Earth Day Tips to Use All Year Long
Did you know? This April 20, 2021, marks the 51st celebration of Earth Day in the United States.
Back in the spring of 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day to bring much-needed attention to the country’s lack of environmental protection.
At the time, there was no Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), no Clean Air Act, and no Clean Water Act—Nelson devised Earth Day to highlight these pressing environmental issues and push them into the nation’s mainstream discourse.
Thanks to his work, we now have more environmental regulations in place than we did in 1970. But the Earth Day mission is far from complete!
That’s why we wanted to introduce you to several earth day tips you can use to celebrate our planet all year long.
Discover how you can prioritize and protect our planet every day with these earth day tips, below!
21 Earth Day Tips for 2021
- Turn your faucet off while brushing your teeth or while scrubbing your hands with soap. You can save up to 8 gallons of water a day (or 200 gallons a month!) with this simple H20 hack.
- Plug your electronics into a power strip to eliminate standby power consumption and carbon pollution. Even when they’re turned off, your electronics use a small amount of electricity. And this standby power consumption adds up—nationwide, it’s estimated that standby power accounts for more than $11 billion in annual energy costs.
- Switch your light bulbs to save energy and limit greenhouse gas emissions! Eco-friendly light bulbs, like ENERGY STAR light bulbs, conserve energy, using about 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb. Replacing just one light bulb in your house with an ENERGY STAR light bulb can prevent 400 pounds of greenhouse gases from entering our atmosphere every year.
- Recycle to reduce your carbon footprint and conserve energy. The EPA estimates that increasing our national recycling rate from its current level would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11.4 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE, the basic unit for measuring greenhouse gases).
- Keep car maintenance in mind to better protect our planet. According to the EPA, a well-maintained car is more fuel-efficient and produces less carbon pollution. So, get that engine tuned up, use the right grade of motor oil, and replace those clogged air filters to limit your car’s impact on the environment!
- Another way to lessen your car’s impact on the environment is by checking your tire pressure regularly. Did you know? You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires properly inflated. Properly inflated tires are safer, last longer, and improve your fuel economy.
- Speaking of cars, one way you can also save energy and reduce carbon pollution is by using public transportation, carpooling, biking, or walking to get around. Leaving your car at home just two days per week can reduce carbon pollution by an average of two tons per year, according to the EPA.
- Wash your clothes in cold water to save energy and prevent carbon pollution. Hot water heating accounts for around 90% of the energy your washing machine uses to wash clothes, and only about 10% goes to electricity used by the washer motor.
- Power down devices you’re not actively using. This simple switch can help you save money on your electricity bill and can also prevent unnecessary energy costs and carbon pollution.
- Check your HVAC system filter monthly and replace the filter every three months. Dirty HVAC filters actually slow down air flow and force the entire system to work harder to keep you cool or warm, leading to wasted energy that contributes to climate change.
- Since we’re on the subject of HVAC systems, consider cleaning the area around the outdoor components of your system to reduce pollution. About half of your household energy goes to heating and cooling, and airflow problems can reduce your HVAC system’s efficiency by up to 15%, leading to unwanted carbon pollution.
- Using an electric water heater? Try insulating your water heater to prevent carbon pollution and save money on your electricity bill. For additional savings, you can also insulate the hot water piping to prevent your hot water from cooling off before it reaches the tap.
- Going on vacation? Don’t forget to turn off electric water heaters and turn down gas water heaters while you’re away! Turning off and turning down these devices can prevent unnecessary carbon pollution and energy costs.
- Compost your food and yard waste to reduce carbon pollution and the amount of garbage you send to landfills. Using organic waste to create a compost pile (think yard trimmings and kitchen scraps) can help increase soil water retention, replace chemical fertilizers, and decrease harmful erosion.
- Reuse, reuse, reuse. One of the most effective ways to reduce waste is to avoid creating it in the first place! Creating new products unfortunately leads to additional carbon pollution. Reducing what you buy and reusing what you have is a surefire way to save natural resources, protect the environment, and save your hard-earned dollars.
- Have stuff you want to throw away? Try donating or selling your old appliances, tools, or clothes instead of placing them in the trash. This not only reduces waste but can also help others in need.
- Reduce your food waste to curb carbon pollution. About 13% of all carbon emissions in the US come from growing, manufacturing, transporting, and disposing food. One good way to curb food waste is to only buy what you absolutely need!
- Replace your showerheads with a low-flow alternative. Swapping just one traditional showerhead for a low-flow WaterSense labeled option can save the average family around 2,900 gallons of water every year.
- Recycle your used electronics. Devices made from valuable materials and resources—like metals, plastics, and glass—that require energy to mine and manufacture. Donating or recycling previously loved electronics reduces carbon pollution from manufacturing, prevents air and water pollution, and conserves our planet’s resources.
- Weather-proof your windows and doors. Sealing air leaks in your household and adding insulation can make your home more energy efficient. Not only can you save up to 10% on your annual energy bills but installing weather stripping on doors or caulking around windows can also help you prevent unwanted carbon pollution.
- Planning a remodel? Opt for sustainable alternatives to traditional building materials for your next home project! Sustainable materials, like our decorative tiles made from 65-100% recycled materials, are more durable and are designed with the planet in mind so their environmental impact is lower than traditional options.
Earth Day, All Year Long
Did you find a few earth day tips you're excited to implement this month and beyond? Let us know in the comments down below!
On a sustainability streak? Learn more about our recycled tiles and our commitment to sustainability. Or, discover how you can be more sustainable at home, today!
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