Eco Tips Every Day of April
Let's make earth day every day, starting with today.
1. Start Composting with a Noaway Countertop Compost Bin
How it Helps: There are several ways that composting can help. By keeping your green and brown compost out of your garbage, you are also keeping it out of the landfill.
Not only this but you will also notice that your household garbage is less smelly and you are left with beautiful compost that you can use to fertilize your garden.
Why it Works: When you compost at home, the process of biodegradation works towards creating nutrient-rich fertilizer. However, this occurs in the landfill, which emits methane gas, which contributes to climate change.
2. Plant a Garden
How it Helps: Planting a small indoor or outdoor garden is a fantastic way to supplement your produce and invite pollinators like bees and hummingbirds to thrive.
Doing this in conjunction with a composting bin creates a self-sufficient circle of life that feeds you and your garden.
Why it Works: By producing your own vegetables and/or herbs at home, you are removing a small piece of demand from a supply chain with a massive carbon footprint.
3. Use a Reusable Shopping Bag for Groceries
How it Helps: Single-use plastic bags take hundreds of years to break down and wreak havoc on the environment in the meantime. By replacing the thousands of plastic bags we use each year with a couple of sturdy cloth bags, we can immediately reduce our impact on the environment significantly.
Why it Works: Not only are they better for the environment, reusable grocery bags work better, can hold more, and don’t bite into your hands like those nasty old plastic bags!
4. Buy your Food at a Farmer’s Market
How it Helps: Huge corporations practice industrial agriculture which massively impacts our environment. They also have much larger supply chains which mean your food is less fresh and has traveled further, using more gas. It also means your money often leaves the country and winds up in the hands of less than ethical businesses.
Why it Works: Supporting your local farmer’s market means that the food hasn’t traveled as far or burned as much gas, and the money stays in the local economy. It also allows you to see where your food comes from with more transparency.
5. Source Locally Made Goods
How it Helps: Buying local keeps the money local and eliminates the harmful impacts of massive supply chains. It often also means that your goods are subjected to higher quality control measures, which has many positive attributes.
Why it Works: By reducing the demand for cheap goods from overseas we get better products, keep the money in the local economy, and reduce the carbon footprint.
6. Use Your Bike Instead of Your Cars
How it Helps: Here’s a classic. For errands and activities within 5 miles, use your bike instead of driving! It’s good for you and good for the planet!
Why it Works: The less you drive, the less irreplaceable fossil fuels get burned and wind up as greenhouses gases in our atmosphere. Riding a bike wherever you can is a no-brainer!
7. Plant a Tree
How it Helps: Planting a small tree in your garden is a wonderful way to create a slightly greener world. Trees are crucial for reducing heat, filtering our air, and creating a world that we want to live in.
Why it Works: It may seem like a frivolous venture to plant a small tree, but it isn’t. Every year that tree will grow a little taller, a little wider, and cast a little more shade.
Every year that tree will sequester a little more carbon, and you just might think of planting another.
8. Switch to Green Power
How it Helps: We know that going out and purchasing a solar panel system and then having it installed isn’t exactly a realistic venture for most. Luckily, switching to a green source of power is usually just a matter of making a phone call. Call up your energy provider and ask if they have a green option—most do!
Why it Works: By switching your household energy over to a more environmentally friendly source, you reduce your footprint as well as the demand for older energy.
9. Replace Your Lightbulbs
How it Helps: Switching out incandescent bulbs for LED lights is not only good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet as well! On average, LED lights are about 5x less
expensive to run than traditional incandescents.
Why it Works: Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology uses far less electricity to run than incandescent and is cooler as well, making it safer. Using less electricity is a great way to effectively reduce our carbon footprints.
10. Use a Bar of Soap instead of Bottled
How it Helps: Using a bottled shampoo and conditioner leaves you with a plastic bottle. Multiply that over the years and you can imagine how much this contributes to landfills.
Why it Works: Bar soaps and shampoos can use recycled or recyclable cardboard packaging which biodegrades. Plastic bottles take hundreds of years to decompose while plastic waste wreaks havoc on the environment in the meantime.
11. Get a Metal Water Bottle
How it Helps: One of the worst industries for plastic pollution is the packaged water industry. They don’t produce water, they only produce bottles. And most of what you pay for with bottled water is transportation of water, available most everywhere to your local store.
Why it Works: Circumventing the need for a single-use plastic bottle is something everybody should do to undermine a harmful industry. Metal water bottles are convenient, cheap, and last a very long time.
12. Eat Half as Much Meat
How it Helps: Surely not everybody is ready to become a vegan—but cutting down on meat can help reduce your carbon footprint by a half-ton per year!
Why it Works: Agricultural meat farms are one of the most climate-intensive industries in existence. Reducing your demand reduces a significant amount of emissions that are required to farm, transport, and produce the meat.
13. Use Washable Cloths for Cleaning
How it Helps: Paper towels are made from trees. They may grow back, but not as fast as we can wipe them out using paper towels. So wipe with something better.
Why it Works: A reusable rag or cloth can be used over and over again, performing the task just as well or better than a paper towel, while keeping garbage out of the landfill. Everything we touch comes from this world. None of it is disposable.
How it Helps: How long does it take you to make toast? Not long. Yet many of us leave our toasters and charges plugged in all day and night. The problem is that they are still drawing phantom power.
Why it Works: Unplugging your cords when not using them helps save energy and money. You don’t want to pay for something you aren’t using. Neither does mother
15. Don’t Throw Out Leftovers
How it Helps: People tend to waste a lot of food. Of course, we don’t want to make too little, so we have leftovers. Don’t let them get thrown out! Make it a household policy never to throw out good food.
