The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 (read our interview with one of the founders here!). Since then, every April 22, people around the world plant trees, collect waste and care for our planet – and the Senior Planet community is no exception. We recently asked our newsletter subscribers to share their own sustainable practices; not just on Earth Day itself, but all year round.
According to a survey of 100+ participants, popular efforts include recycling and composting at home (90%) and the use of reusable goods such as multipurpose water bottles and shopping bags (90%). We also presented an open form for participants to share their own eco-friendly practices in more detail.
Where to start?
When it comes to sustainability, figuring out where to start can be intimidating.
“We started an ‘Eco Club’ in my community …”
Some, like Danelle A., use a support system provided by a common program. “We started an ‘Eco Club’ in my community,” she says, “where we have two compost bins and share tips on how to save energy at home and on whole food, plant-based recipes.”
Others, such as Debra M., find it helpful to have a strong commitment. “I’ve been following veganism for 13 years, that is, the practice of refraining from using animal products, especially in food, and a philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. I advocate legislation that informs and supports animal welfare. ” Debra says that “vegan food helps stop animal suffering and improves our own health.” She also volunteers at a local Colorado animal shelter called Doolittle Farm Sanctuary and submitted the photo to the right of one of the pigs ‘painting’ on a canvas.
The ins and outs
Not quite ready to commit to a major lifestyle change? Focusing on one small step is a valuable way to make a difference. There are many ways to get started in your own home. Carol D. switched to energy-efficient LED lamps and limits the use of aerosol cans. Bev O. suggests buying gel pen refills and using cloth towels and rags instead of paper towels.
There is also plenty to do in the yard. “I help care for the earth by controlling the rainwater in my home,” says Kenneth B. “The main cause of major erosion in our streams is the uncontrolled run-off of rainwater. I have tried to do my part through rain gardens and landscaping to control rainwater on my own property. ”Salma K. shared an impressive milestone: she has watered her garden nothing but recycled water from her sink – for 19 years!
Think outside the delivery box
Others in the Senior Planet community have found ways to put an eco-friendly spin on common habits. For those in the NYC area, Susan I. shared a food delivery website and app that helps reduce the nearly 1 billion takeout containers thrown away by New Yorkers every year: “We take takeout with DeliverZero, which is recyclable plastic. uses containers that have been sterilized and reused over and over again. “
Claudia F. submitted a smart idea to bookmark for the holidays: “When we had real Christmas trees, we cut the branches and put them over flower beds to protect against freezing and thawing.”
Creativity in conservation
Protecting the planet can also inspire creativity, innovation and fun. Cara C. channels her inner artist: “I’m working on a project with the hundreds of plastic bottles and jar caps I’ve collected after consuming milk, peanut butter, vitamins, etc.” Stanley R. even wrote an Earth Day song, which you can listen to here:
How about tomorrow?
Earth Day may only last 24 hours, but the momentum doesn’t have to end once the calendar turns to April 23. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait a whole year to make our world a better place. Senior Planet Montgomery is offering online lectures and workshops this quarter in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Department on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm EST. Click here to participate in a session on ‘Programmable and smart thermostats’ this Tuesday, April 27. EarthDay.org has this interactive events map to help you discover more opportunities and events in your local community, both online and in person.
Thanks to everyone who submitted their best practices for Earth Day 2021. Didn’t get the chance to share? Post your ideas in the comment section below!