April 22 is Earth Day, and it’s time to start thinking about ways to make an impact on our environment. Get your friends together and pick one (or more) of these ways to spend the Saturday, and hopefully each day after that. Happy Earth Day!
Plant native flowers
Bee populations are in decline, and one of the easiest ways to help the cause is by planting native flowers, or wildflowers. Planting flowers not only contributes in providing food and shelter for wild bees, but native flowers help native bee species. Black eyed Susans and coneflowers are both native to Ontario and a great place to start helping Ontario bees.
Looking to do some spring cleaning? Try emptying out that drawer of old cell phones and obsolete chargers, and instead of sending all that stuff to a landfill, bring it to one of Recycle My Electronics‘ many drop off locations. This company is dedicated to recycling your electronic junk, including computers, cameras, cell phones, keyboards, and audio devices. Click here for a full list of accepted items.
Invest in a reusable water bottle
Investing in a reusable water bottle not only saves you money in the long run by offsetting the cost of plastic water bottles, but it also reduces waste. Head to your local kitchen supplies store this Earth Day to get one of your own.
Don’t use pesticides while gardening this summer
Another friendly bee tip! One of the biggest causes in the decline of bee populations is the use of pesticides. As the weather gets warmer and you head into your gardens over the next few months, refrain from using pesticides for the sake of our pollinators. There are natural ways to combat pests, including pairing pest repelling plants with other plants. Tip: plant borage with your strawberries to keep the pests away.
Practice turning off the lights
This is a classic. Turning off your lights when leaving the room can make a helluva difference in not only your electrical bills, but energy consumption. Decrease your carbon footprint by remembering to turn off your bedroom light. Not good at remembering? Place a few sticky notes around your house as a reminder.
Cut down on beef consumption
I’m not saying to go vegetarian, but cutting down on cattle products, like beef and dairy, can positively impact the environment. Forests are being destroyed in order to clear room to graze cattle and grow food to feed cattle, not to mention the carbon emissions that are distributed by the meat industry.
Watch Planet Earth 2
Planet Earth 2 is officially out on DVD. What better way to spend Earth Day than by binging on one of the most beautiful series out there? Learn about our planet through the narration of David Attenborough and feel inspired to save the world.
Arrange a carpool system with a friend or ride a bike
Reduce carbon emissions and also save money on gas by arranging a carpool to work with friends. Or, get your exercise in while also living more sustainably by riding a bike (don’t forget to wear a helmet).
Use reusable grocery bags
Reusable grocery bags are good for so many things. When your short boxes, they double as storage bags (especially those nicely-sized Metro ones). And who says your reusable bags can only be used for carrying groceries? The challenge here is getting into the habit of taking your bags to the store, but once you’re in it, you’ve successfully joined the path to reducing waste.
Buy local produce and honey
Buying local produce and honey supports your local farmers and beekeepers. With the warm weather coming in fast, there won’t be a shortage of farmer’s markets this summer. Find one that’s closest to you, and get into the habit of supporting your local heroes.
Reduce, reuse, recycle! Recycling is one of the easiest ways to help the environment, and it’s not limited to what you throw in your blue bin. Recycle clothing and household items by buying second-hand! Buying used means less gets thrown in landfills and less pollution is produced through manufacturing new items. It also saves your wallet! Win-win.
Feature photo courtesy of Beth Scupham via Flickr.