Celebrated each year on April 22, Earth Day is a good time to make a new commitment to do your part for the earth. I know that some people scoff at the idea that a single day can make any kind of difference, but “Earth Day” is a misleading name. It’s not a single day to think about the earth. Rather, Earth Day is your reminder to make a commitment to help the earth throughout the year. That’s how I think of it!
If you observe Earth Day 2013, you certainly won’t be alone. According to earthday.org, more than one billion people around the world are expected to take part in Earth Day this year! How will you mark the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day?
Maybe you’re already recycling, and you’ve switched to more energy-efficient lighting, so what’s next? I believe that changing your everyday habits can greatly reduce your carbon footprint. So, here are some simple suggestions to help you become a more earth-friendly person throughout the year.
Don‘t leave a lonely computer on.
If you don’t plan on using your computer for more than two hours, turn it off to save energy. Turn off monitors (displays) if you don’t plan on using them for at least 20 minutes.
Also, take advantage of any power management features available on your computer. When you’re ready to upgrade, look for Energy Star models.
Slow down to save money and the earth.
It doesn’t pay to be in a hurry. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for each five miles an hour you drive over 50 miles per hour, you’re using so much more gas it’s like paying an additional .26 cents per gallon for fuel. Save your cash plus the earth, and read more about fuel economy.
Stop paper bills.
When possible, switch to e-billing, or online billing. Paper already makes up the biggest percentage of municipal solid waste in the U.S., so try to leave your bills out of that. According to World Wildlife Fund, hardcopy bills alone generate nearly 2 million tons of carbon.
Switch to recycled paper towels.
The next time you’re out shopping, you can reduce the demand for virgin wood pulp and keep more trees standing. All you have to do is choose paper towels with a high post-consumer recycled paper content. If more consumers in the U.S. buy recycled paper towels, thousands of trees will be saved each year. Remember, trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere, so saving them means you’re protecting the earth.
I hope you’re inspired to develop a new green habit or two for Earth Day 2013. I’m going to practice slowing down when I drive!
What are you doing for Earth Day this year? Have you adopted new green habits for Earth Day in the past?