As a life and business coach, my main mission is to empower others to live a more intentional life. A life where you are intentionally choosing what kind of work you do, who you surround yourself with, what kinds of foods you eat, what you spend our money on, and so on.
But it's not often I talk about how important it is to be intentional with how we all impact our environment and the planet as a whole.
In my world, it is Earth Day every day. Every choice I make is a conscious one, with my own health and the longevity of the planet in mind.
Here are 8 ways I make every day Earth Day and why you might consider doing the same.
1. Use reusable bags
Get yourself some cute reusable bags and keep them in your car. Moving forward, simply decline plastic bags from cashiers and don't use individual bags for your produce at the grocery store. Scientists estimate that every square mile of ocean contains approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it (United Nations Environment Programme). So you can have a massive impact on that statistic by making this small shift to your shopping routine.
2. Go outside
In his book, Last Child in The Woods, Richard Louv notes "Though we often see ourselves as separate from nature, humans are also part of that wildness."
If we have a relationship with the planet, we are more likely to identify as connected to it, and feel a responsibility to protect it. Go outside every day and get up close and personal with nature, don't wait for Earth Day to make it a priority.
3. Don't eat meat
I know this might suprise you, but when it comes to climate change, following a plant-based diet would cut food-related emissions by 70% according to Oxford University.
If you can't give up meat completely, doing your best to drastically decrease your intake of animal products is a great start. Learn to love a plant-based diet and your body and the planet will thank you.
Following a vegan diet would cut food-related emissions by 70%.
We have heard this most of our lives, but how many people are actually doing it all the time? Not all stores and restaurants offer recycling options and I know not everyone is like me and brings a cardboard beverage holder home to recycle versus just throwing it in the trash for convenience. Almost everything is recyclable these days, from paper products to electronics, so there is almost always a positive alternative to sending something to the landfill. According to Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, recycling of one ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water!
5. Buy organic foods and products
According to the FOA (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) "By opting for organic products, the consumer through his/her purchasing power promotes a less polluting agricultural system. The hidden costs of agriculture to the environment in terms of natural resource degradation are reduced."
When you go to the grocery store or farmer's market, you are voting with your dollars on what type of agriculture system you want to support. Vote for an organic system that doesn't use synthetic herbicides and pesticides to make every day Earth Day. These chemicals are not only foreign to your body, but also harmful to the water, air and environment as a whole.
6. Replace plastic products with glass
There are amazing alternatives to plastic now (Pyrex and Mason Jars are two of my favorites) and you can purchase glass cups, plates, tupperware and more without breaking the bank. Not only does this help you avoid the toxins in plastic, but it also reduces its overall production. "Plastics manufacture makes up 4.6% of the annual petroleum consumption in the U.S., using roughly 331 million barrels per year" (Plastics, Human Health and the Road Ahead). And as we know, the plastic itself isn't really something you want in your life. Make conscious purchasing decisions when it comes to products commonly made of plastic.
There's no reason to throw out your organic food byproducts when you can easily compost it. If you live in a city and don't need compost yourself, there are typically companies that will collect it from you for a small fee. You will not only be creating less waste, but by composting, the creation of greenhouse gases, like methane, is avoided. Additionally, "compost replenishes and revitalizes exhausted farm soils by replacing trace minerals and organic material, reduces soil erosion and helps prevent storm water runoff" according to Eureka Recycling So by composting your food byproducts, you are actually helping more food grow!
8. Eliminate the use of household cleaners with toxic ingredients
Most people don't think of their household cleaners as pollutants. Unfortunately, just because we've assumed that cleaning supplies are doing just that -- cleaning -- it doesn't mean they aren't also contributing to smog and lowering the quality of tap water. (EPA) Instead of using the toxic cleaners, you can find make your own alternative cleaners to keep your home and surrounding environment safer... and squeaky clean!