Earth Day 2014: Four easy ways to go green

Tuesday, April 22, is Earth Day, a reminder to commit to eco-friendly activities for the sake of the environment. What are you doing to go green in your life?

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.

Tuesday, April 22, is Earth Day, a day to take stock of the Earth and commit to doing something green for the sake of the environment.

Did you know that being eco-friendly can be as easy as checking your tire pressure or caulking around the windows of your home?

In celebration of this green holiday, here are four ways to go green for Earth Day:

Calculate your footprint and find out how to reduce it

The Earth Day Network has a nifty ecological footprint calculator that allows you to measure how eco-friendly your lifestyle and habits are. It asks you several questions and then tells you how many planets it takes to support your lifestyle. It also gives you the option to see how you can reduce your footprint, such as buying products that use less packaging.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a lot of ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle in your everyday life without much extra effort. Here are a few:

  • Buy permanent items (such as reusable food containers) rather than disposable items (plastic baggies)
  • Use durable coffee mugs and reuse juice bottles for water
  • Buy recycled products and products that use recycled packaging and then recycle them when you're done, rather than throw them in the trash

Put an end to all of that junk mail

The Earth Day Network estimates that the average adult receives about 41 pounds of junk mail every year, and almost half of it goes directly to the landfill without being opened.

Reducing the amount of junk mail is fairly simple. Organizations such as DMAchoice, TrustedID and 41Pounds.org will work to remove your name from widely distributed mailing lists for credit card offers, catalogs, phone books and other mailings that you may not want to receive.

Use less waste in your garden

One way to reduce garden waste is to start a compost pile. The EPA lists several benefits to composting, including providing a healthy fertilizer for your garden, but it isn't the only thing you can do to be more green.

The EPA also recommends donating healthy plants that you want to replace to community gardens, schools or neighbors. You can also use natural deterrents to weeds and garden pests, such as planting marigolds to ward off beetles or introducing ladybugs to your garden to eat aphids, rather than using toxic chemicals.

How do you "go green" in your everyday life? Share your eco-friendly tips in the comments below.


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