April 22, 2010 marks the 40th annual Earth Day. To celebrate this event, many organizations are raising awareness about the importance of sustainable practices and promoting ecological awareness.
There are many ways for people to reduce their impact on environmental resources. Below are some examples.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle: Purchase items in bulk and avoid products that are individually packaged to help reduce waste. Donate items to thrift stores or hold yard or garage sales to get rid of unwanted, but still usable, products. Many trash items, including plastic bottles, cans and old newspapers, can be recycled. Old electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers and DVD players, can also be recycled.
- Conserve water: Installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators helps to conserve water.
- Local and organic food: Organic products do not contain pesticides or antibiotics that may be harmful to the environment. Buying locally grown food reduces the energy and resources needed to transport and store foods.
- Save energy: Conserve electricity by turning off appliances when they are not being used and purchasing Energy Star® products. Conduct a home energy audit to help ensure that heating and cooling equipment is running efficiently.
- Green cleaning products: Many natural, chemical-free cleaning products are available at local grocery stores and retailers. Create all-purpose cleaning products by combining vinegar, alcohol or baking soda with warm water. Dry laundry on a clothes line or use dryer balls to help save energy.
- Avoid buying bottled water: Instead of purchasing plastic water bottles, which generate waste, use filters to purify tap water and fill reusable water bottles.
- Alternative transportation: Walk, bike, carpool and use public transportation to help reduce emissions that contribute to air pollution. Drive cars with good fuel economy. Many alternative vehicles, including hybrid and electric cars, emit less pollution.
For more information about ways to go green, please visit Natural Standard’s Environment & Global Health database. The database offers hundreds of educational resources about many environmental issues such as climate change, solar power, sustainable living and much more.
- Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. www.energysavers.gov
- Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. www.naturalstandard.com