By Victoria Fuller
“Earth Day” is an interesting concept: every year on April 22nd we band together to “demonstrate support for environmental protection.” Overall this is lovely, but surely the fact that we need an internationally recognized annual reminder to do this is cause for alarm? Instead of taking this week’s blog opportunity to complain about how much humans have generally ruined everything here on Earth (this would not make for interesting or original content by any stretch of the imagination), instead today we are going to share a few tips on how we think that you can genuinely make a positive difference to our home planet, by making every day Earth Day.
Here are ten ways that you can make every day Earth Day, and thus feel good knowing that you are doing your part to help sustain and protect our home:
1. Make sustainable purchases
It would be a missed opportunity to post a blog without at least some shameless self-promotion, so with this in mind we would like to discuss sustainability. In recent years with the hyper-fast growth of online shopping (and all of the negative aspects that come with it) it has become more important than ever to make sustainable choices when it comes to making purchases. At Cedar Planters we believe in a “one and done” shopping state of mind, our products are crafted by hand with some of the highest quality western red cedar on the market and in turn we stand behind our product for up to 30 years! With this in mind, it means less broken and poorly-made plastic planter boxes ending up in landfills, and more time spent enjoying our gardens year after year. This mindset can absolutely be applied to most aspects of making purchases as well, so by being mindful to avoid products that are poorly made using sub-par materials, we are promoting the success of companies who actually care about the future of the planet.
2. Grow your own food
Another shameless bit of self-promotion but another point that is absolutely valid! By growing your own fresh produce (perhaps say, in a Cedar Planters raised garden bed or planter box…just a suggestion!) not only will you be saving money on costly trips to the grocery store, but you will also be saving emissions and fossil fuels by limiting the amount of logistics services involved in obtaining said fresh produce!
3. Try to walk/cycle to work if possible
Here’s a fun fact for you: if your commute is 10km in each direction you will be burning around 10 litres of fuel per week just getting to and from work. This may not seem like a lot on its own but when you consider that amounts to 500 liters per year this is making a massive dent on the non-renewable resources as well as on your wallet!
4. Support local businesses
Not only does this help build a sense of community, shopping local also often means there is less need to ship goods in from overseas and thus use additional non-renewable resources in the process!
5. Turn off the lights
This is a real case of “what difference does it make if I leave a light on?” because truthfully, not a massive amount. An average 60W LED lightbulb costs about $0.12 per month to operate, this is pretty inexpensive but when you consider just how many lightbulbs there are on the planet (approximately 8 billion in use every day!), if we were all mindful to turn them off when they are not necessary that saved energy can amount to some incredible energy and financial savings!
6. Find a hobby that helps the planet.
Gardening is the obvious option here but there are so many different pastimes that can help mother earth! Upcycling furniture, vegan cooking, and growing your own food are all ways that can help the planet as well as your wallet and your wellbeing!
7. Recycle as much as possible
Hanging onto plastics and other recyclable materials until you can dispose of them in an earth-friendly way is a habit that we should all adopt! An average plastic bottle takes 450 YEARS to decompose, whereas if you recycle a plastic bottle it will be shredded down with other products with the same composition and repurposed into pellets which can be used as a raw material to be made into new products!
8. Plant flowers and crops that will encourage pollinators
Encouraging bees and other pollinators to come to your gardens has nothing but a positive effect, pollinators help keep our fruits and seeds growing so by actively encouraging them we are helping to guarantee our food supply for the future.
9. Avoid products containing microplastics
Microplastics have always been a problem, but in recent years they have finally garnered the widespread attention required to take action against them! Microplastics enter our waterways and atmosphere in a variety of ways and can have incredibly negative consequences for countless ecosystems as well as causing countless health issues for animals of all shapes and sizes (including of course: us!). Microplastics are unavoidable in some ways (for example: car tires produce millions of tonnes of microplastic dust every year which we eventually end up consuming and can wreak havoc), however there are certain items that we can do some research on to ensure that we are purchasing an eco-friendly version of. Teabags, wet-wipes, glitter and clothing are all examples of consumer goods that *can* contain microplastics, but also have a variety of biodegradable options readily available on the market!
10. Educate yourself!
There is never any harm in educating yourself, especially when it comes to methods of helping the environment, there are endless resources including websites, books, and seminars that can help keep you informed on all the constant changes and improvements that companies and businesses are making to help the planet, and most of these changes can easily and effectively apply to individuals as well.