a zero-waste lifestyle on this day.

Zero-waste typically includes using reusable bags when going to the grocery store. For the more serious zero-waste individuals, some will even bring their own containers to the store to fill with their items, eliminating the need to use plastic bags for items. Containers are typically weighed before items are placed into them, and then weighed again for the correct purchase amount.

Do you print a lot in the workplace? Try switching the printer settings to double-sided printing. This will save on the amount of papers that are used, and get the most use out of them. If you notice a cartridge needs to be replaced, make an effort to recycle it instead of throwing it into the trash.

We all have bills, too. Some of us probably prefer physical paper bills to look at. However, an easy way to save paper in another way is to switch to online bill statements instead of paper bill statements. You could maybe even pay online, and this way you save money on gas when you'd normally drive to the business to pay a bill.

Shorter showers are a big change. The EPA estimates that a regular showerhead uses about 2.5 gallons of water for every minute the water is running. That means you're using about 20 gallons of water in an average shower. If you cut down shower time to about four minutes, you'd be saving around sixteen gallons of water per shower. Doing this change could save you between ten to one hundred dollars every year.

Unsure what your carbon footprint is? Take the quiz here: https://www.earthday.org/take-action/footprint-calculator/. You can also find a longer list of tips on making a difference this Earth Day at https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-tips/.

On April 22, 2020, the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day will be celebrated. Earth Day Network has big plans for this day. Plans include collecting data points that measure air quality, pollution, and human health. Another goal for them is to plant 7.8 million trees, representing one tree for every human that will live on the planet in 2020.

Want to make a greater impact? You could even contact your local government officials. Proposing energy saving project ideas, presenting your concerns within the community, and bringing awareness to changes that need to be made will make a difference.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.