I love special days and holiday's during the year just like anyone else - Mother's Day, Anniversaries, Earth Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. - but to me these days simply remind me that one day out of the year isn't enough to appreciate the things/moments/people these days are meant to represent. To me, they remind me to try and take time throughout the year to appreciate these things/moments/people more often or on a regular basis.
Let me preface the following by mentioning that I'm not a hardcore tree hugger, but there are moments I look around and am in awe of the beauty around us and saddened by the destruction of it at the same time. And honestly, moving to Southeast Texas has opened my eyes to this just a bit more with the plethora of oil refineries surrounding me, the litter scattered on the ground, and the lack of recycling options where I live.
Yesterday was Earth Day and the hubs and I went to the beach, basked in the cool breeze and sunshine, and listened to water lapping up on the shoreline while having a picnic together, and I was reminded once again that I need to do more more often to appreciate this beautiful planet God created for us. Not only appreciate it, but do my part to take care of it and be more mindful of my own actions towards this amazing creation.
So today I want to share 11 really simple things we can do on a regular basis to care for our planet just a little bit more.
1. Clean up garbage.
You don't necessarily have to make a whole day out of going to pick up garbage along the street or at the parks/beaches (unless you want to), but when you see litter on the ground, instead of walking by it, just pick it up and throw it away.
2. Buy less clothing.
The clothing/textile industry is one of the most pollutive industries; not to mention, the labor conditions are often horrible. To learn more about the price of fast fashion, feel free to read this article. Be more mindful of your purchases (ask yourself: "Do I really need this?"), buy sustainable clothing, buy less clothing, or join a monthly clothing rental program like Rent The Runway or American Eagle Style Drop (not sponsored).
3. Recycle or Reuse items.
If you live where there is a recycle program, participate. When I lived in Minnesota and I recycled, most of my "garbage" was recyclable, saving bigtime on what was dumped into landfills. Additionally, ask yourself if something you are throwing out can be reused.
4. Take your own bags to the grocery store.
We all know plastic is a huge issue for many reasons. Plastic grocery bags are easily one plastic item we can reduce the use of. Keep reusable bags in the trunk to lessen the likelihood you'll forget them (I'm super guilty of this).
5. Donate and/or have a garage sale.
Instead of throwing items from your home, donate them or have a garage sale. It's amazing how much of all the "junk" you think you have can be super useful to someone else. Plus, you can write off donations on your taxes.
6. Grow a garden.
Commercial production of produce creates pollution via chemicals and pesticides during the growing/harvesting process. Growing your own garden can help (even just a tiny bit, and save you $$$). It also reduces transportation of produce, increases air quality via photosynthesis, and contributes to the intricate ecosystem. And, it's fun! Don't think you have to have a huge garden. We have a small-scale garden on our little patio!
7. Be kind.
This one isn't directly related to the earth, but I believe simply being nice and kind to others creates a ripple effect that can be positive for any aspect of life and time here on earth.
8. Mix up your transportation.
If you can bike or walk to work, carpool, drop to a 1-car household, or take the bus once in a while, try and do it to cut down on emissions into the atmosphere.
9. Commit to self-improvement.
Anytime we can know better and do better, that's a good thing. Never stop learning.
10. Save water and/or electricity.
Use energy efficient bulbs and disconnect/turn off devices and lights when not necessary or in use. Open the windows when you can instead of running the heating/air conditioning unit. Additionally, water is one of our most wasted resources. Only run water when its needed. Limit showers to only the time needed to hop in and wash and don't leave faucets running while brushing your teeth and washing dishes. If you live somewhere that supports sustainable housing, incorporate elements into your own home, if you can.
11. Spend time in nature.
It's a lot easier to appreciate and care for nature when you actually spend time in it. Go for a walk, eat lunch outside, gaze at the stars, or workout at the park - just a few ideas to spark some interests.
Let's take a cue from Sam Gamgee and the hobbits and boost our appreciation for natural beauty and our environment on a more regular basis! Hopefully these tips help. In the comment section or on Instagram, let me know what you currently do to take care of our planet or what you plan to try and do more of.