Hooray for the Earth! So in case you didn’t know Earth Day is coming up this week- April 22nd, 2021. What is Earth Day?
Our world needs transformational change. It’s time for the world to hold sectors accountable for their role in our environmental crisis while also calling for bold, creative, and innovative solutions. This will require action at all levels, from business and investment to city and national government.
That’s where you come in: As an individual, you yield real power and influence as a consumer, a voter, and a member of a community that can unite for change.
Don’t underestimate your power. When your voice and your actions are united with thousands or millions of others around the world, we create a movement that is inclusive, impactful, and impossible to ignore.
Every Earth Day can drive a year of energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to create a new plan of action for our planet.EarthDay.org
In this way Earth Day is a day of emphasis on the individual actions that one can take to help the environment overall. It also acknowledges the need for corporate accountability and large scale change but also the power that we as individuals have. So, in that line of thinking I compiled some very simple and do-able changes one can make in their household to make their own corner of the world more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Easy Household Changes for Environmental Sustainability
- Ditch the Cellophane/Plastic wrap/aluminum foil, etc. Although cellophane is made of cellulose (wood) rather than plastic the downside of it is unlike plastic wrap it cannot be recycled. Cellophane technically is biodegradable but in the process of its creation it releases harmful gases. Concerning Aluminum foil there already has been numerous links and concerns about the aluminum contamination within food that increases the risk of illnesses such as Alzheimers.So what is the solution? I mean, sometimes you need to keep something fresh and wrapped. Beeswax Food Wrap, yep, you heard right- you can even make it yourself. Not only are Beeswax Food Wrap better for the environment, they’re more sustainable, biodegradable, and hey, support the Bees! For more information concerning Beeswax food wrap I highly recommend the No Trace Shop Faq as it is very informative.
- Drop the plastic food bags. Although the Beeswax Food wraps can also work as an alternative to plastic food baggies, sometimes you need to take something more readily on the go. Hence, why not give reusable silicone storage bags a try? There’s also reusable storage bags made from Peva– they’re still considered food safe, hold up well through repeated use, and have a feel more similar to plastic. The biggest difference between the two is that you cannot microwave Peva and it’s not for use in high heat- essentially Peva is a good alternative to plastic bags (and slightly cheaper) but silicone is completely free of toxic chemicals and any harmful byproducts.
- Start Composting. I know, I know here me out. Composting always seems like a huge step but think small scale. How many food scraps, vegetable, fruit peelings do you create weekly or bi-weekly? Now imagine just having a small composting bin set aside for them, much easier to imagine and to do, correct? But what am I suppose to do with them after? Well, I strongly recommend putting your scraps in the freezer either in an “official” compost bin or in a beeswax bag, the freezer will keep the food in the compost from decomposing any further. When you’re ready you can use your compost for your plants, flower beds, trees, etc or check out websites such as Compost Now to see if there is a compost pick up service in your area. For more ideas of what to do with your compost please read this article by onegreenplanet.org as they provide numerous ideas and further links.
- Use Biodegradable Trash bags. Plant based biodegradable trash bags are totally a thing! Did you know that our regular plastic trash bags take 10-20 years to decompose in a landfill?
5. Bamboo Paper towels. Now this one might not be for everyone depending on what you’re expecting. Bamboo paper towels are reusable paper towels, they’re thicker and stronger than normal paper towels and can be rinsed and dried for repeated use. They are definitely a better option than regular paper towels and they may work well for your needs and use, but one caveat is that we already have reusable towels…wash cloths or dish cloths.