What to do for Earth Day: Be smart not blind

It’s Earth Day!

For me, Earth Day used to mean plays and presentations and a full day of playing outside in the dirt as a kid. When I got older it meant school classes filled with earth-themed lessons. As an adult, Earth Day faded into the background of my busy life. I used it as another day to wear green.

At this point, I’m trying to pay it a bit more attention. Earth Day isn’t just for kids anymore. The whole point behind Earth Day is to remind people to take care of the planet and be aware of things like pollution, deforestation etc.

Why, you may ask, should we care about how we treat the earth? Maybe because it is our home?

Think of it this way. You live in a house on a plot of land or may an apartment on a plot of land. You are surrounded by land of some form. All that land is part of the Earth. Now how would you like to stay living where you are if you know that land was made of, say, trash or soil polluted with harmful chemicals? You likely wouldn’t be so hot on making plans to stay there long-term.

Fact is, everything we do affects the Earth even if we may not see the immediate effects. You can say that the plant we live on is huge but over time our actions compound on themselves and they will come back to haunt or bless us depending on what we do. For example, trash you toss rather than recycle could become a part of the land that your house sits on or could become and addition to your water source. Alternatively, the land you live on could be composed of healthy earth while you bring home groceries in a reusable bag made of the trash you chose to recycle.

Are you catching my drift now?

The choices we make ranging from what we do with our trash to the products we buy to what energy sources we use make a difference. They can help or harm our planet. And they can make our lives and the lives of our kids heaven or hell.

Okay, so you want to make a positive impact or at least be better to our home planet. But how, oh red-headed one, do I do this?

You know what Google is right? Get on it and research away.

Big or small, you can make changes that help the Earth but that won’t be changes a burden. You can make most of these changes with a happy heart knowing that what you are doing is a good thing and it will keep your grandkids from having to battle off radioactive rats on what is left of a polluted, toxic landmass.

Starting points you can use to do Earth Day right can include:

  • Optimize recycling: If you only have trash cans, repurpose a few to be recycling cans. This will make your bigger recycling bin feel loved with all the added attention you give it. Plus you might be surprised at how many things you have that you can recycle.
  • Figure out better disposal methods or possibly harmful chemicals like old paint or batteries. Look for local place that take these kinds of items and can dispose of them properly. No joke my dad and I did this regularly with old batteries and tech and it was like a bonding experience formed around not adding to a radioactive landfill somewhere.
  • Be conscious of energy usage. Turn off flights when you aren’t in the room. Turn off air or heart when you aren’t home. Benefit the earth and your wallet when your energy bill is WAY lower than before.
  • Be conscious of water usage. If you live in California this is even more important. This can be easy too. Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth. Take shorter showers. Reduce other forms of water waste. Again if you live in California you should be doing this already and if you aren’t I will find you and slap you because you suck.
  • Figure out ways to produce less trash. This can mean being more conscious of what you can recycle or being more aware of what you buy. Also you can do small things like reusing old items. For example an old towel can be cut up and turned into cleaning rags. Old toys can be donated.
  • Look for community events to plant trees, redo landscaping to be more friendly to the environment or clean parks and beaches.

The resources and opportunities are out there. And quite frankly we should be more aware of our impact because it does matter. And this applies whether you believe in global warming or not (we aren’t getting into that, so hush).

In summary: Be better to the planet. Make a few changes to be less of a parasite to the Earth. Be smart about your impact, not blind.

And maybe go plant a tree. It’s fun.

unnamedWritten by Brianna Gibbons, writer, book reviewer and avid reader. For more book-based talk, follow her on Twitter @Bookworm_ish.