Why limit our environmentally friendly practices to one day a year? Check out this list of earth day activities you can do every day.
Every April, people all over the US (the world??) start looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day. We plant trees and flowers, talk about recycling, wear shirts with quirky sayings, and buy cute tote bags that inevitably get shoved in the back of the pantry until we’re reminded next year. It’s like new year’s resolutions, but with the Earth in mind. And, while I love the sentiment, I can’t help but wish more of us were this excited about saving our planet every single day.
Of course, caring for our planet seems like a huge task for most of us. As just one person, it can be easy to get caught up in the big picture and forget that, really, we do have the power to make small changes. So, with that said, I wanted to share some of my favorite Earth day activities that can be done every single day of the year.
Every Day Earth Day Activities
If I know one thing to be true, it’s that making a big change doesn’t typically come from a big, grand gesture. What really matters are the small, almost unnoticeable actions we take day after day.
That means, we don’t have to have a huge influence to make a difference. We just need to care enough to make small adjustments to our behavior and keep them up every day.
These actions are all ways that I think you can care for the earth and make a difference all year long. Many of them are tiny, inconsequential actions you can take that build up (like re-usable straws). Others are bigger projects you can keep going all year long. Give the list a look, and see if anything seems do-able!
Small Changes-Big Impact
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Ditch dryer sheets and use wool dryer balls
Dryer sheets are actually one of the first products we tossed when we started living a greener lifestyle. Not only are they full of ingredients that are bad for your health, but they also create unnecessary waste as a single-use product.
Instead, you can find wool dryer balls just about anywhere these days and use those instead. You can add essential oils for some scent, but even without those, you’ll still get the benefits of having the dryer balls fluff your clothes and reduce drying time. We bought these and have had them for several years.
Want to make a huge impact without making too many changes? Try focusing more of your shopping on local businesses! Obviously, shopping your local farmer’s market or CSA is a great place to start, but also, consider shopping local boutiques, restaurants, and grocery stores while you’re at it.
Supporting local has a whole host of benefits. Not only does it boost your local economy, but it also:
- reduces fossil fuel because your items aren’t traveling as far
- allows you to get to know (& support) your local organic farmers
- and shows a higher demand for local and organic businesses
Ditch the water bottles
It’s no secret that plastic is a huge global problem right now, and one of the best ways to make an impact is to reduce the amount you’re using on a daily basis.
Those plastic water bottles might seem convenient in the moment, but consider how much energy it takes to make and ship them, plus how many end up in land fills and oceans. When you think about those things, they don’t seem convenient at all.
These days, there’s a wide variety of re-usable water bottle options for every budget. It’s easier than every to buy your own bottle and keep it refilled from home!
Make the swap to greener cleaning
I talk about this one a lot on the blog, so if you’ve been around for any amount of time, you probably know how I feel about green cleaning. You might not know, though, that I first started swapping out cleaners in an effort to be more environmentally friendly!
While you might argue that you’re using the cleaners in your home, and not out in the environment, consider what happens when you scrub out tubs and sinks. Consider where you put those cleaning towels after you clean your counters.
What you use to clean your home ends up in our water. So, not only are green cleaners better for us, they’re better for the environment, too.
Skip the straw
If there’s any one thing I’d love to encourage everyone to do, it’s to stop using disposable straws. They’re not recyclable and create so much waste. It’s estimated that in the US alone, we use (and dispose of) 500 million straws a day.
Considering how easy it is to do without, or at least buy one that’s reusable, this can be a really small change that has a huge impact.
Reduce food waste
Because food is biodegradable, I think this one gets overlooked a lot. Even I overlooked it for years while raising chickens and a pet rabbit. I just didn’t notice how much food we were buying (or cooking) that we weren’t eating. Since all of our left-overs went to the animals, this excess went unnoticed for years. Now, though, we don’t have animals to feed these extras to, and I started to notice just how much we were throwing away.
