This month, Earth Day is April 22, but you don’t need to wait until then to make a difference in the world around you. Here are some simple steps you can take to raise your awareness and lower your impact in just one month.
Plant a row, grow a row – Check with your local food bank to see if they participate in this initiative. We cram as much into our garden each summer and donate the extra rows to the Edmonton Food Bank along with some non-perishable items we pick up just before we make our donation.
Start plants for others – If you start your garden, herbs, or flowers indoors, contact your child’s school or a local group to see if they would be interested in having any of your plants that don’t make it into the ground. There may be people who can’t afford to plant much each year and would love the chance to do more.
A Twist to Movie Night – Plan a movie night and celebrate the earth. I love documentaries and there are a number of good ones that I’ve seen or plan to see this month. My kids are still young so I don’t watch many documentaries with them unless the topics are a lot lighter. That being said, I can’t wait until they mature and grow so they can handle watching some of these shows with me. On my list:
- Blue Planet: A Natural History of the Oceans – my top favourite that I have seen. I can also watch some of the series with my girls. This is a series of shows.
- Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?
- Addicted to Plastic
- David Attenborough: Wildlife Specials – also a series of specials and great for anyone interested in learning about different animals, and seeing them up close.
- A Sea Change – This is my top choice for documentaries that I want to see this month.
Save Electricity – waiting for as long as you can in the evening before turning them back on. Turn off electronics that are not in use, and unplug charged gadgets after they reach 100%.
Lower your thermostat – Not only is it lighter out more often, but the temperature outside is starting to climb. Try turning your thermostat down a couple of degrees and see if you really notice the change. Thermostats that are automatically set can be forgotten about.
Recycle your paper, plastic, cans, etc. – Lessen the load on the garbage dump by recycling wherever you can. You can also search local businesses to see if any will pick up your recyclables in exchange for a charitable tax receipt. We have a local company (Empties to WINN at http://www.emptiestowinn.com/) that will collect our beverage containers and once a year, they drop off a charitable donation receipt based on the number of bottles we donated.
Wear, re-wear clothes – Get out of the habit of washing your (or your children’s) clothes after the first wear. Items like tops, skirts and sweaters for kids and adults are often okay to be worn a second, sometimes third time. Decrease your laundry load so you wash less.
Garage Sales – You can pick up many items at garage sales and give them a second life instead of buying brand new at the store. I am always looking for unique plates, trays, utensils, planters, decorations, etc. Since I do some recipes here on the site, I look for single pieces of dinnerware or utensils that survived a set that has long been broken. I add them to my collection so that you don’t always see the same plate over and over in photos. My husband and kids also look for items to enjoy that they don’t need to buy new.
I am participating in the Netflix StreamTeam ambassador program this year. Opinions and tips are my own and are not influenced in any way.