Honoring Our Earth: Eco-Friendly Ideas to Help YOU Make a Difference

Like any good mother, our beloved Mother Earth (or Gaia as some call her) offers us so much and provides for us so well 24/7, yet how often do we show our appreciation? Every year we celebrate Earth Day on April 22 where we stop and think about the world around us–and how we might make it better–but what if EVERY day was Earth Day? Don’t you think the planet that sustains and nourishes us deserves that? Are you playing your part to honor our great mother? TAKE OUR QUIZ: How Eco-Friendly Are You?

Did you know…

  • A billion pounds of food is wasted each year?
  • Plastic takes up to 700 years to decompose and only 10% of plastic is recycled properly?
  • Glass takes over 1 million years to decompose?
  • Produce purchased at large grocery stores loses 45% of it’s nutrients by the time it reaches you?
  • Old electronics damage the environment and need to be recycled separately?
  • The average American uses 140-170 gallons of water every day?
  • Trees clean the air and provide food and energy but over 900 million are cut down every year?

How can YOU help?

Take a “Litter Walk”

Take a “Litter Walk!” Grab a friend or family member and trash bags (one for trash, one for recycle items) and pick up litter you see along the way. Or gather a group of friends and have a parent drive you to public area(s) that are frequently littered, like parks, beaches, or along roadsides. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, plus you’re helping make the world a better place! Who doesn’t love a a win-win?!

Plant a Tree! 

Did you know there are over 7 billion people on this earth? As this number continues to grow we begin to use the earth’s resources faster than ever. Imagine how we would help the earth if every person planted a tree. That’s one, simple way you can contribute today — plant a tree! Trees help clean the air, offer beauty, and some, like fruit trees, provide food! Invite your family and friends to help! CLICK HERE to learn how to plant a tree. 

And don’t forget to celebrate Arbor Day on April 28!

Recycle, reduce plastic (along with glass, aluminum, and paper!)

BYOU Water Bottles_ND15Ella BYOU Water Bottle photoAbout 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year, but only 10 percent of it is properly recycled–and plastic can take up to 700 years to decompose! That’s a lot of plastic laying around for many, many generations! Reduce that waste and recycle your plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper products. If you’re somewhere where there are no recycling containers around, be a good earth citizen and bring your recyclables home with you to recycle. If your family doesn’t recycle, educate them how important it is; contact your local waste company for information.

One of the easiest ways to reduce plastic waste, is to purchase (or make) reusable bags, silverware, dishes, cleaning tools, and water bottles. (Check out BYOU Magazine’s BPA-free 20 ounce water bottles!)

Recycle your E-Waste 

e-waste graphicWe normally don’t think of our old electronics as waste, but they are. Those old cell phones, iPads, TVs, and computers are extremely harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. If you don’t dispose of electronics correctly, they can leak lead, mercury, and other harmful substances into our water and soil. Find the nearest e-waste recycler to dispose of those old electronics. And don’t forget to recycle those batteries!

Support your local farmers

Know Your Farmer logoDid you know that when you buy produce from your big grocery store or supermarket it’s lost about 45 percent of its original nutrients by the time you buy it? In fact, it starts losing nutrients the second it’s harvested. And unless it’s labeled “organic” or “non-GMO” it’s likely it contains harmful GMOs (what are GMOs? Read HERE). So, by purchasing local produce you get more nutrient-rich food and reduce the amount of harmful gases from transporting produce from larger farms. Plus, supporting local farms is good for your community. You might even try growing your own food!

Reduce waste with compost

Over a billion pounds of food are wasted each year! Turn some of that food into rich, nutrient soil that your plants will love by creating compost. It’s a great option to chemical-laden fertilizers. It might sound a little gross, but it’s an easy way to recycle right at home. Learn how to start your own compost pile:

Reduce your water consumption

The average American uses about 140-170 gallons of water each day. Most of that water is wasted. Find out easy ways to save water below or check out our blog post on World Water Day.

Want to be an Earth lover? Here’s how to pass along your new knowledge: 

1. Share this article on your social media and tag @BYOUmagazine. You can use one of the many images in this post!

2. Get a group of friends together, and put one of the above skills to work. You can start a compost pile, collect trash around your neighborhood, or plant a tree together!

3. Teach your family members about everything you just learned. Then, brainstorm some ways your family can be eco-friendly!

Earth Day is a wonderful time to show the earth some love. But if we really want to make a difference, we should be kind and thoughtful to our planet as often as we can. Small acts, like recycling and composting, can make a big impact. And who knows, you may inspire others along the way!

Make every day Earth Day!

Learn more about how you can protect the earth. 

See more of our Earth Day posts, including features on girls making a difference and a quiz to determine how eco-friendly YOU are!

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