Why it Works: We usually prepare more food than we eat. By ensuring we waste less, we also end up using less food overall, and that impact is felt all the way up the supply line, reducing your environmental impacts the entire way.
16. Hang-dry Your Laundry
How it Helps: Dryers use a lot of energy over a short amount of time. Any way which we can use less will help reduce our drain on the power grid and the resources which drive it.
Why it Works: Hang drying your laundry reduces the number of times you need to use that large power draw, which translates into less money spent on electricity as well. Not only that, your clothes will last longer, which is also good for your pocketbook and the environment.
17. Use Raw Ingredients and Materials
How it Helps: Using raw ingredients to cook or build with, removes a step in the supply chain. By processing the raw ingredients yourself, rather than buying premade goods, all of the emissions associated with the production are eliminated.
Why it Works: Every time a product must go through a process, both costs and emissions are raised. With a little savviness, you can save money and the planet, and—projects are fun!
18. Use Cold Water for Your Laundry
How it Helps: When you wash your clothes in hot water, your average laundry machine uses about 90% of the energy it draws to heat the water.
Why it Works: Washing in cold water allows you to get clean clothes easily, and reduces much of the impacts of doing so. Less energy used is more environment saved!
19. Reduce Your Paper Trail
How it Helps: Get your bills sent to your inbox rather than your address.
Why it Works: Paper is made from trees and used once before being discarded. Not only does paperless billing save trees—it’s a lot easier to keep organized than paper billing.
20. Use Natural Cleaners—Even Make Your Own
How it Helps: Harsh chemicals from strong cleaners eventually will run into our waterways and cause harm to the local wildlife and contaminate our food chain.
Why it Works: Using natural cleaners or making your own reduces the demand for chemicals in the market as well as your household's contribution to local contamination. Stay clean, stay green!
21. Reuse Spray Bottles
How it Helps: Don’t throw out old spray bottles—reuse them! Use old spray bottles to store cleaner or water your gardens!
Why it Works: Reusing anything that would otherwise end up in the landfill helps reduce waste as well as our carbon footprint. Don’t throw them out!
22. Use Rainwater for Your Garden
How it Helps: Collecting rainwater for your garden reduces the amount of fresh drinking water that is used per household.
Why it Works: Fresh drinking water is a valuable resource and there is only so much of it. Learning how to use other sources of water instead of our valuable drinking water is a way to be more resource-efficient and reduce our environmental impact.
23. Keep Glass Jars for Storage
How it Helps: Reusing glass containers keeps more litter out of the landfill! Try reusable waxed paper for sandwiches.
Why it Works: The problem with most garbage that ends up in the dump is that we have nowhere else to put it. Any time we can repurpose an item to divert it from landfills, we are helping reduce our environmental impact.
24. Buy Pre-owned and Donate Unused Clothes
How it Helps: Recycling doesn’t always have to start with our own goods. Buying your clothes from the thrift store or resale or consignment shop, brick and mortor or online, is a great way to ease the strain of another environmentally-impactful industry: Clothing. 10.5 million tons of clothing and tactile end up in landfills every year in North America alone.
Why it Works: Keep clothes out of the landfills at both ends of the cycle. Purchase used clothes from a thrift shop and donate your old ones. Vintage is in style, anyways!
25. Recycle Your Cans and Bottles
How it Helps: It’s not always possible to avoid buying goods that come in disposable containers, but we can divert many of them from the landfill by recycling! Set up an extra bin, and throw your rinsed cans and bottles into that instead of your garbage.
Why it Works: Anything we can do to keep raw materials in the supply chain and out of the landfill is a win for mother nature. Cans and bottles are a well-known, and awesome place to start. You can take them to the bottle depot for a return, or give them to somebody who needs the money worse than you.
26. Turn Off the Lights
How it Helps: Reducing energy draw on the power grid is important to using less energy and minimizing our carbon footprint. It’s also good for the wallet. Save money on your power bill and do the right thing for the environment.
Why it Works: The explanation is very straightforward. If we don’t use power, we don’t burn resources. Turn off those lights!
27. Put a Beehive in Your Yard
How it Helps: This might be for the bolder reader, but there are many small beehives available that can be installed in your garden! Promoting these key pollinators is a way to support your local ecosystem and get some fresh honey in the process!
Why it Works: The more we can do to support pollinators, the better! 85% of flowering plants rely on them to reproduce. More pollinators equal more plants, and more plants equal more food and resources for our communities.
28. Fix any Leaky Faucets
How it Helps: Fresh drinking water is a finite and valuable resource. While a leaking faucet might be a marginal waste, it is a waste nonetheless.
Why it Works: This is a numbers game. The more people there are who have leaky faucets in a water system, the more wasteful the system. Small changes add up and make big changes over time!
29. Support Local Businesses that Put the Environment First
How it Helps: Businesses that have a vested interest in protecting the environment are the ones with the power to drive real change in our world.
Why it Works: Supporting local businesses who work to ensure our environment is looked after is a way to help turn the tide of industry. If bigger businesses see that environmental causes are worth investing in, then all of that economic power that has been so destructive in the past can become a force for good.
30. Don’t Mow Your Lawn Next Month
How it Helps: By committing to not mowing your lawn for May, you are preserving the vegetation that helps pollinators to thrive.
Why it Works: Allowing the pollen to accumulate supports a foundational piece of our ecosystem. Allowing pollinators to help vegetation reproduce is essential to our environment, so take a break this May!