Earth Day is April 22, and if I’m being honest, the earth shouldn’t be honored just one day out of a whole year. I mean, at least we recognize it and even if every person on the planet took part in protecting Mother Earth for just one day, the environment is better for it.
But if we all do our part all year, can you imagine how much happier she’d be? Admittedly, I’m not as eco-friendly as I could be. There are big ways to be more environmentally friendly, but there are many, many smaller ways to make changes all year long — and it can save you money, too.
Related: Celebrate Earth Day With 16 Eco-Friendly Beauty Products
Take a quiz to test your knowledge about our planet. Making Earth a healthier place to live doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy an electric car or give up everything that’s not plant-based. Putting the earth first is about making one or two small actionable changes that are the easiest and most affordable for you and your family.
Outside of recycling the items you can, these are some other affordable ways to make your life a little more green and earth focused:
6 Tips to Make Earth Day Every Day
1. Repurpose Household Items
An easy first step to living greener is to repurpose. Pinterest will be your best friend for finding ideas to repurpose a variety of items around your house. I repurposed a Pringles can into a DIY pasta holder. I made it about seven years ago, and it was super easy and still really cute. But that’s just one way to repurpose a Pringles can. You can turn a Pringles can into a vase, hair tie holder and Christmas ornament storage, to name a few.
2. Use Reusable Shopping Bags
There’s not much that annoys me more than plastic grocery bags flying around the road. Nine times out of 10, it’s going to get stuck under my car. Some cities have banned the use of plastic bags and require you to bring your own reusable bag. If where you live still allows stores that use plastic bags, then be proactive and get your own bags.
Retailers like Free People, Lululemon and others will give you a reusable bag when you make a purchase. So save them because they’ll hold plenty of groceries. You can also consider buying the bestselling reusable bags on Amazon for $18.99 for six. And leave the bags in your trunk so you don’t forget them.
3. Buy Reusable Containers
Ziploc bags were the first things to go when I realized how much they contaminate the environment. I bought these Reusable Storage Bags for my kids’ snacks and small leftovers. They’re less than $15 for 10 different sizes. I’ve had them about a year and they’ve held up. It not only saves the planet, but it also saves you money in the long run — assuming your kid doesn’t toss one out accidentally.
4. Cut Up Plastic Pack Rings Before You Throw Them Out
Plastic pack rings are the plastic things that hold soda cans and plastic water bottles together, in case you didn’t know. When they’re thrown away with the trash, they have the propensity to fly out of the garbage truck or trash cans since they’re so light. These rings can end up making their way into any nearby body of water, like a lake, ocean or pond. And sadly, the plastic can wrap itself around any living creature calling the water home.
To keep the inhabitants of water everywhere healthy, happy and safe, cut the plastic rings into pieces so that they can’t become wrapped around turtles, ducks, fish or any other living thing before you toss them. It takes less than a minute.
5. Research Brands Before You Buy Their Products
Fast-fashion brands continue to be a hot topic for conservationists — and for good reason. Although it might take some extra time, finding out how your fashion is sourced is an easy way to decide whether to purchase from a brand. Most major brands are very transparent.
“Textiles are disposed of in landfills or incinerated; apparel companies conservatively produce 100 billion garments per year; less than 1% of clothing is recycled; 40 million tons of textiles (87% of clothing) are disposed of in landfills or incinerated.”
Retail brands like H&M, Zara, thredUP, TOMS and Patagonia, to name a few, are making strides to change that. For example, H&M has made HUGE strides in making sustainability a priority. From its clothing collection program to products sourced from recycled plastic bottles, H&M is trying to flip the script to make a difference to the planet.
6. Support Brands With Eco-friendly Products
After you’ve done your research on brands and their products, it’s time to support them. Keeping environmentally-friendly brands afloat is essential to cleaning up our planet. There are more brands than I can count that are doing their best to make it happen.
One brand is making game night with the fam or your friends more sustainable. Big Potato Games makes their games boxes 50% smaller and they come with plastic-free packaging. With the “One Game. One Tree” focus, for every game Big Potato sells, it plants one tree. And so far, it has planted 54,037 (and counting) trees and reduced 294.03 tons of carbon. Plus, with family-friendly games like Herd Mentality, Snakesss, Don’t Get Got and Nice Buns, helping out the planet will be that much more entertaining.
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