Earth Day is our day to appreciate the beauty of what we have. It is our time to pay tribute to the oceans, the forests, the mountains, the rivers and the lakes. It is a day where most of the world slows down and appreciates the beautiful planet we live on. Unfortunately, our planet is in a crisis and faces so many challenges caused by humans. But, you can do something about it. Below are eight ways to show your love for the planet and start making it a better place to for generations to come!
1. Plant A Tree
Trees are like the lungs of the planet. They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. CO2 is one of the major contributing elements to the greenhouse effect. Trees trap CO2 from the atmosphere and make carbohydrates that are used for plant growth. They give us oxygen in return. According to ColoradoTree.org, about 800 million tons of carbon are stored in the trees that make up the urban forests of the U.S. This translates to a savings of $22 billion in control costs. Mature trees can absorb roughly 48 pounds of CO2 a year. The tree in turn releases enough oxygen to sustain two human beings.
2. Clean Up Your Local Beach Or Park
Plastic and trash has plagued our planet and it continues to grow. The good news, you can do something about it today. By organizing, participating, or just heading to the beach with aa friend today, picking up some trash at the beach by yourself can make a difference. By 2025, trash in the ocean is expected to triple and by 2050, plastic is currently on track to outweigh all the fish in the ocean. We can curve this and make our planet clean by taking a proactive approach and dealing with the trash already out there.
3. Say No To Single-Use Plastic
As mentioned above, it’s obvious plastic is one of the biggest threats to the health of our planet. Our society as a whole is addicted to the use of plastic. When you’re at a grocery store next time, stop for a moment and just take in how much single-use plastic is used for packaging. Refuse disposable plastic whenever and wherever possible. Choose items that are not packaged in plastic, and carry your own bags, containers and utensils. When you are at the drive through or a restaurant, just say, “No straw please.”
4. Buy From Ocean Conscious Brands
As the public has started to become aware of the problems facing our oceans, brands have started recognizing something needs to be done as well. The thing is, the consumer really control the market in how items are created by what they purchase. More and more brands have turned to recycled materials to manufacture items such as shoes and clothes. Big brands like Adidas have already designed shoes and clothes that are made from recycled ocean trash and have announced plans to create all clothing out of recycled materials.
5. Watch An Earth Related Documentary
Seventy percent of our planet is comprised of oceans, and yet, we only see a tiny sliver of it from our beach chairs. If you do anything this Earth Day, learn about the life that lies beneath the surface: the coral reefs, fish, marine mammals, kelp forest, and so much more. These documentaries can inspire us and help us charge forward to create more change. Our must watch currently on Netflix is Chasing Coral.
6 Write Your Congressional Representative About An Issue You Care About
When it comes to laws that will largely impact our Earth in a negative or positive manner, it comes down to our lawmakers that make the decision can make or break our environments. The thing is, too many people let our lawmakers work without letting them know what their constituents believe and want. Voicing your opinion or joining a campaign that fights for environmental rights can make a difference. You can contact your representative here and join our current campaign that is working on protecting marine mammals from seismic testing here.
7. Change The Way You Eat From The Ocean
Pollution, overfishing, and ocean noise from boats have all contributed to a struggling ocean with depleted resources, with an estimated 70 percent of the fish population being fully used, overused, or in crisis. For those who don’t want to give up lox or lobster rolls altogether, there are a few key ways to be a more conscious consumer (even if you don’t live in a coastal city).
Seafood Watch, a program run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, helps consumers and businesses choose the right type of fish, whether fished or farmed, in ways that support a healthy ocean. An easy-to-use app tells you what the best options are, good alternatives, and what fish to avoid. So next time you head to the grocery store, do your research and ensure your food is sustainably caught.
8. Share Your Knowledge
A major issue in society today with the over saturation of news is that too many people just do not hear about issues that matter about the environment. Whether the issue is reducing single-use plastics or the fishing nets left in the ocean from the world’s biggest seafood supplier, enough people do not know of the extent of the problem. Most of the daily choices we can make to better our planet do not interrupt our day-to-day lifestyles. Sure, some of us make decisions that go much further than others but choosing to say no the simple things can make a difference. Make it a goal today and everyday forward to have a meaningful, informative conversation.
Our Earth is precious. There is only one. Every decision we make to better our planet is a drop in the water that will help grow to create a larger ripple. So today, go out, find your favorite area outdoors and enjoy this Earth Day. Keep fighting the good fight!