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What to do on Earth Day and all year to make a difference

Earth Day Photo of Earth With a Black BackgroundEarth Day is a good reminder of what to do every day and throughout the year for the health of the planet.

I spend a lot of time on it. I know many people do, too.

The theme for this year’s Earth Day is Invest in Our Planet.

What Americans are doing for planet health

Three-quarters of Americans say that they’re particularly concerned with helping the environment as they go about their daily lives, while 24 percent say they aren’t particularly concerned, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

However, only one-in-five say they try to live in ways that help the environment “all the time.”

The survey asked how many shoppers bring their own bags for purchases to reduce waste and choose cleaning products based on whether the ingredients would help or hurt the environment.

Few Americans say they do either of these things all the time: 15 percent always bring their own shopping bags and 12 percent always select cleaning products based on this goal. And 29 percent say they never bring their own shopping bags and 18 percent say they never making cleaning product purchases with helping the environment in mind.

Other findings from the survey:

  • While most Americans have recycling bins at home, only a minority do things at home to reduce waste and reuse natural resources such as maintaining a compost pile, 21 percent, or using a rain barrel or other catch for water, 11 percent. About a third of Americans, 33 percent, said they grow vegetables at home.
  • Homeowners are more likely to have each of these things at home. Sixty-seven percent have recycling bins, 43 percent have a vegetable garden, 28 percent compost, and 14 percent have a rain catch.

How to help the planet

In addition to the items discussed above, here are things you can do to help the planet:

  • Save water. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth, take shorter showers, and wash your clothes in cold or warm water.
  • Reduce plastic consumption. Don’t drink bottled water and stop using plastic straws.
  • Walk and ride a bicycle more often.
  • Ask at the coffee shop if you can use your own cup.
  • Reduce food waste.
  • Recycle your old phones.
  • Buy local organic produce.
  • Make sustainable fashion choices by looking for companies that sell sustainable clothing. Avoid fast fashion.
  • Shop at thrift stores, garage sales, and second-hand stores.
  • Plant trees and maintain a sustainable garden.
  • Participate in advocacy such as joining an environmental organization and making donations. Vote for candidates that support policies for the health and well-being of the planet.
  • Eat more plant-based meals. Make vegetarian meal once a week to get started.
  • Support environmentally friendly companies.
  • Use less electricity. Use solar energy and other non-conventional sources of energy.
  • Buy eco-friendly materials.
  • Use energy-efficient electronics and appliances at home and at work.
  • Educate yourself and share information with others.

It’s important to think about the earth every day. Save the earth and save lives.


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