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7 Things You Can Do For Earth Day That Actually Matter (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post     First Posted: 06/19/10 06:12 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 05:10 PM ET

To get big change, you have to make big changes, which is why we're asking you to go bold for Earth Day this year. Instead of boring you with talk of CFL light bulbs and planting trees, we'd rather focus on changes that are harder to make, but are that much more rewarding. These are changes that go way beyond acting virtuous towards the earth for one day -- here at HuffPost Green we believe the planet needs Earth Day every day. We've put together a list of actions you can take to dramatically reduce your impact on the environment-- they each can make a huge difference. Take a look, and decide what lifestyle change you think people should take for Earth Day and every day.

Stop Using Plastic
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There is no doubt that plastics are notoriously bad. Americans dispose of 10.5 million tons of plastic garbage every year, and about 8% of the world's annual oil production is used toward the creation of plastic products. A single plastic bottle can spend anywhere from 100 to 1000 years in a landfill, and while recycling plastics helps save up to 60% of the energy used to make new products, they are often "downcycled" which doesn't curb the demand for more plastic to be produced, and it does little to prevent plastics leeching cancer-causing chemicals. Thanks to our wasteful habits, we've created huge islands of plastics in both the Pacific and Atlantic, and we not only kill up to a million sea creatures every year with plastic, but also ingest toxins that have made their way up the food chain from this waste.

Imagine the wonderful impact on the environment if you stopped using those 190 pounds of plastic each year. Say NO to plastics, and make your commitment by pledging with others at the Plastic Pollution Coalition.
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