Sure, you can compost veggie scraps, and that’s a great option for those. But many times, those extras just end up in the garbage where they go to the landfill, and in that environment, it doesn’t break down like you think it will.
So, in an effort to do better with food waste, some things we’ve implemented are:
- freeze left-overs to use later
- utilize an “eat first” area in your fridge, and place all left overs and produce that needs to be eaten before going bad in this space (and actually eat that stuff first)
- compost vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee and tea grounds, and banana peels
- organize your fridge and pantry, so you can easily see what’s available
Explore eco-friendly versions of your favorite single-use items.
This past year, my goal was to start reducing single use products and make the switch to more sustainable options. I was slowly swapping out things like straws, dryer balls, and other obvious products, but found I was doing it at a really slow rate because I was simply overwhelmed. There’s so much that can be swapped out, and it’s hard to know where to start (and how to budget).
If you can relate to that feeling, be sure to check out this post with a list of my favorite eco-friendly swaps. I’d also highly recommend looking into a MightyNest subscription. It’s only $11 a month and you get a new eco-friendly product delivered every month. We’ve gotten some really cool things, like beeswax wraps, swedish dish cloths, food savers, wool dryer balls, and so much more! You can let them surprise you, or you can choose your monthly fix, which I love. You can sign up and get your first month for only $3 by clicking here and using the code MIGHTYNOW.
Earth Day Activities: Projects That Make a Difference
Plant a garden for Earth Day
One of the very best ways to celebrate the earth is to plant a garden. It’s a great way to promote sustainability, and offers a haven for beneficial insects.
Of course, growing your own vegetables and herbs is the ultimate in gardening goals, but even if you can’t do that, some colorful flowers and herbs to attract pollinators can still make a huge difference!
Check out this post for lots of sustainable, earth friendly gardening practices to help you get started.
Make your own shopping bags
This year, my girl scout troop made their own shopping bags out of old t-shirts and I thought it was so fun. Of course, we can always just buy reusable bags, but that just promotes further consumerism and uses more energy.
If you have some old t-shirts lying around that you don’t wear anymore, you can create your own bags, and reduce your waste at the same time. It’s such a simple, fun project that serves a great purpose. Find the tutorial here to make your own.
Instead of using the hose to water your lawn, flowers, and garden beds, consider collecting rainwater. There are several ways to do this, and as a bonus, it’ll lower your water bill.
Disclaimer: this is apparently illegal in some states, so please, check your local laws before doing this.
We live in a society that is always telling us to buy more. Between cheap fashion, rapidly changing styles, and all of the gadgets that are advertised on TV, there’s always something new to buy.
Overconsumption of resources is making a huge impact on our environment, from our landfills to our greenhouse gasses. And, as much as we’d like to think simply donating our old goods is the answer, it’s not. The truth is, it’s better to buy less than it is to buy green
Host a clothing swap party with your friends
Do you love getting new clothes and swapping out your wardrobe seasonally? Consider hosting a clothing swap with a group of your friends! You’ll save a load of clothes from heading to the thrift stores (or landfills) and it’ll help you buy less at the same time.
Start a compost pile for all those food scraps
A compost pile is a great earth day activity that can be a benefit all year long. Not only will it help reduce your food waste, but you’ll also be adding nutrients back to the soil for your garden, which will result in healthier, more naturally fertilized soil.
I won’t get into the specifics on how to start one here, because that’s a post all on it’s own, but do some reading to see just how easy it can be! I like this article from Mother Earth News.
Simple Earth Day Activities You Can do Every Day
Every April, millions of people worldwide celebrate our earth and try to do something beneficial. Instead of saving up all of your eco-friendly ideas for one day a year, consider celebrating every day. These simple Earth Day activities are changes you can make all year long that have a big impact.
Find more earth day activities and green living tips here:
- How to Declutter Your Home Without Creating More Waste
- How to Avoid Greenwashing
- The Benefits of Using Natural Products
- Eco-Friendly Easter Basket Ideas