By Lauren Balster
After a year of illness, isolation and exhaustion, we have been pretty bent out of shape on a global level. But us humans aren’t the only ones that have experienced the heat- Mother Earth has as well. According to Climate.gov, the global surface temperature rose about .1% in 2020 from the previous year, making it the second warmest year on record from NOAA’s data. It’s in our hands to fight the effects of climate change and do our part to help the earth. That’s why I’m giving you a list of some fun and effective ways to cherish the earth this Earth Day, which will hopefully continue every day.
1. Cut down on Single-Use Plastics
Though it can sometimes feel impossible to cut out all forms of excess plastic waste, any effort goes a long way. A great way to start is by using your own reusable bags when you take a trip to the grocery store or by packing your own reusable cup or straw when ordering a to-go beverage. Though these changes seem minuscule, it will save a lot of plastic bags and cups in the long run, leaving a lesser carbon footprint on the planet.
Macklemore isn’t the only one allowed to hit the thrift shop. If you’re looking for some spicy new clothing or home décor- try buying it secondhand. It is great for the environment to find new uses for items that someone else no longer needs. It can also be great for the bank account!
3. Make a Compost
Though not everyone may have the space for a compost machine, it’s truly great for the earth. Composting can create nutrient-rich soil for plants to be fertilized with. This is a great way to create something useful with your excess food scraps or outdoor waste.
4. Cut down on meat
Many of us can’t resist a good burger or a steak. However, according to the National Resources Defense Council, if the average American cut down a quarter pound of beef per week from their diet, it would be equivalent to taking 10 million cars off the road for a year. Plus- a good vegetable never hurt anyone.
5. Spend time Outside
Sometimes in our busy go-go-go lives, we forget how gorgeous the outdoors can be. Take a minute to get back in touch with nature by taking an outdoor walk or even just basking in the sun. This might remind you of all of the beautiful aspects of our planet that are worth saving.