Earth Day is a time where millions of people observe to participate in Earth Day activities and reduce their carbon footprint. It is a week that leads to Earth Day which this year will be on April 22, 2023.
History of Earth Day
The first Earth Day was in 1970 to start the decade off with a bang for an effort to raise awareness about environmental issues and transform public attitudes and behaviors. During the 1970s, many pieces of environmental legislation were passed, among them the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and the Water Quality Improvement Act. Most importantly, in 1970, a key change became a catalyst for protecting human health and the natural environment - land, air, and water - was the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Since then, the celebration and awareness of Earth Day has grown over the decades.
In 1990, the event first went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to Earth Day Network (EDN). Today, the Earth Day Network collaborates with more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. More than 1 billion people around the world will participate in celebrating the event, involved in Earth Day activities.
Activities vary from planting a tree or native plants in your community, picking up trash on a walk or at an event, recycling and using less plastic, and more. Here are some activities that you can participate in or challenge yourself during Earth Day.
Earth Day Activities
Bike or Use Public Transportation
Plan in advance and beat the traffic. If an event or your work is close, plan a route to ride your bicycle or use public transportation. On a microscopic level, when one person commutes on a 20-mile round trip car switches to public transportation, they can reduce their carbon emissions by 4,800 pounds per year. This is the same if a family with two vehicles cut their carbon footprint by 10%. In addition, if you decide to use your bicycle, you don't have to burn gas or diesel for your commute nor will you have to find parking. You can avoid traffic as well as improving your mental and physical health when you don’t have to use your car to commute.
Use Less Water
Cut down your showers by three minutes or less! Use cold or lukewarm water instead of hot water. With a standard shower head, a standard shower can use up to 35 to 50 gallons of water if you shower for 10 minutes. If you have a low-flow showerhead installed, you may use up to 20 gallons of water for 10 minutes. In addition, while you’re already in the bathroom or kitchen, your leaky faucets, or better yet, install aerators. If you are eligible, check our no cost programs page to have low flow shower heads and aerators installed for your home or business.
Turn Off Your Lights and Devices
Another way is to make a reminder around the house to do so. Before you leave the room, turn off the lights or devices that you are not using. If you have a window, open the blinds and/or curtains. By doing so, you can make your room brighter and warmer. You don’t have to use your heating or cooling system. In addition, replace your inefficient incandescent light bulbs with efficient LEDs which can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 450 pounds every year.
Use Less Plastic or Single-Use Paper Towels
Try using a shampoo bar, toothbrushes with replaceable heads, and use cloth, instead of paper towels. In addition, sign up for paperless billing instead of receiving traditional mailed bills. It can be difficult to switch your habits, but keeping this in mind can help reduce plastic and single-use paper products dramatically. We produce about 400 million tons of plastic waste each year, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. As for paper products, the most environmental impacts for their production are deforestation, chemical pollution in freshwaters, and increasing our landfill.
Get a Free Energy Audit
Check your home on how else you can save energy and money in your home while increasing the comfort of your home or schedule an appointment with Synergy Companies where you can get a free energy audit and see which programs you can qualify for to have energy and water efficiency products and services installed. There are no cost programs where you can get a smart thermostat, aerators and low flow showerheads, insulation, weatherization, and more. To schedule or learn more about our programs, call 1-800-818-4298.
Attend a Community Event
Find a local event to participate in celebrating Earth Day. There are organizations where you can help plant a tree or plant native plants or pick up trash on the beach or at a park. Otherwise, you don’t necessarily have to do this with a group. You can simply do this in your backyard or pick up trash in your neighborhood. Other ways you can participate is spreading awareness about Earth Day whether that may be through word of mouth or through your social media platforms.
Keep in mind that Earth Day does not have to be celebrated only on that day. It can be celebrated every day to not only help reduce your carbon footprint, but also, preserve our environment and planet we call home.