20 Ways You Can Help The Environment...Like Right Now

To celebrate Earth Day (and every day!), here are twenty simple, creative, and engaging ways you can live lighter and greener, starting right...now!

1. Ditch single-use plastic in favor of reusable options. Instead of purchasing plastic water bottles meant to be thrown away after one use, invest in one you can refill and use for years. Tip: Nalgenes are made in the USA and are BPA-free. Don’t forget to grab yourself a reusable coffee cup/travel mug, too.

2. If you prefer drinking from straws, snag yourself a colorful reusable option and bring it with you when you order your next iced latte.

3. Swap your personal products for ones that don’t contain microbeads/microplastics. Many popular face, body, and related skincare products contain microbeads, which are tiny but still incredibly harmful balls of plastic. These microplastics often end up in the ocean, where they’re ingested by fish and marine mammals throughout the food-chain and contribute to already widespread plastic pollution. Check this list to see if what you’re using on your skin, hair, and teeth contains harmful microplastics. 

4. Shop local, especially when it comes to food. Locally grown fruits, veggies, and protein sources don’t have to be mass produced or shipped across the country, which is a win-win. 

5. Use an outdoor clothesline or indoor drying rack instead of a dryer whenever possible. 

6. Use recycled gift wrap. Instead of purchasing wrapping paper, try using old newspaper, magazine pages, maps, or any other paper you have lying around the house. This is one of my favorite things to do, can be easily personalized, and is always a big hit with friends and family members. 

7. Don’t waste food. Sounds simple enough, right? But we’ve likely all tossed food we didn’t quite get to cooking and eating before it spoiled. Wasted food means wasted water, land, and energy, on top of increased greenhouse gas emissions. Tip: Try meal-planning for a week or even a few days at a time, and then only buy the food you need to make those specific meals. 

8. Start composting. Instead of tossing food scraps into the garbage can, keep a small reusable container in your kitchen where you can collect food scraps to later add to a compost pile or bin. 

9. Showers trump baths when it comes to minimizing environmental impact. Baths use (at least) twice as much water as even the longest showers do. 

10. Turn your tap off while you’re brushing your teeth. This is likely something you’re already doing, and if you’re not, this simple act alone can save up to five gallons of water per day.

11. Run errands without your car. Walk, bike, or utilize public transportation to visit your local market, coffee shop, or post office.

12. Try biking to work at least one day a week. If that isn’t an option, can you walk, take public transportation, or start a local carpool? Less cars on the road = less greenhouse gas emissions.

12. Try biking to work at least one day a week. If that isn’t an option, can you walk, take public transportation, or start a local carpool? Less cars on the road = less greenhouse gas emissions.

13. Instead of purchasing paper napkins, grab some fun and vibrant fabric squares from your favorite local or online fabric store. Voilà! You now have reusable napkins.

14. When you’re traveling, especially on longer road-trips, utilize cruise control as often as you can. Just doing that can improve your mileage by up to 15%.

15. Turn your own plastic waste into useful items like park benches and bikes by recycling it with I Want to Be. Click here to find a recycling center near you.

16. Bring reusable grocery bags on your next shopping trip. I always try to keep a stash of them on-hand/in my backpack and/or backseat so I don’t have to worry about forgetting them when I’m running errands.

17. Swap batteries for solar-charged light and power sources, and always choose rechargeable batteries over single-use options.

18. Start a garden. Even if you don’t have a large space to plant outdoor rows, you can grow tomatoes, greens, herbs, and plenty of other vegetables in pots. Water only when necessary, in the mornings or evenings, when it’s cooler and the water is less likely to evaporate quickly. Tip: Use vinegar to help tame unruly weeds instead of using harsh chemical alternatives.

19. Sign up for a Keep it Wild Cleanup

20. Donate a few (or more!) dollars to an environmental organization doing great work.

Narrator: This blog was thoughtfully written by Kerri Anne Stebbins. You can find her on Instagram @kerri_anne.


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